Birthdays for Friday, April 17

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


Jacqui Banaszynski is a professor of journalism at the University of Missouri. A 1974 graduate of Marquette University, Jacqui worked as a reporter for the Janesville (Wis.) Gazette, the Duluth (Minn.) News-Tribune, the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune before becoming projects editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1984. She won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 1988. In 1994, she became senior editor for enterprise at the Portland Oregonian and then spent eight years as an assistant managing editor for the Seattle Times. She moved to the University of Missouri in 2000, where she teaches writing, reporting and editing. Find her official bio here and her Twitter feed here.


David Farré is director of digital operations for, the web site for the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News. A 1997 graduate of Rutgers, David spent eight years as online editor for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune and teaching electronic photojournalism as an adjunct at the University of Missouri. He moved to the Free Press of Burlington, Vt. in 2009 as a digital developer, was promoted to director of digital content in 2010 and started work in Harrisburg two years ago yesterday. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. David turns 41 today.


Chris Grimm is lead features designer for the Journal Star of Peoria, Ill. A 1996 graduate of Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Chris spent a year as a sportswriter for the La Salle News-Tribune and then three as a sports copy editor for the Bloomington Pantagraph before moving to Peoria in 2005. In addition, he teaches design and copy editing at Bradley University, there in Peoria. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Chris turns 42 today.


Jordan Overturf is digital coordinator for the Eagle of Bryan/College Station, Texas. A 2007 graduate of the University of Houston, Jordan served as a sports writer for the student paper there, the Daily Cougar, and also wrote for Avid Golfer and Golf Houston magazines. He joined the Temple (Texas) Daily Telegram in 2008 as lifestyles and entertainment editor and designer. He took time off for a mission trip to Zambia in 2012 and then moved to the Eagle in 2013. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

David, Chris, Jordan and Jacqui share a birthday with actors Jennifer Anne Garner, Patricia Rooney Mara, Shaun Mark “Sean” Bean, Olivia Osuna (better known as Olivia Hussey), Lela Rochon Staples and William Franklin Beedle Jr. (better known as William Holden); musicians Elizabeth Clark “Liz” Phair, Jan Hammer, Michael Sembello and Donald “Don” Kirshner; singer-turned-model-turned-housewife Victoria Caroline Adams Beckham (better known, perhaps, as Posh of the Spice Girls); wrassler Roderick George Toombs (better known as Rowdy Roddy Piper); sports greats Norman Julius “Boomer” Esiason (football), Kevin Porter (basketball) and Marquis Deon Grissom (baseball); novelist Thornton Niven Wilder; zillionaire John Pierpont Morgan and TV journalist Harry Reasoner.

In addition, today is Ford Mustang Day, Nothing Like a Dame Day, Bat Appreciation Day, Blah! Blah! Blah! Day and the National Day of Silence. Seriously.

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

Inside the page-one editorial in Sunday’s Nashville Tennessean

The Tennessean of Nashville ran an editorial this past Sunday on page one.

Opinion engagement editor David Plazas tells us:

We have been editorializing about Insure Tennessee since Governor [Bill] Haslam made his announcement in December and have stayed consistent with our message for support, based upon its benefit for our working-poor individuals, job creation, our healthcare industry and rural communities, where hospitals have been starting to close.

Maria [De Varenne, news director] has really shown tremendous leadership in challenging our newsroom to make this effort a priority, and I agree with that focus.

It’s unusual that we would have an editorial on the front page. It’s only happened once before during my five months here – when we wrote an open letter to President Obama during his visit to Nashville in December. However, not even that editorial was designed as boldly as the one on Sunday.


That’s because the stakes are so high and most lawmakers have been so dismissive, in spite of the facts, in spite of concessions from the governor, and in spite of the need by low-income people who can’t afford health insurance.

In crafting this editorial, the approach we employed was to tap into that disdain by lawmakers, which was best exemplified by the a**hole comment that Senator Gardenhire made toward a critic of his “no” vote. I’m not a fan of using cuss words in articles, but this was an extraordinary situation because people felt helpless and we needed to rally the community.

Most important was including on the front page the headshots and contact information of key legislators. So far, I’ve received 125 emails and 42 phone calls – nearly all praising our approach and telling us that they have contacted or will contact their lawmakers.

Maria herself adds:

Bill Campling in our design studio created the page. I think you’ve written about him a few times before.

I have indeed.

Find the online version of the editorial here. Average daily circulation for the Tennessean is 118,589.

Here’s a quick romp through my collection of other page-one editorials…

Just a couple of weeks ago,  the Indianapolis Star devoted its entire front page to a call for rethinking that state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

On Dec. 5, 2008, the Detroit (Mich.) Free Press urged Congress to bail out the auto industry (below, left).


On May 2, 2010, the Arizona Republic of Phoenix demanded immigration reform (above, right).

On Nov. 8, 2011, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., sounded off on the Penn State sex abuse scandal (below, left).


On April 22, 2012, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal pleaded for a halt to high-school bullying.

Two years ago, the Daily Tar Heel — the independent student paper at the University of North Carolina — called for reform of how sexual assault cases were handled on campus.


And on Oct. 6, 2011, the Northern Star — the student paper at Northern Illinois University — ran a full-page, page-one apology for an editorial cartoon it had run in its previous edition.


Birthdays for Thursday, April 16

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


Richard Boyd is creative art director for the magazine division at the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal. A 1988 graduate of Guilford Technical Community College, Richard went to work right away for the Journal and has been there 26 years, serving as an artist and designer, creative services supervisor, graphics editor, design team leader and senior editor for design. He moved over to the magazine side in 2010 when the Journal’s corporate parent, MediaGeneral, moved to design hubs.


William P. Davis is director of research and innovation for the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. A 2011 graduate of the University of Maine in Orono, Will has worked as editor-in-chief of the university’s student newspaper, the Maine Campus, a copy editor for the Kennebec Journal and as an IT technician. He began work for the Daily News in 2010 as online editor and moved up this past year. He’s also written WordPress patches, plugins and his own URL shortener. Find Will’s personal web site here, his writing clips here, his page design portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Naresh Khinchi is creative head of Gujarat of the Dainik Bhaskar group in Ahmedabad, India. Find his web site here. Naresh turns 35 today.

William, Naresh and Richard share a birthday with actors Jonathan Niven “Jon” Cryer, Martin Fitzgerald Lawrence, Ellen Rona Barkin, Liliana Berry Davis Mumy, Peter Billingsley, William Richard “Billy” West, Terence Alan Seán “Spike” Milligan, Edith Elizabeth Enke (better known as Edie Adams), Peter Alexander Baron von Ustinow (better known as Peter Ustinov) and Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin; musicians Selena Quintanilla-Pérez (who normally went by only her first name), Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (better known as Dusty Springfield), Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton Jr., Herbert Jay Soloman (better known as Herbie Mann) and Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini; sports greats Ferdinand Lewis “Lew” Alcindor Jr. (who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), Luol Deng (both basketball), Catherine Leigh “Cat” Osterman (softball), Bruce Douglas Bochy (baseball manager), Richard “Night Train” Lane, Jonathan Polynice Vilma (both football) and William Stephen “Bill” Bellichick (football coach); Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (better known as Pope Benedict XVI) and inventor Wilbur Wright.

In addition, today is National Stress Awareness Day, National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, Save the Elephant Day, High Five Day, National Ask an Athiest Day, National D.A.R.E. Day and Get to Know Your Customers Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday!

Here’s your annual peek at the Toledo Free Press’ Opening Day edition

I know spring is finally here when my pal James A. Molnar of the Toledo Free Press sends me his Opening Day pages. The 115,000-distribution free weekly tabloid goes all-out every year to celebrate the start of the season for the famous Toledo Mud Hens.

James tells us:

We published a 60-page edition on April 12 dedicated to opening day April 16 and I’m excited to share it with you.

Our fantastic cartoonist Don Lee produced some great cover artwork for the third consecutive year, now. The cover idea stems from various promotion nights by the Hens, which include Back to the Future Night, a doubleheader honoring the 30th anniversary of the film franchise.

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The cover also features a double-headed dinosaur since there will be a Jurassic Park theme night in anticipation of the fourth movie in the franchise, Jurassic World, coming to theaters this summer.

The Mud Hens will even wear special post-retro jerseys for Back to the Future night.

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Find the online version of that story here.

James continues:

For the inside cover, I had Don Lee send me separate elements to use.

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I thought it would be fun to include his concept drawing and revised sketch for this year. We’re really lucky to have him in our editorial arsenal.


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Find more of Don’s work on Twitter and Facebook.

James continues:

You’ll remember the Ghostbusters-themed cover last year…

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…and the Angry Birds cover from two years ago.)


James also sends along a number of inside pages, including the welcome page…

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…the schedule page…

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…a page full o’ team member mug shots…

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…and even a fun baseball-themed crossword puzzle.

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James writes:

One of my favorite stories is written by Associate Editor Tom Konecny, who profiles the history of the team.

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Although baseball has a long history in Toledo, the current franchise is marking 50 years in 2015.

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Find the online version of that story here.

(Story online:

Kudos to Managing Editor Joel Sensenig for his hard work organizing the content for the section. Sensenig wrote a story about new food offerings at the stadium this year and you don’t want to miss one of the new treats: A S’more donut.


Again, here’s the full story. Click for a readable version.

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Find the entire Opening Day e-edition here.

The Toledo Free Press recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in print. Read about that here.

A 2009 graduate of Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis., James served as a reporter, designer and then visual content editor for the student paper there, the Marquette Tribune.


He spent a couple of months as a designer and editor for the Daily of Chatauqua, N.Y. and then seven months as an apprentice optician at Eyeglass World in Toledo before catching on at the Free Press in 2010. He also covers movies for the Free Press.

Find James’ personal blog here, his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

Richmond Times-Dispatch seeks an ‘inquisitive’ designer

Brandon Dingess of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch writes to share a page design job opportunity…


The Richmond Times-Dispatch is seeking a creative, versatile and energetic page designer who can create elegant and effective print presentations for news and feature sections. We’re looking for a designer with impeccable news judgment who will be actively involved in brainstorming ways to improve reader experience through judicious use of eye-catching, informative visuals – page design isn’t about decoration.

Under the stable ownership of Berkshire Hathaway, the Times-Dispatch is optimistic about our future and committed to community journalism. Richmond, Virginia’s capital and heart of a vibrant, historically rich region central with easy access to beaches, mountains, and the nation’s capital, boasts a thriving cultural scene and appears on numerous lists of top destinations/places to live.


  • Design compelling pages for the Times-Dispatch’s news and feature sections including Metro and Business.
  • Organize pages to reflect the news of the day
  • Consistently meet page-close deadlines, including keeping a steady flow of pages during the production cycle.
  • Collaborate with editors, photographers or artists on graphic needs for the paper.
  • Suggests and/or creates ideas for images, graphics, sidebars, breakout boxes, headlines and other visual items that engage the reader.
  • Provide clear and timely communication with copy editors, line editors, other colleagues and supervisors while under the pressure of deadline.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Mass Communications, English or related discipline.
  • Two years of newspaper experience required, less experience strongly considered if applicant has strong design skills; 3-5 years experience preferred
  • Able to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends.
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite, specifically InDesign and Photoshop (know how to do image cutouts).
  • Must be detail-oriented.

(Must successfully pass)

  • Criminal Background Investigation
  • Drug Screen

If you are an inquisitive editor, know how to use visuals as a window to content rather than window-dressing and are a team player, then we want to hear from you.

You guys are aware I spent a decade in Virginia Beach. I went to Richmond many, many times.


Richmond is a major business, government and financial center. It’s the home of a Federal Reserve Bank and a number of Fortune 500 companies, including CarMax.

Virginia Commonwealth University is downtown. The place is famous for its restaurants, art museums and night scene.


If you like history, Richmond’s your place. Much of the Civil War was fought in and around this part of Virginia. 150 years and two weeks ago, the place nearly burned to the ground. One of my own ancestors died at the Battle of the Crater in nearby Petersburg. Much of the movie Lincoln was filmed there.

Richmond is about two-and-a-half to three hours from Washington D.C. and maybe a little less to beautiful Virginia Beach.

Here are a few samples of the paper’s front page:



Brandon says to email him clips, a cover letter and resume if you’re interested. He can be reached at

bdingess [at]