‘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 VoiceOfSanDiego.org, 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 Stateline.org 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!

At look at the past week’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch front pages

It’s been a big week for our friends at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Assistant managing editor for presentation Carlos Ayulo took a few moments out of his day to answer a question for us:

Q. What can you tell me about the process each night? Is there anyone who deserves special notice in this strong run of front pages?

A. Simple. Big news equals loud and proud. And our presentation staff is no stranger to big news events thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals’ playoff runs the past 10 years.

All department met to discuss our coverage. Then we waited for events to unfold. Later in the week we had more focus stories including photo essays.

As you know, the original shooting happened Saturday afternoon. The Post-Dispatch pushed its Sunday centerpiece downpage and stripped the story about shooting and the reaction across the top.


Click that — or any page here today — for a much larger look.

Carlos continues:

It wouldn’t be right to acknowledge the presentation staff only because our entire newsroom is responsible for our powerful pages, updates and breaking stories.

Many team members deserve praise including our brave journalists at the epicenter.

Our assigning editors have been working around the clock to corral all content. And the presentation staff has managed to produce amazing work.

Designer Josh Renaud set the tone for our A1s with Monday’s double headline story.


The lead photo is by Robert Cohen and the secondary looting shot is by David Carson.

Carlos tells us:

Josh had conversations with newsroom editors and called me around 11:30 p.m. for suggestions but he nailed it on his own from the start. He sold the headline strategy which gave our readers tons of relevant information.

Wade Wilson, design director, is the main catalyst for our bold presentations since Tuesday’s edition.


His keen sense of news judgment and storytelling has made designing those A1s ‘a breeze.’ He’s probably cursing me out as he reads that last sentence.

The lead photo there was by Laurie Skrivan.

Wednesday’s front kept the visual focus on peaceful protests, with a picture by Chris Lee.


The focus of Thursday’s front moved back to a tear gas attack on protesters, featuring a truly awesome picture by David Carson.


On Friday, the paper stressed the backlash to he week’s events from various government officials and, finally, a night with no violence.


That picture is by J.B. Forbes.

Carlos continues:

Wade has worked extremely hard to design and organize several elements for our A1s. It’s a great example of Organized Chaos.

The design staff has helped design some inside Ferguson pages but most importantly, they keep our inside pages/sections looking sharp.

That sounds like a cue to show you a few inside pages from Friday.

Page A7 included a roundup of the day’s events, all keyed to a map of the area.


I’ve seen this done in wartime, but rarely in peacetime. It’s kind of amazing that this was necessary. But it was.

Page eight, bottom left, holds jumps and a long rail of backlash quotes.


Page nine, on the right, takes a photographic look at the riot gear and equipment being used by the police in Ferguson.

Page ten, below left, focuses on the highway patrol chief who was brought in to soften the police tactics.


Page 12, above right, makes the point that this sort of thing would hardly have been expected in this little suburb.

Here are Friday’s editorial pages, which also stuck to the talking points.


Carlos tells us:

Lynden Steele, director of photography, continues to work alternative hours to combs through hundreds of images since last Saturday night when the shooting occurred.

The photo staff, including David Carson, J.B. Forbes and Robert Cohen, have shown why each are top visual journalists in our region with their phenomenal photos which have been published all over the nation. Beyond print photos, they have provided glimpses of inside riots by sharing more photos through social media tools.

Wade Wilson also designed Saturday’s front, which depicted more violence. Note the headline.


The picture was by Robert Cohen.

Here’s Sunday’s front page, featuring another David Carson picture and designed by Josh Renaud.


Josh told us early Sunday this page was…

…sent at 1:05 a.m. as police were smoking/gassing the protesters defying curfew.

More violence broke out last night after police launched a new offensive against protesters breaking curfew. Today’s front page features a Robert Cohen picture of a woman having her eyes washed out with milk by strangers after a tear gas attack.


That page, too, was designed by Josh Renaud.

Carlos writes:

Ron Wade, night news editor, has been steering the production ship every night including working on his day off. He and the copy desk have been crafting excellent display type and churning tons of inches. Ron helps update our website, STLtoday.com, after hours during this event.

Wade, Lynden and Ron have been in sync all week. Wade’s designs have captured the day’s news. Lynden’s editing has been outstanding. And Ron keeps everything balanced.

Our web producers Amanda St. Amand and Greg Jonsson plus a couple of line editors, reporters and Gary Hairlson, video editor, have been hustling with frequent updates to STLtoday.com. Seeing them update the site with breaking news and videos Friday morning was inspiring. And of course, Bob Rose, deputy managing editor/online, has been working around the clock.

Social media editor, Beth O’Malley has been all over social media and our site pushing our content and gathering information. She has contributed to our incredible traffic report since the shooting happened last Saturday night.

Go here to follow the Post-Dispatch‘s coverage of the shooting in Ferguson and its aftermath — the latest stories, extensive photo galleries and videos.

Average daily circulation for the Post-Dispatch is 187,992.

A few other times over the past few years when we’ve looked at pages from the Post-Dispatch