Two more cool pages from the Toledo Free Press

James Molnar tells us about his most recent project for the Toledo Free Press Star:

I love collecting vintage postcards (or at least postcards with vintages designs) when I’m  visiting a different city. I was inspired to come up with something like that for our annual guide to “101 ways to spend 101 days in Northwest Ohio.”

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I’m really happy with the results. It was a great lesson in Illustrator and Photoshop.

We also requested photos and ideas from our Instagram followers (with the hashtag #TFP101).

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This key to the pictures ran on page seven.

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James writes:

This is similar to what we for 419 day back in April. We went with a photo grid on the inside cover and sprinkled their photos throughout the guide.

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If you’re ever in the area, the 101 list has some great ideas for exploring our region. Our project editor Jordan Finney, an intern from Hillsdale College, did a fantastic job compiling the list.

Find our complete digital version 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.

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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.

Gannett’s Asbury Park design studio announces two personnel moves

Tim Frank — director of the Gannet Design Studio in Asbury Park — announced Friday:

Team leader Suzy Palma is transferring to Phoenix to be the team leader for The Arizona Republic.

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We’re very proud of what Suzy has accomplished here as the Asbury Park art director and then as news team leader for half of our sites. It was that work that drew the attention of the Republic.

I have two Suzy Palma pages in my collection, and they’re both wonderful. There’s this one about the six-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy

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…and this interesting sideways page from when the boardwalk burned last fall.

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Tim continues…

The good news is that Joanne Coughlin Walsh will start as a new team leader on Monday.

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Joanne joined the studio in 2012 and has already worked on many of your papers. Joanne’s work stands out for her illustration and visual storytelling skills. Those who work with Joanne will appreciate her calm, but confident leadership. We’re really looking forward to seeing her influence and hope you will welcome her.

Tim included a couple of samples of Joanne’s work:

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A 1991 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Joanne spent 12 years as a designer for the Staten Island Advance before joining Gannett. She won an award of excellence last year from Communication Arts for an illustration for the Press & Sun Bulletin of Binghamton, N.Y.

Tim concludes:

Joanne will take over Suzy’s responsibilities, working with Omar Vega and the advance news design team.

Anchorage Daily News redesigns and changes its name

The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News launched a minor redesign Sunday.

Minor, that is, except for a new nameplate and a new name.

On the left is Saturday’s front page. On the right is the front page of the Sunday Alaska Dispatch News.

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Let’s get this out of the way up front: Yes, I believe that is Optima.

Publisher Alice Rogoff wrote in a front-page story Sunday:

For those of you who also read us online, you’ve watched over the past 12 days as we combined the old Daily News website with our online-only news source, Alaska Dispatch. As of this weekend, we are known as Alaska Dispatch News in print too. The name “ADN,” by which many people have come to call the Anchorage Daily News over the years, lives on at adn.com.

…Many of you know the ownership of the paper changed hands in early May, when I bought it from the California-based McClatchy newspaper chain and announced that I’d be combining my Alaska Dispatch staff with the employees of the Anchorage Daily News.

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In addition to the name change and a different allocation of reporting resources, Rogoff mentions a number of other changes for the paper:

  • State and local news gets more priority one page one and on the web site. Wire copy will be de-emphasized.
  • A Sunday featured called “We Alaskans,” discontinued by the Daily News in 2000, returned.
  • The Sunday Life section will be renamed Culture and will move to Fridays.
  • The entertainment section moves from Fridays to Thursdays.
  • The paper will cease running unsigned editorials and use that space instead to run “more of your opinions and perspectives.”

But man, that nameplate. I don’t think the old one was all that bad. But I can’t say I approve of the Optima.

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Full disclosure: The first newspaper I ever redesigned — the Athens (Ga.) Daily News, in the fall of 1987 — used Optima in the nameplate and for the main headline font. But I’m not sure I’d recommend anyone doing it again.

Those front page images are from the Newseum. Of course.

Birthdays for Monday, July 21

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

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Toby Jochheim is a freelance writer and a recent graduate of the journalism school at Dortmund University in Germany. He’s worked in newsrooms from his hometown paper Rheinische Post to the Wellingtonian of New Zealand as well as the market-leading German news websites Spiegel Online and Zeit Online. Toby turns 28 today.

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Frank Mina is deputy managing editor for presentation at the San Francisco Chronicle. A 1995 graduate of northern California’s Humboldt State University, Frank spent a couple of years as a graphic artist at the Modesto Bee before joining the Chronicle in 1997 as a designer. He moved up to art director in 2002, assistant managing editor in 2009 and then to his current position in 2012. Frank turns 41 today.

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Osama Aljawish is a senior designer for al Barzah and the Times of Oman, both in Muscat, Oman. A native of Syria, Osama is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts in Damascus. He previously worked as a designer and art director with United Press and Publishing, Alyashmak Design and Print and the al Shabiba newspaper, all in Muscat. Find his portfolio here. Osama turns 34 today.

Toby, Osama and Frank share a birthday with actors Robin Williams, Jonathan Lovitz, Jesse Donald Knotts, Vanessa Lengies and Joshua Daniel Hartnett; musicians Steven Demetre Georgiou (now known as Yusuf Islam and better known as Cat Stevens), Damian Robert Nesta Marley and Isaac Stern; director Norman Jewison; sports greats Carsten Charles “CC” Sabathia (baseball), Rachael Elizabeth Flatt (ice skating), Brandi Denise Chastain (soccer) and Tamika Devonne Catchings (basketball); novelists Michael Connelly and Ernest Hemingway; independent counsel Kenneth Starr; media theorist Hubert Marshall McLuhan and cartoonist Garry Trudeau.

In addition, today is Global Hug Your Kid Day, National Get Out of the Doghouse Day and No Pet Store Puppies Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you three! Have a truly great birthday today!

The Apollo 11 anniversary proves why we all need copy editors

On this date 45 years ago, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

A number of newspapers did stories over the past few days commemorating the event. Forty-five isn’t exactly a round number — not as sexy as, say, 40 or 50 or 75 — but, hey, it’ll do.

But commemorative packages are not as much fun when you screw something up.

For example: On Friday, Jim Romenesko pointed out this errant tweet by the Columbia Missourian:

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Everyone laughed about the “Lance Armstrong” goof. But no one seemed to notice the other mistake: Neil and Buzz walked on the moon July 20, 1969 — 45 years ago Sunday, not Saturday.

Our second example was pointed out to me by Philip Maramba, managing editor of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail who writes in his column today that he was so very proud of his paper’s page-one centerpiece on Friday.

Until it dawned on him: What’s a lunar rover doing in that picture?

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Philip writes:

This was not an image from the historic 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing; this was James P. Irwin from the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.

Rovers, y’see, were only used on the later missions: Apollos 15, 16 and 17. They were not used on Apollos 11, 12 and 14.

Philip writes that he made two mistakes: He pulled together art from the Associated Press to consider for Friday’s front page. But somehow, that Apollo 15 shot got grouped in among the Apollo 11 pictures.

I’ve seen this sort of thing happen before. Once, I found the Associated Press moving a famous photo of a bootprint in the lunar soil. Several papers used it like this:

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The caption said it was a footprint of an Apollo 11 astronaut, leading some papers to suggest it might be Neil’s first footprint on the moon. It’s not. That’s a print made by Aldrin’s boot, as part of a sequence he shot to measure how far into the soil his boots sank. Here’s the entire sequence of five photos:

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As you can see, the AP also flopped the photo.

One solution for next time: Why use AP photos for space anniversary stories when it’s very easy to pull fresh scans of the original negatives from one of NASA’s online archives? My favorite one is here, and it’s extensively annotated.

Secondly, Philip writes, he thinks he should have caught the error:

I am now one of only a handful of people on staff old enough to remember the Apollo program. I knew the lunar rover did not go up on the first landing, but in my focus on the astronaut, the flag and the lunar module, I didn’t notice the second vehicle that shouldn’t have been there in ’69.

And now it’s part of the permanent record — with a correction forthcoming, of course.

I know the feeling. Because our third example of Apollo 11 flubs is my own.

I’ve written extensively here in the blog about Apollo 11 photography. The day Neil Armstrong died, I rushed out a blog post intended to help guide newspaper editors around the world in their choice of photos for the next day’s edition.

My Friday Focus page was one of the few times I’ve been able to take an old blog post, expand upon it and use it in the Orange County Register.

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It’s a fun page, with a lot of “the story behind the picture” information and — I hope — written in a breezy, engaging way. I invite you to click on it and see for yourself.

There was just one little problem. That was the corrected version we posted online Friday. The version that ran in the OC Register, the LA Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise had an error in the intro copy — as you can see here on the left:

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That’s right. Despite all the work I put into that page, I got the damned year wrong. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, not 1974.

I, of course, know that. I’m not quite sure how I made this error. But man, does it sting. And it kept on stinging all day Friday. I received a good half-dozen phone calls and maybe a dozen-and-a-half emails about it. As I told one of my colleagues: It not the error that I regret. At this point, I regret ever being born.

My editor, the most gracious Rob Curley, just chuckled and told me Friday that my track record was still terrific. I appreciate that kind of support, but I’d prefer my track record to be flawless. Every time.

But flubs happen. As careful as we try to be, we’ll never eliminate mistakes entirely. The best we can do is to be as careful as we can, put as many safeguards into place as possible… and treat our copy desks really, really well. Because if reporters and editors and designers are high-wire artists, the copy desk is our safety net.

As Philip wrote today:

If we’re lucky, aside from the chiding of an eagle-eyed readership, that’s the worst fallout of our mistakes. (The worst usually involves lawyers.)  The only salve we can apply is that we get another chance to do a good paper with our next edition and that we will try harder to be more careful in the future.