Before the internet came along, the term masthead was mostly used in the marine world. It was a simple definition – the top, or head, of a mast. But now there are around a dozen different definitions for the term masthead, referring to elements within the digital world. However, periodicals also laid claim to the term prior to the internet age. We’ll take a look at the newspaper masthead in this article.
In the United Kingdom, the masthead refers to
In the United States, the masthead refers to the box somewhere inside the newspaper (usually near the contents) that list
You’re going to see the term “masthead” around the internet as well.
For example, the masthead in web design is basically the header of the page,
As we've already discussed, the masthead is a term that is used for several different things. But when it comes to newspaper mastheads, both print publications and digital publications often use them. In the United States, newspapers do not generally have mastheads on the front cover. They're usually somewhere inside.
Some publications still do print the masthead on the outside; usually putting it near what it's called the name plate. In the United States, the title of the publication is called the name plate. It is usually at the top of the publication with the title in extremely large letters along with the date, issue number and other such information.
Newspapers, particularly newsletters, are good examples of publications that put the masthead on the outside of the paper. In fact, some newsletters used two mastheads - one on the front cover and then another on the inside with slightly different content.
When a publication is set up like this, the mastheads are often differentiated by numbering. Most of the time,
In fact, because print publication has been overtaken by digital so much, the term masthead 1, masthead 2 and nameplate maybe used interchangeably as well. The way that the term is used will depend upon the particular publisher, as well as the format of the periodical. Older, more established newspapers will often stick to the traditional way of identifying publication elements, while newer publications do not necessarily see them as relevant.
However, what is most important is what is actually in the masthead rather than what it is called or where in the paper it is located. The masthead has some pretty specific information, particularly for print publications that have wide circulations and high-revenue ad programs. Here are the elements that should be present on a publication’s masthead.
You don't often see mastheads with digital publications. Even with larger organizations that have all of the elements of a print publication, that information is usually listed elsewhere. Blogs and other informal online publications almost never use the masthead format.
The masthead has a historic tradition in the newspaper industry, and those that have been involved with traditional print publications such as newspapers and magazines will know the term proudly. Unfortunately, print newspapers, magazines, newsletters and even books are becoming less and less relevant as people turn to mobile devices to get information. This is a double-edged sword because while newspaper can make more money because they don't have to pay for print costs, it also allows anyone with internet access and $10 for a domain name to start their own publication. But the respected publications with extended histories will likely be relevant for a long time to come