Sunday, February 25, 2007

Virginian-Pilot - not always pefect?

At the risk of seeming like a nerd for posting twice in one day...I was looking through front pages on Newseum today and couldn't help but notice that there's a centerpiece layout in the Virginia-Pilot that I actually don't like for a change. The story, which is about people who survive cancer but then suffer side affects from their treatments, seems interesting...but I think the hed and dek here are pretty dull (though granted, I don't know how much you can/should spice up a hed and dek for a story about cancer.) Still, I really HATE the graphic - at first, I didn't even understand how it tied into the story. Then I realized it's someone jumping through fire...and getting burned (get it...they make it through the "hoop" of cancer, but get burned by the cure.) It seems like a really silly graphic for a serious and interesting story...I would much rather see a compelling photo of a cancer survivor or some sort of other graphic that shows the gravity of the situation. This graphic looks like bad clipart to me. What do you all think?

Here's a link to the actual story if you want to read it:

Would you flip to A12?

Since Stephanie got us started with the magazine hedline, I thought I'd jump in, too. The NY Times is also the subject of my post. I noticed today that they tried an unusual feature-y approach on a story about soldiers wounded in the line of duty and their road to recovery. The package is actually a glorified refer to a complete story within.

What I thought was interesting about the treatment is the way it so heavily relies on the photographs. The catchline for the package is about the size of a deckhed, and only two graphs of the story make it on A1. What’s more, the two graphs are written in a pretty mater-of-fact way that doesn’t really leave the reader hanging. Again, it seems they’re banking entirely on photos to get you to move inside.

Bad headline?

Well, I know we are supposed to be making postings on this blog, and I’m not exactly sure if this is along the lines of what you’re looking for, but here goes. (Let me know!)

Anyway, I found this article about magazine “crews,” those groups of young adults that sell magazine subscriptions (sometimes here on campus at ASU) to be very interesting. The New York Times shed light on the gang-like atmosphere of magazine crews that I didn’t even know existed:

From an editing point of view, though, what was very interesting was the post on Blogslot ( about the story’s headline. I guess the headline that they ended up going with on the story, “For Youths, a Grim Tour on Magazine Crews” is different than the one they were originally using: “Abuses Dog Paths of Young Magazine ‘Crews.’” Bill Walsh analyzes the problematic nature of using “abuses” as a the subject and “dog” as the verb – interesting stuff. Plus, like I said, the article itself is definitely worth reading.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Take a look at these heds

Talk about conversational and interesting. Obviously, a lot of attention is paying paid to writing them.

News meetings at local papers

From Tracy Collins, deputy managing editor, Arizona Republic:
There's no problem at all with your students coming one or two at a time to the news meetings. If we could just have them e-mail me to let me know they're coming so we can make sure they have an "escort" to make sure they get to the right place and to make sure they are introduced to the crowd.

We have a morning news meeting at 10 a.m., and an afternoon meeting at 2:30. The morning meeting usually lasts about 40 minutes, the afternoon one about 30 minutes...

From the executive editor of the East Valley Tribune, Jim Ripley:

Students are invited to attend any news meeting. I only ask, if they have a relationship with the Republic, they respect the confidentiality of our process and decisions. The daily A1 meeting is at 3 p.m.—though it usually doesn’t start until 3:15 p.m. The 10 a.m. meeting is an early and broader look at what is going into the stew. Weekend planning meetings are 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Just make sure they understand that some meetings are rich and others are dull. The dull ones often mean our planning processes have worked. It would be a good idea for the student to call CJ Coppola at 480-898-6506 so that she can alert the front to let the student in. If CJ, our office manager, isn’t available, they should try Audrey or Francis at 898-6514. The news meetings are run by Chris Coppola, deputy editor for news.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

There's a reason we're drawn to faces

Elizabeth Svoboda, New York Times, reports on research that suggests we have a "top-priority" reaction to faces built into our brains.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Have you seen this before? Too much inspiration?

Seems it was "inspired" by the New York Times. Check out the story and the infographic that ran first.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

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"Father of modern newspaper design" dies at 93

In his time, Edmund Arnold was like a rock star of newspaper design. He was into every aspect of it. I just opened one of his books and it fell to a page dealing with the basic principles of ad layout. "Each ad must have a dominant element as the nucleus for a functional pattern," he wrote. Sound familiar? We're still teaching the importance of that "dominant element" in any design that needs to have unity, cohesion. He lived near Roanoke, Va., and the paper there carried this story on his passing.
ALSO: See what SND has put up on its Web site.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

BFD for the Pilot

"BFD" has a few meanings; two come to mind; both apply. In the "official" meaning, used here, it stands for Best Front Design -- an award given by Brass Tack Design. (Founder Alan Jacobson once had a hand in designing the Pilot, FYI, and is well known in newspaper circles as a design consultant for many papers.)The link above shows the page and discusses it and other pages of the same day. Interestingly, the page from the Times Herald-Record, which we looked at in class, is mentioned as well.

Welcome to Rimrats

This is a class blog, dedicated to matters of interest and fun for copy editors. Consider it a tool and a resource (check out some of the links in the right rail) and an extension of our class. During the course of the semester, you are asked to post at least 10 times; this will qualify as the "editgram" assignment in the syllabus. All posts for credit must be complete by Wednesday, April 25. I'll explain more in class. Until then, feel free to join in as soon as you'd like! Non-credit posts are encouraged. Happy weekend!