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The Form of News
A History

Barnhurst, Kevin G.; Nrone, John
Publisher:  The Guilford Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  2001  
Pages:  326pp   ISBN:  1-57230-791-9
Library of Congress Number:  PN4749.B29 2001   Dewey:  302.23'22--dc21

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Barnhurst and Nerone are Chicago academics; the former wrote "Seeing the Newspaper" in 1994. This book under review was originally to be a study of the layout and typography of the newspaper's front page. It expanded to become a history of newspaper design in the USA, the ways of writing, how papers are organized, presentation values of typography, space and pictures, and the impact of changing technology such as TV and the Internet. The time frame is 1750 through 2000.

Basic topics include advertising displays, the front page, and tabloids. Examples are from typefaces, reportage, columns, headlines, and photography. The illustrations are all archival; examples include the Hartford Courant, the Chicago Daily News, Harper's Weekly, the New York Times, and the Times of London.

Some interesting facts: The book grew out of previously published (or presented) papers contributed to academic journals and conferences.

What I don't like about this resource: despite the inclusion of the Times of London (love that front-page advertising!), it is US-based, which is unavoidable for us in Canada.

What I do like about this resource: there is an extensive bibliography for further reading.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 82.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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