Bithdays for Monday, Sept. 15

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


Don Healy is a photographer for the Leader Post of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. A 1974 graduate of Martin Collegiate, Don has worked at the Leader Post for for 40 years. Don turns 58 today.


Sara Hickman Himes is design and marketing coordinator for Foodlink of Rochester, N.Y. A 2002 graduate of Kent State University, Sara spent two years as a copy editor and designer for the Marion (Ohio) Star before moving to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in 2004. There, she designed A1 as well as the weekly entertainment section. In 2008, she was named art director of the Gannett News Service’s Insider magazine. She went freelance in 2011 — find her web site here — and also founded Papersaurus Creative, a greeting card design company. She joined Foodlink in June. Find Sara’s Twitter feed here.


Riley Snyder is a student journalist at the University of Nevada, Reno who expects to graduate in December. In his first two years of college, Riley served as design editor and then assistant news editor for the school’s student newspaper, the Sagebrush, interned with the school’s media relations department, worked as a DJ for Wolfpack Radio and blogged for the Washington Post. Riley also worked as a campus orientation guide — which was how I met him back in 2011. He’s interned at the Reno Gazette-Journal, the Las Vegas Sun and in the business department of the Los Angeles Times. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Riley turns 22 today.

Riley, Sara and Don share a birthday with actors Tommy Lee Jones, Edward Thomas “Tom” Hardy, Chelsea Kane Staub, Heidi Blair Pratt (better known as Heidi Montag), Henry Silva, John “Jackie” Cooper Jr., Julius “Nipsey” Russell and Vina Fay Wray; musician Roy Claxton Acuff; director William Oliver Stone; sports greats Thomas Fitzgerald “Tom” Dolan (swimming), Gaylord Jackson Perry (baseball), Daniel Constantine “Dan” Marino, Jr., Merlin Jay Olsen (both football) and Peter Clay Carroll (football coach); novelists Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller (better known as Agatha Christie) and Norman Richard Spinrad; New Yorker columnist Robert Benchley; explorer Marco Polo; Harry, prince of Wales and U.S. politicians John Newton Mitchell and William Howard Taft.

In addition, today is Greenpeace Day, Felt Hat Day, Capitol Hill Day, 8-Track Tape Day and the International Day of Discovery. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Sunday, Sept. 14

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


Jackie Carberry is a copy editor and page designer for the Star-Bulletin of Honolulu. A 1994 graduate of the SUNY Buffalo State, Jackie worked at the Buffalo News, the Yuma Sun, the Bee group newspapers, West Hawaii Today and the Honolulu Advertiser before joining the Star-Advertiser in 2005. She spent three years in features and one year in biz before moving to the city desk in 2009. Find her Twitter feed here.


Robb Montgomery is a journalist, educator, filmmaker, author and consultant based in Berlin, Germany. A 1990 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Robb spent a year as a news artist at the Sun-Sentinel of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and nearly three years as art director of the Sun-Sentinel‘s XS magazine before moving to the Chicago Tribune in 1993 as an art director. In 1997, He moved to Sun Publications, a chain of Copley newspapers in suburban Chicago and then again to the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001. He created in 2004, which very quickly became an important bulletin board for the visual journalism industry (and was my blogging home for several years). Robb became a full-time consultant in 2005, specializing in what he calls MOJO — Mobile journalism — in Europe and the Middle East. He’s done things like redesign newspapers in Africa and design and build futuristic multimedia newsrooms like the S.M.A.R.T. Media lab in Tbilisi, Georgia (the country, not the state).


In May, he published the first in what is intended to be a series of e-books, A Field Guide for Mobile Journalism. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. My old pal Robb turns the big five-oh today.

Jackie and Robb share a birthday with actors Nigel John Dermot “Sam” Neill, Callum Keith Rennie, Adam Lamberg, Daniel James “Dan” Cortese, Andrew James “A.J.” Trauth, Davenie Johanna “Joey” Heatherton, Alexis “Faith” Ford and Jack Carlton “Clayton” Moore (the original Lone Ranger); musicians Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (better known as Nas), Jeff Loomis (of Nevermore), Logan Phillip Henderson (of Big Time Rush), Morten Harket (of A-ha), Jon “Bowser” Bauman (of Sha Na Na) and the late Amy Jade Winehouse; sports greats Michael Alex Crabtree (football), Lawrence Harvey “Larry” Brown (basketball coach), William James “Jim” Fanning (baseball manager) and Gerald Francis “Jerry” Coleman (baseball announcer); Wendy’s restaurant namesake Melinda Lou “Wendy” Thomas; economist Lawrence Robert Klein; illustrator Charles Dana Gibson and three notable Russians: scientist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Russian Federation President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev and Walter Koenig — Ensign Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek.

In addition, today is National Kreme-Filled Doughnut Day and National Pet Memorial Day. Seriously.

Have a terrific birthday today, you two! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Sept. 13

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


Beth Bristow is photo editor for the Thursday and Sunday Style sections of the New York Times. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Beth earned a master’s degree from the University of Hartford (Conn.) Art School. She spent 11 years as features photo editor at the Hartford Courant before moving to the Times in 2008. Find her Twitter feed here.


Garrett Fisbeck is a freelance photographer based in Edmond, Okla., and a recent graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma. He spent two-and-a-half years as photo editor for the student newspaper there, the Vista. In addition, Garett served internships at the Dallas Morning News, the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City and the Tulsa World and he’s freelanced for the New York Times and the Associated Press. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Garett turns 24 today.


Nicole Hughes is a freelance designer for print and multimedia via her agency, 8 Arms Studio in Wilmington, N.C. A 2005 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Nicole served as design editor of the Daily Tar Heel and worked an extended internship at the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., before joining the Star-News of Wilmington, N.C. in June 2005 as graphics and multimedia editor. She went free-lance after NYT company layoffs five years ago. Find her newspaper portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Nicole turns 31 today.


Brandon Judd is a senior writer for web sports at the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah. A 2007 graduate of Brigham Young University, Brandon spent eight years as sports designer of the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, before working at the Daily Universe, the student paper at BYU. He joined the Statesman of Boise, Idaho, in 2012 as a sports copy editor and designer. He moved back to Utah in 2013. Find his print portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Brandon turns 34 today.


Bill Marcil Jr. is publisher of the Forum of Fargo, N.D., and the fifth generation of his family to publish the paper. A 1988 graduate of the University of North Dakota, Bill worked at WDAY and WDAY-TV before entering the family business more than two decades ago. He spent time as the Forum‘s development director. He was named publisher in 2010 when his father retired and then was named the company’s chief operating officer in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here.


Greg Matthews is digital managing editor at KENS-TV channel 5 in San Antonio, Texas. A 1995 graduate of the University of Missouri, Greg spent two years as 1A designer for the Journal News of White Plains, N.Y. and then nearly three years as the same for the Des Moines (Iowa) Register before moving to the online side in 1999 in suburban Chicago as part of the Sun-Times News Group. He became online editor of the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader in 2003 and then moved to San Antonio in January 2009. Find his Twitter feed here. Greg turns 42 today.


Jon Wile is creative director for American City Business Journals based in Charlotte, N.C. A 2002 graduate of Kent State University, Jon spent five years as a sports designer and agate clerk for the Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, before moving to the Washington Post as a sports designer in 2005. He moved to the A1 desk in 2008, and was promoted to lead A1 designer a year later. Jon celebrated his 30th birthday by taking a month off and traveling around the world. Jon has also taught news design as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and at Kent State University. He moved to ACBJ 2012. Find his travel blog here and his Twitter feed here. Jon turns 34 today.


Julie Zavala is a graphic artist based in Austin, Texas. Her husband Robert, is an artist for Stratfor Global Intelligence. Until March, they worked together at the Advocate of Victoria, Texas. Here’s a quick example of some of her design work. She also writes. Find stuff that she wrote and Robert designed here and here. Julie turns 56 today.

Beth, Garrett, Nicole, Brandon, Jon, Greg and Julie share a birthday with actors Bennett Joseph “Ben” Savage, Christine Estabrook, Jean E. Smart, Richard Dawson Kiel, Nell Ruth Hardy (better known as Nell Carter), Millicent Fogel (better known as Barbara Bain) and Winnifred Jacqueline Fraser-Bisset (better known as Jacqueline Bisset); musicians Fiona Apple McAfee Maggart, David Henry Thomsett (better known as David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat and Tears), Joe Don Rooney (of Rascal Flatts), Don Fagenson (better known as Don Was), Zak Richard Starkey, Peter Paul Cetera and Melvin Howard “Mel” Tormé; director Emmitt Perry Jr. (better known as Tyler Perry); sports greats Michael Duane Johnson (track and field), José Théodore (hockey), Bernabé “Bernie” Williams Figueroa Jr. (baseball), James Bradley “Brad” Johnson (football) and Béla Károlyi (gymnastics coach); WWI general John Joseph Pershing; chocolate maker Milton Snavely Hershey; fashion designer (and daughter of Paul) Stella Nina McCartney; model Wú Zǐliáng (better known as Emi Suzuki); author Roald Dahl; animator Donald Virgil “Don” Bluth; talk show host Tavis Roberts (better known as Tavis Smiley) and Judith Sylvia Perlman, better known as “Miss Manners“ columnist Judith Martin.

In addition, today is Farmers Consumer Awareness Day, International Drive Your Studebaker Day, Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, National Hollerin’ Day, National Peanut Day, International Chocolate Day and National Iguana Awareness Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthdays for Friday, Sept. 12

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


Mary Cail is a teacher and writer based in Charlottesville, Va., and author of three books…


Mary is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Find Mary’s web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here.


Kyusung Gong is a freelance photographer based in LaPalma, Calif. A 2013 graduate of Cal State Long Beach, Kyusung worked as assistant photo editor for the student paper there, the Daily 49er, and served an internship at the Orange County Register. He currently shoots for the Los Angeles Register, the KoreAm Journal and for Korea. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Paul Hyland is chief technology officer for Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit home of Education Week, Teacher Sourcebook, Digital Directions and other educational resources. A 1984 graduate of Yale University, Paul spent six years as a programmer for IBM, three years as a producer for America Online, two years as a web developer for Cambridge Associates and then a number of years as a developer and consultant for a variety of agencies and companies in the D.C. area. He spent four years as executive producer for and moved into his current duties in 2009. Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here.


Steve Saldivar is a blogger and social media coordinator for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The owner of both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Steve served internships at California magazine, Mission Local in San Francisco and the student paper, the Daily Californian. He spent a year as a trainer for the Knight Digital Media Center and another year as a production assistant for PBS TV and online channel Frontline/World. He joined the museum in 2010. Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here. Steve turns 31 today.

Mary, Steve, Kyusung and Paul share a birthday with actors Jason Statham, Paul William Walker IV, Rachel Claire Ward, Jennifer Kate Hudson, Peter Scolari, Linda Ann Gray, Ian Holm Cuthbert, Maurice Auguste Chevalier and Desmond Llewelyn (from the James Bond films); musicians Barry Eugene White, George Glenn Jones, Benjamin Scott “Ben” Folds, Christopher Theodore Ruben Studdard, Jennifer Odessa Nettles (of Sugarland), Neal Ellwood Peart (of Rush), Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D’Amato (better known as Maria Muldaur) and Gerald Linford “Gerry” Beckley (of America); comedian Louis “C.K.” Szekely; sports greats Yao Ming, Vernon Maxwell (both hoops), Michael Stephen “Mickey” Lolich (baseball), Andrew Austin Luck (football), Ángel Cabrera (golf), Melvin E. “Tony” Bettenhausen (auto racing) and James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens (track and field); explorer Henry Hudson; book publisher Alfred Abraham Knopf Sr.; New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzberger; NBC anchor Frank McGee and legendary Baltimore Sun journalist Henry Louis “H.L.” Mencken.

In addition, today is Stand Up to Cancer Day, Video Games Day and Banana Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday today!

The three best 9/11 anniversary front pages ever

Today is what I call an “odd-year” anniversary — rather than the 5th or 10th or 20th, this is the 13th — of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11.

A handful of papers did large front-page displays today. The best I saw was this one by the Villages Daily Sun of Florida:


That page was designed by senior designer Adam Rogers. The image is from the Newseum. Of course.

If you’d like to see more, Poynter’s Kristen Hare compiled a roundup of 9/11 anniversary pages. Find those here.

Three years ago, many of the nation’s newspapers went all-out observing the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I thought I’d observe the day by showing you two of those plus an earlier anniversary page.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Andrea created what I called “the most stunning 9/11 image” of the day on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with this illustration for a special section cover.


Andrea told me that day:

The editors at the paper told me a while ago that I would be doing this cover. So I had been carrying it around in my head. I knew it was going to be practically impossible for one image to say enough.

Finally, I decided to just make an image that expressed how I felt and hope others could relate. I tried hard to make something that didn’t exclude others in the world, even though it is an American tragedy.

The editors had me write some words to accompany the art. The whole experience was just a terrific opportunity.

Here are those words, that also ran in the section:

I made many drawings for this, but in the end, I was left with no flags, no planes, no buildings. Just the human toll.

This image is at once a plea, a scream, an admonition. It is loss of innocence. But it is also conviction. Conviction that we will reach past this and any other tragedy.

San Jose Mercury News

This one, too, published on the tenth anniversary.

Initially, I was a bit confused by this cover: Words? What th’…

But then I downloaded the PDF and took a closer look. Boom — the next 20 minutes instantly disappeared. This page really sucked me in. But I had to actually read it to “get” it.

So please click on this and check out the readable version:


This wrapped around the Merc — in fact, it wrapped around all three of the Bay Area News Group papers that day.

Design director Tiffany Pease told me:

The story is really amazing.

Our reporter, Julia Prodis Sulek, was given access to voicemails left for Flight 93 passenger Mark Bingham as the events of 9/11 were unfolding. The cover is the transcript of those voicemails, which were provided by Bingham’s mom (the hands at the top).

The page was designed by Tiffany, deputy design director Alex Fong — whose birthday happens to be on 9/11— and picture editor Jami Smith.

The entire story is still posted on the Merc‘s web site. Find that here.


Unlike those first two pages, this one ran on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.


That won a gold award from the Society for News Design.

I wrote about this page at the time, but that blog post is long gone. Instead, let’s take a look at what Sam wrote on his portfolio web site about this page…

While trying to come up with an idea for the front page of The Virginian-Pilot on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I sketched out four vertical lines with a diagonal line crossing through them, showing “5″ – and it dawned on me that there was something there, something important, but I didn’t know what. I remember that as I looked at the sketch, I actually heard a voice, rising up from my subconscious, screaming at me from within, “It’s the Twin Towers! And a plane!”

I was mortified. I felt that “thud” in my heart, as if all the horror of that day was happening again, for the first time.

If possible, I wanted other people to feel that way when they looked at this front page.

It continues to amaze me that Denis Finley, the editor of The V-P, and Deb Withey, then Director of Presentation, got behind this very subjective graphic image and cleared everything else off the front. They put a lot of faith in the readers to make that leap. Underneath the image, in small type are the words, “The World Trade Center | 2,749 killed.”

It was controversial, to be sure, and I’ll never know what percentage of readers saw the double image. But I hope a majority did…

I was graphics editor at the Pilot when this page ran. I had nothing at all to do with this page. But I can vouch for what Sam said: The first time I saw a proof of it, I felt the air suck out of my body — as if I had been punched in the stomach. The page just seemed so… perfect.

There was a bit of discussion on how to render the five lines. Sam tried several. In the end, it was decided the spontaneity of Sam’s original sketch worked best. So that’s what they went with.

The second thing that stunned me about this page: There’s no nameplate. Just a tiny folio line across the top. This was the first time I had ever seen anyone do this.

What a page by Sam. What boldness by Denis and Deb.

What a result.


The ninth anniversary…

The tenth anniversary…

The eleventh anniversary…


  • Go here to see the Newseum‘s collection of pages from the day after 9/11
  • Go here to see the Newseum‘s collection of tenth anniversary pages from Sept. 11, 2011.