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The appearance and layout of periodicals is as varied as the many titles available on news-stands. Why are the following important factors influencing the selling of magazines/newspapers: the front page, headline, by-line and pulled-quote?

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In order to sell their periodicals, publishing companies must make them appeal to readers; this appeal is, for the most part, a visual one.

  • With newspapers, the front page layout is what potential buyers look at; therefore, the major headline must intrigue buyers while arousing their curiosity about what is in the article that follows. Pictures that accompany the headline are set to accomplish the same goal of arousing the readers' curiosity. The byline is often under the headline; this contains the name of the author of the article. This publication of the author's name affords the writer recognition; in addition, if the writer is well-known and respected, a byline lends credibility to the material that is written, and it can entice readers to purchase the paper or magazine so they can read what has been written by this person. By-lines are usually at the beginning of an article, but some publications such as Reader's Digest place authors' names at the end of articles in order to free space for graphics.
  • With magazines, the covers are extremely important as they include major article titles or key phrases, along with the photograph of celebrities in the hopes of luring readers. Inside, the titles of articles have the same function as headlines: they arouse the interest and curiosity of readers. Often pull-quotes are used to catch the eye of readers and interest them enough to read the articles. A pull-quote is a line or several lines taken from the text of an article that express a key point of the article, or they are quotations from a key speaker in the article. These pull-quotes are set in larger text, or sometimes in different typeface in order to entice readers or highlight a key topic of the article.


[here is an an example of a headline, by-line, and leadline (line that "leads" the purchaser to read the article) from September 11, 2013 edition of The Washington Post]

Senate sets aside resolution on military strike against Syria

Karen DeYoung and Ed O’Keefe SEP 11

With the administration reviewing Russia’s proposal on chemical arms, lawmakers are waiting and watching.

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