Birthdays for Friday, Aug. 22

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six excellent visual journalists…


Will Harris is a freelance pop culture and entertainment writer for the Onion AV Club, Popdose and the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., and associate editor of A 1992 graduate of Averett University in Newport News, Va., Will has also written for Amplifier magazine, and PortFolio Weekly. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Will turns 44 today.


Don Landgren is graphics editor for the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester, Mass. A 1984 graduate of Anna Maria College, Don went to work right away for the Telegram & Gazette as an artist. He was promoted to marketing services supervisor in 1989, to designer in 1992 and to chief graphic designer in 1997. He was named graphics editor last summer. In addition, Don has freelanced editorial cartoons and owns his own caricature business on the side. Find his editorial cartoon site here, his caricature business site here and his Twitter feed here.


Bill Ostendorf is owner of Creative Circle Media Consulting of Providence, R.I. A 1980 graduate of Northwestern University, Bill spent two years as news editor and copy desk chief of the Standard-Examiner of Ogden, Utah, before becoming graphics director of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1985. He was promoted to assistant managing editor for visuals but then left to become managing editor for visuals and new product development of the Providence Journal in 1987. He left the Journal in 2000.


Will Sullivan is chief of mobile products for the Broadcasting Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., the agency that operates the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and other projects. A graduate of Northwestern University, Will worked as a photographer and writer for the Toledo, Ohio, City Paper and then a designer and market researcher for the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa, before moving to Florida in 2005. He worked as an online producer for Scripps’ Treasure Coast newspapers and the Palm Beach Post before moving to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2008 to become interactive director. He spent 2010 serving a Donald W. Reynolds journalism fellowship at the University of Missouri, studying the development of news content for mobile devices. In 2011, he returned to St. Louis as director of mobile news for Lee Enterprises and to serve as co-director for the 2011 Society for News Design workshop in St. Louis. Will moved to D.C. in 2012. In addition, Will is an adjunct faculty member at the Poynter Institute, his Journerdism blog covers all aspects of online journalism and he’s secretary of the Online News Association. He’s co-founder and co-director of the Multimedia Immersion Workshop of the National Press Photographers Association. Find his Twitter feed here.


Eddie Wooten is sports editor of the News & Record of Greensboro, N.C. A 1984 graduate of the University of North Carolina, spent two years as a reporter and wire editor for the Wilson (N.C.) Times before joining the News & Observer of Raleigh in 1986. Eddie worked as a news copy editor, sports copy editor and then assistant sports editor before moving to Greensboro in 2004 as government editor. He moved into sports again in 2010. A runner, Eddie has participated in 16 marathons since his first in 2004. Find his Running Shorts blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Jeremy Wyatt is a designer for the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, Tenn. A 2006 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Jeremy worked as online editor and then art director of the student publication there, Sidelines. Upon graduation, he joined the Tennessean as a designer and then slid over to the studio in 2011.

Will, Jeremy, Will, Don, Eddie and Bill share a birthday with actors Kristen Carroll Wiig, Honor Blackman, Cynthia Jane “Cindy” Williams and Valerie Harper; musicians Myra Ellen “Tori” Amos, Layne Thomas Staley (of Alice in Chains), Carmine Granito (better known as Ron Dante, the lead singer of the Archies), Roland Orzabal (of Tears for Fears), John Lee Hooker, Chuck Brown and Claude-Achille Debussy; chef and TV host Giada De Laurentiis; sports greats Paul Leo Molitor, Carl Michael Yastrzemski (both baseball), Mats Wilander (tennis), Randall Ladonald Cobb II (football) and Duane Charles “Bill” Parcells (football coach); U.S. Army Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf; Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping; writers Dorothy Rothschild (better known as Dorothy Parker) and Ray Douglas Bradbury; photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Washington Star columnist Mary McGrory and 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft.

In addition, today is Hug Your Boss Day, International Tongue Twister Day, Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, World Daffodil Day and Be and Angel Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday!

Birthdays for Thursday, Aug. 21

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


Evan Backstrom is a designer at the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines, Iowa. A 2012 graduate of Ball State University, Evan served as chief page designer for the student paper there, the Ball State Daily News, and interned at Stamprint Printing and the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He went to work for Gannett two years ago. Find his web site here, his NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Deb Belt is a curation editor for sites in Maryland and Georgia. She’s based in West Des Moines, Iowa. A 1984 graduate of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., Deb spent 13 years at the Des Moines Register, as a copy editor, assistant metro editor and an editor of the Register‘s community sections. She left in 2011 to work for Patch. Find Deb’s Twitter feed here.


Allisence Chang is a special education teacher in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2008 graduate of Michigan State University, Allisence worked internships at the Somerville (Mass.) News and the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. She also served a fellowship at the Poynter Institute in 2008 and studied abroad in Quito, Ecuador, before joining the Arizona Republic later that year as an artist and page designer. She left the Republic in 2011, earned a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, spent some time in Thailand and then began her new career that fall. The previous summer, she studied abroad in Costa Rica. Currently, she’s finishing up work on a second master’s degree. Find her portfolio site here, her wonderful photo blog here and her Twitter feed here. Allisence turns 28 today.


Mike Emmett is a free lance reporter, photographer and web designer in Cary, N.C. A 1976 graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., Mike worked as a reporter and copy editor for a number of papers including the Gazette of Chillicothe, Ohio, the Citizen-Journal of Columbus, Ohio, Florida Today of Melbourne, the Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla. and the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, before joining the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in 1992. He was one of the early pioneers of Raleigh’s web site,, in the early 1990s before working with web operations at TotalSports,, the Greenville (S.C.) News and Media General.


He’s put out four novels — that I know of: 1) A horror novel called Demon, published in 2011. 2) Eva: A Ghost Story, published in 2012. 3) A collection of short stories called Damn it to Hell, also published in 2012, and 4) A Mystical Time, published in 2013.


Suzanne Tate is a communications and marketing specialist and a licensed English teacher in Norfolk, Va. A 1991 graduate of Virginia Tech, Suzanne spent eight years at the Coalfield Progress of Wise County, Va., as a reporter, community editor and then managing editor. She became education editor of the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk in 2005 and slid over to head up the Chesapeake city team a year later. She moved to the Bristol (Tenn.) Herald Courier in 2008 as opinion page editor. She left in 2010 to return to school at King College in Bristol, Tenn., where she earned an MBA. She earned a secondary school teaching certificate last year. She went to work for the Norfolk public school district last Fall. Find her cooking blog here, her food Twitter account here and her regular Twitter feed here. Suzanne turns 45 today.

Evan, Allisence, Mike, Deb and Suzanne share a birthday with actors Carrie-Anne Moss, Hayden Leslie Panettiere, Kim Victoria Cattrall, Melvin Van Peebles and Clarence Williams III; musicians William James “Count” Basie, Kenneth Donald “Kenny” Rogers, Jackie DeShannon and John Graham Mellor (better known as Joe Strummer of the Clash); director Peter Lindsay Weir; animator Isadore “Fritz” Freleng; TV host Sam Brody Jenner; sports greats Usain St. Leo Bolt (sprinter), Wilton Norman “Wilt” Chamberlin (basketball), James Robert “Jim” McMahon Jr., Archie Mason Griffin (both football), McLuin Emmanuel “B.J.” Upton (baseball) and Christopher Eugene “Chris” Schenkel and John Francis “Jack” Buck (both announcers); illustrator Aubrey Vincent Beardsley; England’s Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon; Google co-founder Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin; AOL co-founder Stephen McConnell “Steve” Case and TV journalist Harry Smith.

In addition, today is Poets Day, Senior Citizens Day and National Spumoni Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday!

‘Let’s give the terrorists just what they want’

“Hey, I’ve got an idea: Let’s give the terrorists just what they want!”

As far as I can tell, that was the thinking last night at the two major New York City tabloids.

Just in case you haven’t seen them yet, here are the front pages of today’s editions of the New York Post and the Daily News.


I post those with a bit of reluctantance. And only because it’s awfully hard to talk about them in a visuals blog, y’know, without the visual.

I’m not the only one having a strong reaction to this today. Both YouTube and Twitter were removing images and videos of the beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the Islamic State. At one point yesterday, Twitter even blocked the account of Zaid Benjamin, the Washington correspondent for Radio Zawa. Foreign Policy‘s Shane Harris writes:

After his account was reinstated, Benjamin reported that he lost 30,000 followers during the time he was blocked from the social media site. Benjamin told Foreign Policy that he received no explanation from Twitter for his suspension. A spokesperson for the company, when asked, didn’t provide one.

Even Mediaite wouldn’t post the NY Post cover. Mediaite’s Evan McMurry writes:

In the meantime, let’s return to simpler days, like yesterday, when all the Post was doing was telling women to suck it up and accept their objectification like slaves.

I would argue putting these images on page one breaches most of what I’ve read and learned about visual journalism ethics. But then again, I don’t think most of what I’ve read about visual journalism ethics applies to NYC tabloids.

I would argue very strongly against using either of these images in a newspaper, magazine or web site aimed at a general audience. And especially not on page one.

Still, please take note this happened today. If you’ve never discussed the use of shocking images on page one, today might be a good day for it.

Those images are from the Newseum, of course. Which, by the way, named both pages to its daily Top 10 list.

Birthdays for Wednesday, Aug. 20

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven phenomenal visual journalists…


Bill Bootz is assistant managing editor for design at the Villages Daily Sun in Florida. A 1998 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, Bill spent three years as a sports copy editor for the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City and then three more years as sports news editor. He was promoted to presentation editor in 2003. In 2007, he became assistant managing editor for presentation of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, but family matters brought him back to Oklahoma City the next year. He moved to Florida last summer. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Bill turns 47 today.


Tracy Collins is director of Gannett’s Design Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. A 1983 graduate of Bowling Green University, Tracy spent two years at the Robesonian of Lumberton, N.C., as a reporter, sports editor and then news editor. He then spent five years in York, Pa., first as features editor and then managing editor of the Daily Record and then as deputy managing editor of the Dispatch. In 1990, Tracy moved to Pittsburgh to become a copy editor, then features editor of the Pittsburgh Press. He became associate editor for graphics and design of the Post-Gazette in 1993 and was promoted to assistant managing editor for news three years later. Tracy moved to the Arizona Republic in 2000 — first as sports editor, then as deputy managing editor and then as senior director of print and multimedia operations in 2007. He was put in charge of the design studio when it opened in 2010.


Tonia Cowan is graphics editor of the Globe and Mail of Toronto, Canada. A 1989 graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Tonia spent four years as a news artist for the Canadian Press before becoming deputy art director for the Associated Press in 1994. In 2000, she moved to Newsweek as an artist specializing in 3D graphics. She became graphics director of the Toronto Star in 2004 and leaped to the Globe and Mail in 2007. Find her portfolio here, her very cool sketch blog here and her Twitter feed here.


Mark Friesen is a web designer and developer for the Portland Oregonian. A 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri, Mark spent two years as a copy editor and designer for the Gazette Times of Corvallis, Ore., and then five years as a designer and design editor for the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger before joining the Oregonian in 1994. After 12 years on page one, Mark moved to the business front in 2006 and then to the online side in 2007. For many years, Mark’s NewsDesigner blog was the place to go for news about news design — and, in my opinion, he was a much better blogger than I’ll ever be. Find his Twitter feed here. Mark turns 50 today.


Randy Greenwell is director of photography of the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va. A 1990 graduate of Western Kentucky University, Randy spent 10 years as a photographer, designer and editor for the Courier & Press of Evansville, Ind., before moving to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000 to become sports picture editor. He was later promoted to director of photography but left the Chronicle for the Pilot in 2007. He spent a year as president of the Associated Press Photo Managers and has taught at the Eddie Adams Workshop and the Kalish Visual Editing Workshop.


Carlos Moreno is a photographer for Designer Studio Inc. of San Diego. A 2007 graduate of Southwestern Community College in Chula Vista, Calif. and a 2010 graduate of San Jose State University, Carlos has worked for a number of clients including Southwestern College, El Latino, the San Diego Star-News, Jet magazine, CNN and the New York Times. He has shot for, an online nonprofit covering news in and around San Diego, for Patch and for the Center for Investigative Reporting. He joined Designer Studio in 2012. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Carlos turns 28 today.


Niketa Patel is director of content for RebelMouse, a social media aggregator. A 2003 graduate of Francis Marion University in Florence, S.C., Niketa spent a year producing interactive content for Media General and then the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla., for a-year-and-a-half before joining the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005 as a strategic channel manager. She moved to CBS as a national news producer and editor in 2008 and then to ABC News in 2009 as social media editor. She moved to CNN Money in 2011 as a product manager for social media and money and then moved to RebelMouse in 2013. Find her Twitter feed here.

Carlos, Niketa, Randy, Bill, Tonia, Tracy and Mark share a birthday with actors Andrew Russell Garfield, Amy Lou Adams, Joan Allen, James Wesley Marsters, Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith (better known as Sylvester McCoy) and Sophie Aldred; musicians Demetria Devonne “Demi” Lovato, Robert Anthony Plant, John Hiatt, William Frederick “Fred” Durst (of Limp Bizkit) and Isaac Lee Hayes Jr.; TV weatherman Albert Lincoln “Al” Roker Jr.; TV journalist Constance Yu-Hwa “Connie” Chung; novelist Jacqueline Susann; sports greats Andrew Charles Benes, Graig Nettles, Alfonso Ramon “Al” Lopez and Todd Lynn Helton (all four baseball), William Quinn Buckner (basketball) and Donald “Don” King (boxing promoter) and politicians Ronald Ernest “Ron” Paul and Benjamin Harrison.

In addition, today is National Medical Dosimetrist Day, National Radio Day and Ecological Debt Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday!

Birthdays for Tuesday, Aug. 19

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four superlative visual journalists…


Battinto Batts is assistant dean for academic affairs in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Hampton, Va. A 1990 graduate of Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University, Battinto worked as a reporter for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, the Daily Press of Newport News and the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. He spent a year at the St. Petersburg Times before returning to the Pilot as a business reporter, and then as a recruiting and training coordinator and educational services manager. He left the Pilot in 2008 and spent time in marketing, advertising and branding before creating his own niche internet company. Battinto earned a master’s degree from Norfolk State University in 2006, began teaching at Hampton in 2007 and earned his Ph.D. in 2011. He taught media entrepreneurship, media ethics, reporting and editing and served as chair for the school’s Annual Fund Committee. He spent three years as director of the University’s William R. Harvey Leadership Institute before moving into his current position in April. Find Battinto’s Twitter feed here.


Danny Dougherty is a digital news developer for McClatchy’s D.C. news bureau. A 2006 graduate of the University of Missouri, Danny interned at U.S. News & World Report before moving to in Washington, D.C., later that year. He moved to Bloomberg Government in 2010 as a graphics reporter. He moved again to McClatchy in 2013. Danny turns 30 today. Find his Twitter feed here.


Jan Morgenrood is creative editor for City Press, a national English-language Sunday paper published by Media24 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Previously, Jan spent several years as production editor for Rapport, Media24′s Afrikaans-language Sunday paper. Find his Twitter feed here. Jan turns 53 today.


Elizabeth Smith is a real estate agent in Columbus, Ga. A 1990 graduate of the University of Kentucky, Elizabeth interned with the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader and the News of Boca Raton, Fla., before catching on with the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa., in 1991. After two years, she moved to the Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga., where she designed pages and created graphics. In 1996, she became assistant design editor of the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., supervising five designers and serving as interim design director. She moved to the State of Columbia, S.C., in 1998 as a features designer and, after 15 years, went part-time last summer. She left newspapers for good in November, moved back to Columbus and started her new career in May. Find Elizabeth’s portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Elizabeth, Danny, Battinto and Jan share a birthday with actors Matthew Langford Perry, Kyra Minturn Sedgwick, Tammim Pamela Sursok, John Phillip Stamos, Adam Arkin, Peter Killian Gallagher, Diana Charlton Muldaur, Jill Arlyn Oppenheim (better known as Jill St. John) and Gerald Lee McRaney; musicians Lee Ann Womack, Ernest Clayton “Clay” Walker Jr., John Richard Deacon (of Queen), Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker (of Cream) and Percy Romeo Miller III (better known as Lil’ Romeo); reality TV personality Jason Silas “Jase” Robertson; actor-slash-politician Freddie Dalton “Fred” Thompson; actor-slash-director Jonathan Scott Frakes; producer Eugene Wesley “Gene” Roddenberry; poet Frederic Ogden Nash; author Francis “Frank” McCourt; sports greats William Lee “Bill” Shoemaker (jockey), Morten Andersen and Michael Anthony Muñoz (both football), James Jerry “J.J.” Hardy (baseball), Ronald Maurice “Ron” Darling Jr. (baseball pitcher-turned-announcer) and Kirk Herbstreit (announcer); magazine publisher Malcolm Stevenson Forbes; Mary Elizabeth Aitcheson “Tipper” Gore (wife of Al Gore); president William Jefferson Blythe III (better known as president Bill Clinton); inventors Orville Wright and Philo Taylor Farnsworth.

In addition, today is World Humanitarian Day, Aviation Day and Black Cow Root Beer Float Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday!