On the Mississippi state flag issue, no fence-sitters allowed

The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., attempted to find out whether state lawmakers were for or against removing the Confederate Battle Flag imagery from the state flag.


Sixty-seven legislators went on the record for or against. But 106 of them weaseled out by claiming to be undecided or not responding at all, despite repeated contacts.

This was the front page the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., ran this past Saturday. Click for a much larger look:


This was truly a team effort, says Merry Eccles of the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville tells us:

It was Executive Editor Sam Hall’s idea to poll the legislators. After the lack of response, he thought it would be good to publish the names and faces of those who weren’t responding and dodging the question.

The first round of emails and a good portion of the first calls were done by their intern, Royce Swayze. Political editor Geoff Pender also contributed a good bit to it, as did reporter Sarah Fowler. After a few days, they divided up among the entire news staff the names and contact info of all those who had not responded. Everyone called and emailed four, five or six people in an effort to mark more off the list.

I pulled the mugs, and did the layout. And Richard Mullins double-checked me.

Sam said they  will continue to call, email, Facebook, etc. for the foreseeable future. And the poll is live updated on our website and remains on the front page of the site.


Average daily circulation of the Clarion-Ledger is 57,710.

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you two front pages Merry did for the Clarion-Ledger on this topic.

Also, I wrote about the day in 2000 they took the Confederate Flag down from atop the State House in Columbia, S.C., and how the State newspaper covered it.

Washington Post’s Alberto Cuadra moving to Science magazine

Award-winning infographics guru Alberto Cuadra has left the Washington Post.


Alberto tells us:

I will be the Managing Editor of Graphics for Science, in their digital division.

The idea is to bring their culture — very print-centric at this moment — to a more web/mobile/social/ multimedia zone. Very exciting and very imposing at the same time

I will start on July 20.

Alberto’s colleague Richard Johnson posted this sketch Richard did of Alberto at work during his last week at the Post:


Alberto worked his last day Thursday.

A 1992 graduate of the University of Navarra, Alberto worked with el Mundo in Madrid and then Reuters before joining the Houston Chronicle in 2004 as a senior graphic artist. As then-graphics editor Jay Carr wrote a few years ago:

With an ability to create a wide variety of stunning visuals and a constant drive to never do anything “ordinary,” Alberto put the Chronicle’s graphics department on the map. In 2006, the Chronicle was one of four papers worldwide to be cited for “use of graphics” in the annual Society for News Design competition. Without Alberto, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Alberto moved to the Post in 2010. A few samples of his work:





The aging brain

In addition, I have a fairly extensive collection of Alberto’s work that moved on the Washington Post wire that I used on my Focus pages in California. Typically, I’d re-edit the heck out of them — because, y’know, I rarely had room for both the graphic and the story. So I’d edit the story down to an intro graph, punch up the headline and then move things around just a bit to make the graphic the lead element — or the only visual element — on the page.

Here are three modest examples of this:


Find Alberto’s portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Tuesday, July 7

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three brilliant visual journalists…


Joey Berumen is an editor and designer for the Los Angeles News Group in Los Angeles, Calif. A graduate of Arizona State University, Joey worked for a number of online and print publications before catching on as a designer for the L.A. and San Francisco Daily Journal in 2011. He moved to the LANG in 2013. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Amy Duncan is vice-president of weekly newspapers for Gannett’s Des Moines Register. In that role, she publishes the Record-Herald and Tribune of Indianola and the Herald of Altoona. In addition, she was the publisher of the Ames Life and Times for several years. A 1988 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Amy was the president of the Iowa Newspaper Association in 2008. Find her Twitter feed here. Amy turns 49 today.


Javier Torres is a researcher and community liaison for Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. He spent seven years as assistant managing editor for presentation at the News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla. He was a big reason the News Press was named Innovator of the Year in 2007 by the APME. Previously, Javo was a sports designer for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, design director at the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, and he worked in design and photo editing jobs with Spanish-language newspapers in Chicago and Excelsior in Mexico City. Javo was named creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, Tenn., in 2011. That gig ended in January 2013. He started work for Vanderbilt later that year. He’s also the diversity director for the Society for News Design. Javo turns 45 today.

Joey, Javier and Amy share a birthday with actors Claire Holt, Jorja-An Fox, William Oliver “Billy” Campbell, Shelly Alexis Duvall, Cree Summer Francks and John Devon Roland “Jon” Pertwee; musicians Richard Starkey (better known as Ringo Starr), Vonda Shepard, Carl Hilding “Doc” Severinsen and Gustav Mahler; director George Dewey Cukor; sports greats Michelle Wingshan Kwan (figure skating), Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige (baseball), Joseph Steven “Joe” Sakic (hockey), Christopher Claus “Chris” Andersen, Ralph Lee Sampson and Lisa Deshaun Leslie (all three basketball); fashion designer Pietro “Pierre” Cardin; movie critic Joel Steven Siegel; scifi novelist Robert Anson Heinlein and historian David Gaub McCullough.

In addition, today is Chocolate Day, Global Forgiveness Day, Tell the Truth Day and Father-Daughter Take a Walk Together Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, you three! Best wishes!

You may not have seen Saturday’s most interesting Independence Day front page

Saturday’s most unusual Independence Day page treatment may have been one you didn’t see: For some reason, the Virginian-Pilot‘s front page didn’t appear at the Newseum.

Click this for a much larger — and readable — look:


Ace projects designer Sam Hundley tells us:

Paul[Nelson, presentation team leader] asked me to come up with an idea for the 4th and I suggested the Virginia signers [of the Declaration of Independence] because most of them are pretty obscure to a lot of folks.

Agreed. You’ve probably heard of Thomas Jefferson


…but did you know that there was only one set of brothers who signed the Declaration of Independence? Meet the Lee brothers:


What’s more: Robert E. Lee would be born in 1807 into this same family. He later became a famous Confederate army general in the Civil War.

Sam continues:

I found high-resolution facsimiles of the signatures online, Paul found a wonderful litho of their portraits from 1876 at the Library of Congress and Maureen Watts and Jakon Hays in the library researched and wrote the blurbs.

Aimee Crouch copy edited and our new editor, Steve Gunn, got behind it.

Born and raised in Phoenix, Sam started his newspaper career as a staff artist for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and moved to the Virginian-Pilot in 1981.


In 1990, Sam moved to the San Jose Mercury News where he was named design director of features, but then returned to the Pilot in 1994.

He’s also the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

Find Sam’s web site here. Find his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the Virginian-Pilot is 142,476.

Other outstanding work from the Virginian-Pilot:

Related posts…

  • May 26, 2014: The day’s best Memorial Day front page
  • July 4, 2013: The one Fourth of July page you really need to see
  • June 11, 2013: An important historical anniversary observed, Sam Hundley style
  • Jan. 29, 2013: The magical properties of a clever illustration
  • Jan. 8, 2013: When illustrating a controversial topic, it helps to have a real, live visual journalism superhero on staff
  • Sept. 26, 2012: A look at the illustrations for the Virginian-Pilot’s NASA history series
  • Sept. 24, 2011: Newsstand alert: Check out the new National Geographic
  • Sept. 21, 2011: Behind those watercolor illustrations in the Virginian-Pilot this week
  • Dec. 18, 2010: A wacky pre-Christmas illustration in the Virginian-Pilot

Birthdays for Monday, July 6

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…


Rod Emmerson is editorial cartoonist for the New Zealand Herald of Auckland. Find samples of his work here and his Twitter feed here. Rod turns 60 today.


Paul Wallen is a senior designer for ESPN The Magazine in Bristol, Conn. Starting out as a journalist for the U.S. Navy in the late 1980s, Paul has worked as sports editor of the Marshall, Texas, News Message, graphics editor of the Evansville (Ind.) Press, design editor for a chain of suburban papers near Chicago, a designer for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, a designer for the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader, design editor of the Baltimore Sun, managing editor for visuals for the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal, sports designer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, design director of the Sun Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and then assistant managing editor for design and sports of the Kerrville (Texas) Daily Times. Paul took a little time off from journalism to serve as a foster parent before moving to the Huntsville Times in 2010 as design director. In 2012, the Times’ owner, Advance publications, announced plans to consolidate design and production for its Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham papers in Birmingham. Before any of that happened, though, Paul moved to St. Pete as senior designer for the St. Petersburg Times and for the TimesBay magazine. He moved to ESPN a year ago. Find his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Paul turns 47 today.


Krissi Xenakis is head of design at Shake — a publisher of legal software — in New York City. A 2006 graduate of Michigan State University, Krissi served an internship as a features designer at the Denver Post before moving to Norfolk, Va., to work as a print and online designer for Link, a youth tab published by the Virginian-Pilot. When the Pilot shut down Link in 2008, Krissi went back to school and sought work as a freelance designer. Among her projects: Working with Nick Mrozowski on the experimental design tabloid Ink. She earned a master’s degree in fine art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011, spent several months freelancing art direction for Good Housekeeping magazine and joined Joe Zeff Design in in 2012. She moved to Shake in 2013. Find Krissi’s web site here and her Twitter feed here. Krissi turns 31 today.

Krissi, Paul and Rod share a birthday with actors Geoffrey Roy Rush, Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, Ned Thomas Beatty, Delloreese Patricia Early (better known as Della Reese), Jeanette Helen Morrison (better known as Janet Leigh), William Joseph Schallert, Bert John Gervis Jr. (better known as Burt Ward), Shelley Marie Hack, Gregory Edward Smith and Jennifer Jane Saunders; musicians Curtis James Jackson III (better known as 50 Cent), Kate Marie Nash and William John Clifton “Bill” Haley; TV host Mervyn Edward “Merv” Griffin Jr.; comedian Patrick Layton “Pat” Paulson; spiritual leader Lhamo Dondrum (better known as the 14th and current Dalai Lama); first lady Anne Frances Robbins (better known as Nancy Davis Reagan); President George Walker Bush; Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones; sports greats Pau Gasol Sáez (basketball), Jason Thompson (baseball), Brandon Richard Jacobs, John Frederick “Fred” Dryer and Nnamdi Asomugha (all three football); comic book creator John Lindley Byrne, newspaper executive Thomas “Tom” Curley and Tumblr creator David Karp.

In addition, today is International Kissing Day and Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, y’all! Best wishes!