Birthdays for Thursday, May 21

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

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Marsha Blackburn is a quality assurance specialist and technical writer for the Research Triangle Institute in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina. A graduate of the nearby University of North Carolina, Marsha spent seven years as features editor for the Fayetteville Observer and then three years as assistant editor of the Triangle Observer before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh in 1991. She stayed there for 18 years, serving as an assistant metro editor, editor of 50 Plus, a producer for Nando Media, coordinator for Triangle.com and a content producer for NewsObserver.com. She moved to the RTI in 2009 as a proposal manager and slid over to her new duties in in 2012.

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Bill Blauvelt is managing editor and president of the Superior Publishing Co. of Lincoln, Neb., and the Superior Express. A 1969 graduate of Kansas State University. Bill turns 69 today.

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Victor Caballero is a freelance visual and data journalist based in Madrid, Spain. A graduate of the Universidad San Pablo, Victor spent a year as a broadcast coordinator for IUCR Instituto Radiofónico de la Comunicación Radiofónica, a year with LetsBuyIt.com and then another year as a visual journalist with el Mundo before going freelance in 2002. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Victor turns 40 today.

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Bruce Henderson is a freelance photographer, writer and editor based in Ormond Beach, Fla. A 1969 graduate of the University of California, Riverside, Bruce worked as a reporter, a photographer and an editor for the Palm Beach Post, the Press & Journal of Vero Beach, the News of Okeechobee, Fla., the Sun of Avon Park, Fla., the Times-Enterprise of Thomasville, Ga., the Coastal Courier of Hinesville, Ga. and the Daily Star of Hammond, La. He joined the News-Journal of Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1990 and worked there 24 years, much of it on the night copy desk and as assistant news editor. Bruce turns 68 today.

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Elsolet Joubert is an instructional designer for Discovery Health in Johannesburg, South Africa. A 2004 graduate of Northwest University, Elsolet spent two years as an artist for Beeld, the Afrikaans-language daily in Johannesburg. She left in 2007 to join an advertising agency but returned the next year to concentrate on business graphics via Media24′s business news unit, Sake24. In 2010, she moved into the brand new graphics unit, Graphics24, where I had the pleasure of working with her again. In 2012, she made her first trip to the U.S. to attend the Kalish Visual Editing Workshop in Muncie, Ind., and then spent a week studying with me in in Virginia Beach. She left newspapers again last summer. In her spare time — believe it or not — Elsolet attends law school. Find her web site here. Elsolet turns 33 today.

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Kristen Huth Rowe is a school librarian in Pittsburgh, Pa. A 2009 graduate of Penn State University, Kristen served as managing editor for design her senior year at the Daily Collegian. She majored in journalism, minored in French and interned at the Virginian-Pilot and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She won nice scholarship from the American Copy Editors Society, obtained a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh and began working at a local high school in 2012. She continued to work at the Tribune-Review through 2013. Kristen turns 28 today.

Kristen, Elsolet, Victor, Marsha, Bruce and Bill share a birthday with actors Lisa Edelstein, Edward Ernest “Judge” Reinhold Jr., Laurence Tureaud (better known as Mr. T), Raymond William Stacey Burr, Mary Margaret “Peggy” Cass and Sarah Emily Ramos; musicians Christopher George Latore Wallace (better known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G.), Wouter “Gotye” De Backer, Adam Wade Gontier (of Three Days Grace), Gerard Hugh “Leo” Sayer and Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller; sports greats Kent Allen Hrbek, Joshua Holt “Josh” Hamilton, Matthew Richard “Matt” Wieters (all three baseball), Robert Joseph “Bobby” Cox (baseball manager), Thomas Robert “Tom” Daley (diving), Herbert Dorsey Levens and Errick Lynne “Ricky” Williams Jr. (football), Dave Wannstedt and Ara Raoul Parseghian (football coaches); photographer Vernon Joseph Biever; painter Henri Julien Félix Rousseau; poet Alexander Pope; novelist Harold Rubin (better known as Harold Robbins); serial murderer Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer; comedian-turned-senator Alan Stuart “Al” Franken; aviator Glenn Hammond Curtiss; physicist Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov and philosopher Plato.

In addition to Red Nose Day, today is Rapture Party Day, Hummus Day, National Wait Staff Day, One Day Without Shoes and I Need a Patch for That Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Wednesday, May 20

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

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Jennifer Conklin is director of content partnerships and syndication for Advance Digital and based in Birmingham, Ala. A 1998 graduate of the University of Kansas, Jennifer spent two years as a designer for the State in Columbia, S.C., and then five years at the Charlotte Observer. She moved to the Herald of Bradenton, Fla., in 2004 as day editor and was named assistant managing editor of the Media General consolidated editing center in Tampa, Fla., in 2010. She moved to Birmingham in 2012 as director of publications for Advance’s Alabama Media Group. She was promoted to a corporate-level position as a print innovation strategist in 2013 and then to her current position last winter. Jennifer turns 39 today.

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Lynette Holman is an assistant professor of journalism at Appalachian State University. A 1993 graduate of James Madison University, Lynette earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas and then worked as a features designer and copy editor for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune and a designer and production coordinator for Price Waterhouse in Arlington, Va. She joined the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk in 1997 as a designer, left for a year to design features at the Post-Herald of Birmingham, Ala., and returned to the Pilot in 2000, where she designed mostly business pages. She also taught journalism as an adjunct at Virginia Wesleyan College. She left the Pilot again in 2007 to attend yet more grad school — this time at the University of North Carolina. She earned her Ph.D. four years ago and began teaching at ASU in Boone, N.C., in 2010. Find her web site here. Lynette turns 44 today.

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Christine Holzmann is a freelance graphic designer in the Atlanta, Ga., area. A native of South Africa, Christine is a 1987 graduate of Johannesburg’s Sacred Heart College and a 1989 graduate of the Johannesburg College of Education. She spent more than 11 years as design editor and creative director for the Citizen of Fayetteville, Ga. She worked two years for Lee Magazine of Auburn, Ala., before joining CeloNova BioSciences in Newnan, Ga. in 2008. She left CeloNova in 2011. Find her web site here.

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Erica Reed is editor of custom pubs at Journal Publications of Harrrisburg, Pa., and a food and wine blogger for the Central Penn Business Journal. A 2002 graduate of the University of Delaware, Erica earned a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University in 2003 and then spent four years as director of communications for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She joined Journal Publications in 2010. In addition, Erica founded the annual Harrisburg Cupcake Cup, a baking competition that raises money for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. You might know her better as Erica Streisfeld — she got married last fall. Find her Twitter feed here.

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Mary Ann Chick Whiteside spent nearly 40 years at the Flint (Mich.) Journal before taking a buyout in 2008. A 1977 graduate of Michigan State University, Mary Ann joined the Journal in 1978 as a copy editor. She became suburban editor in 1986, and regional editor in 1989, running a bureau, launching the paper’s first electronic archive and developing a newsroom training program. She became the Journal‘s interactive media manager in 1994. In addition, Mary Ann spent seven years as director of Genesee Free-Net, a nonprofit computer network based in Genesee, Mich., that offers low-cost internet access and assists other non-profits in coming online. She says on her website she’s now on “a buyout-funded sabbatical.” Find Mary Ann’s web site here.

Erica, Jennifer, Christine, Lynette and Mary Ann share a birthday with actors James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart, Bronson Alcott Pinchot, David “Dave” Thomas, George Leslie Gobel, Mindy Heather Cohn and John Billingsley; musicians Cherilyn Sarkisian (better known a Cher), John Robert “Joe” Cocker, Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr. (better known as Busta Rhymes), Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin (of the Go-Go’s), Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole and Naturi Cora Maria Naughton; sports greats Stanislav Guoth Mikita (better known as hockey’s Stan Mikita), Iker Casillas Fernández (soccer), Jayson Richard Gowan Werth, David Lee Wells (both baseball), Harry Peter “Bud” Grant Jr. (football coach) and Anthony Wayne “Tony” Stewart (auto racing); philosopher John Stuart Mill; politician David Alexander Paterson; commentators Dan Abrams and Ronald Prescott “Ron” Reagan; journalists Nora Adela Rogers St. Johns and Walter Isaacson and comic book writer Gardner Francis Cooper Fox.

In addition, today is National Employee Health and Fitness Day, Emergency Medical Services for Children Day, Turn Beauty Inside Out Day, Weights and Measures Day and Eliza Doolittle Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Tuesday, May 19

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

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Stephanie Haberman is head of social media and audience engagement at Sports Illustrated. A 2010 graduate of Indiana University, Stephanie spent the summer of 2009 as a multimedia intern at Newsday and then served as photo editor and multimedia editor of the Indiana Daily Student. After graduation, she spent six months working social media for at Sports Illustrated. She spent a year-and-a-half working for Mashable and then joined NBC News in in 2012 as a social media producer. She moved back to Sports Illustrated last fall. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here. Stephanie turns 27 today.

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Jane Hirt is former managing editor and vice president of the Chicago Tribune. A 1989 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Jane spent 24 years at the Tribune as foreign/national news editor, copy desk chief and editor of the commuter tabloid RedEye. She was one of the founding editors of RedEye, in fact. She was promoted to managing editor and vice president in 2008. She stepped down in November. Find Jane’s Twitter feed here.

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Sula Pettibon is public relations officer for Family Trust Credit Union in Rock Hill, S.C. She spent many years, however, at the Rock Hill Herald, serving as a reporter, city editor, business editor and managing editor. Sula left the Herald in 2008 and joined Family Trust a year later. She also writes and edits a little on the side. Sula turns 58 today.

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Gordon Preece is art director of the Free Press of Winnipeg, Canada. A 1969 graduate of Tech Voc, he went to work right away for the advertising art department of the Free Press and made the  transition from ads to editorial in 1981. Find his Twitter feed here. Gordon turns 64 today.

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Cindy O’Dell is communications manager for Brandman University and based in Irvine, Calif. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Cindy spent 20 years as a photographer and graphics coordinator for the World News of Irvine. She was named city editor of the Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo News sections of the Orange County Register in 2004 and then became the Register‘s graphics team leader in 2007. In 2014, Cindy was named the Register‘s senior editor for digital. She left newspapers last summer. Find Cindy’s Twitter feed here.

Stephanie, Jane, Cindy, Sula and Gordon share a birthday with actors Steven Meigs Ford and Peter Mayhew; musicians Peter Dennis Blandford “Pete” Townshend, Jeffry Ross Hyman (better known as Joey Ramone), Kyle Eastwood and Jordan Lynn Pruitt; writer/producer Nora Ephron; models Grace Mendoza (better known as Grace Jones) and Lily Luahana Cole; wrassler André René Roussimoff (better known as André the Giant); communist leaders Hồ Chí Minh (Vietnam) and Saloth Sar (better known as Cambodia’s Pol Pot); activist Malcolm Little (who later changed his name to Malcolm X); writer Lorraine Hansberry; explorer Ferdinand Magellan; sports greats Kevin Maurice Garnett, William “Bill” Laimbeer Jr., Almario Vernard “Mario” Chalmers (all three basketball), Elisha Archibald “Archie” Manning (football) and George Dario Marino Franchitti (auto racing) and TV newsmen David Downs Hartman and James Charles “Jim” Lehrer.

In addition, today is May Ray Day, National Museum Day, Boys Club Day and National Hepatitis Testing Day. Seriously.

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

Illustrating a sensitive topic in a small community paper

Jay Redfern, assistant editor of the Register-Mail of Galesburg, Ill., posted his paper’s front page on Twitter Sunday.

He tells us the page…

…was designed by Adam McHugh at GateHouse Center for News and Design [in Austin, Texas].

Adam fills us in on the details:

It was the first part of a 7-day series. For a paper its size, this is a truly ambitious project.

I handled all of the design/graphics and wrote the main headline.

…The original plan was to shock the reader with police photos of several victims of domestic violence in the area, but decided it was just too jarring and might scare some away.

We thought about ways to illustrate it, including use of shadows featuring arms and hands in conflict, but felt that would border too much on cliche.

After reading all of the Day 1 content, I went back to an illustration that incorporated a simple stock image of a hand imprint.

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I originally felt it conveyed the idea of someone desperately trying to get out of a situation, but then realized it’s also about the hands of these perpetrators, the hands of those trying to help victims and the hands of a community who must come together to address this issue that is plaguing their county.

I built in a lot of white space to make an already stark image pop, then used small accents of color to play off the black and white.

The text on page one essentially set up the series and, specifically, Sunday’s part one. The story itself began on page A2.

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Note the graphic at the bottom of the page. You just about have to use little dots or squares to convey numbers of this type. Anything else might seem cartoonish.

The story jumped to the middle of page 12, where it was accompanied by a couple of key sidebars, including one illustrated with a jarring photo of a victim.

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That portrait is by Register-Mail staffer Chris Zoeller.

The amount of data covered by this series is downright staggering. Editor Tom Martin wrote in a Sunday notebook column about the project:

We collected 4,815 digital police reports from four years (2011-2014) and dumped them into a Google spreadsheet and then with each report we noted the gender of the aggressor, whether minors were present, whether alcohol was involved, whether a weapon was used and if the conflict was physical.

The Knox College journalism class of Assistant Professor James Dyer worked with us on this series, researching, writing and logging data. In fact, we might still be logging the police reports if not for those journalism students. Everyone in the newsroom who worked on the series was required to go through at least one month of reports. It helped everyone understand the problem.

Then reporters matched up the arrests from the police reports to the actual court cases and followed them through to see how many cases during those four years were dropped and at what point in the process.

…The series includes 30 stories, along with graphics, maps, photos and videos. The regular news didn’t ease up for us while we put this together, which required us to push the date back a month. It was a lot of work, but we feel this is an important story.

Find the series online here.

Average daily circulation for the Register-Mail is 10,059.

Journalism guru Daryl Moen retires from Mizzou

Longtime newspaper editor, textbook author and educator Daryl Moen is retiring from the University of Missouri.

He wrote Friday via social media:

Today wraps up my 41-year career at the Missouri School of Journalism. Now, after a few thousand students, about 200 MA committees and blood (not mine!) on the floor, I’ll be attending my 80th graduation.

He writes that about 20 faculty colleagues burst into his final narrative writing class Friday, bearing cake and a song.

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Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of young people who studied under Daryl and even hosted a couple of interns who Daryl recruited from China.

Fear not, though. Daryl might be retiring from full-time teaching, but he’ll still be around the School of Journalism. Daryl tells us:

I’ll be teaching one course a semester in the next academic year and working on the next edition of the Missouri Group’s reporting text.

And, of course, golfing.

A 1966 graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Daryl obtained a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1967 before becoming editor of the Portage (Wis.) Daily Register and then managing editor of the DeKalb (Ill.) Daily Chronicle.

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He joined Mizzou in 1974, serving for nine years as managing editor of the Missourian and authoring or co-authoring seven books on reporting, news design and convergence — most notably for us visuals folks, this one:

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Find Daryl’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.