My College Media Convention slideshows

For those of you who are attending my sessions at today’s ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas: Here are links to the slideshows used in today’s sessions:


9 a.m.: Graphics for Word People

12:30 p.m.: Alternative Story Forms

3:30 p.m.: Scrounging for Fun and Profit

Thanks for attending!

Ball State photojournalism professor Tom Price, wife, injured in house fire

Noted Ball State photojournalism professor Tom Price and his wife, Pam, were critically injured in a fire that destroyed their Muncie, Ind., home early Saturday.

Photo by Jordan Kartholl/Muncie Star Press

The fire broke out in the garage, where Tom reportedly does woodworking. The couple called 911 to report the blaze and told firefighters they were leaving the house.

Evidently, something happened to keep that from happening. Firefighters found them in an upstairs bedroom after part of the house had collapsed.

Keith Roysdon of the Muncie Star Press reports:

The two were transported from the fire scene to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and then to Eskenazi Health Hospital in Indianapolis. An Eskenazi spokesman said Saturday afternoon that both Tom and Pam Price were in critical condition.

Their son, Fletcher Price, contacted The Star Press Saturday afternoon to say that his parents’ injuries might be mostly limited to oxygen deprivation. He said they were sedated and being intubated to get oxygen into their systems.

Ball State senior Jordan Huffer launched a GoFundMe drive to help raise living expenses. As of 8:30 a.m. CDT Monday, a total of 61 people had contributed more than $3,510 of the targeted $4,000.

Go here to add your donation.

A 1972 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Price spent 21 years as director of photography for the News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla. He earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University in 1997 and joined the faculty of Ball State shortly thereafter as sequence coordinator for photojournalism.


Many of you may know him, however, as the guy who operates the internationally famous Kalish visual editing workshop. This year’s workshop is scheduled to begin June 12.

In addition, Tom works as a soccer referee, crew assigner and referee instructor for the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Find Tom’s official Ball State profile page here.

Stories from the Ball State Daily:

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.


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.


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:


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

Inside the Daily Tar Heel’s special criminal justice edition

Thursday, the Daily Tar Heel — the independent student newspaper at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — published a special edition that focused on criminal justice.

The lead story on page one is about a man who spent 17 years of a life sentence in a North Carolina prison before being exonerated. In fact, the story says, Gregory Taylor is the first person in U.S. history to be declared legally innocent.

The commission that freed him, however, is in danger of losing its funding when a federal grant expires at the end of this year. The story is by assistant university editor Stephanie Lamm. The portrait was shot by Halle Sinnott.


The story downpage is about the upside of cheap labor by prisoners: The man in the picture there — as a prisoner — worked at an area cafeteria. He’s now working there full-time.

The story is by senior writer Claire Williams. Jordan Nash made the picture. The front was designed by Jose Vallé.

The doubletruck on pages six and seven — designed by Mary Burke — takes on a number of issues…


…1) The difficulty in hiring correctional officers, 2) How organizations attempt to aide prisoners’ return to society after their sentences are served and 3) Freed prisoners who commit new crimes and go back into the cycle.

Pictures are by staffers Ben Lewis and Henry Gargan. The bar chart at lower left is by Ryan Smith.

Page 11 holds the jump for page one’s lead story.


On the back page is a story about a junior at UNC who says he was beaten and choked by members of his church after they found out he was gay.


The story is by senior writer Mary Helen Moore. The portrait is by Cameron Robert.

The back page was designed by Mary Burke.

Media management guru Jill Geisler to teach at Loyola

Longtime management consultant and former Poynter faculty memeber Jill Geisler has been named the first Bill Plante Chair of Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola University in Chicago.


A news release from the University reports:

“We are delighted to have someone with Jill’s background, experience, and reputation join us,” said SoC Dean Don Heider, “She is one of a kind with her background in journalism and experience teaching management and ethics.  She will bring much to the school.”…According to Geisler, “Three things made this opportunity irresistible: The School of Communication’s focus on media integrity in the digital age, the chance to integrate leadership skills and values into an already strong curriculum, and Loyola’s commitment to social justice.  Even as I continue to coach managers in media organizations, I’ll be helping grow tomorrow’s leaders in Loyola’s classrooms.”

On her Facebook timeline Tuesday, Jill added:

Yes, I’ll continue to travel to newsrooms near and far to work with media professionals and teams, while I also teach up-and-coming leaders at the University. My consulting work for managers is integral to my role.

Yes, I’ll continue my column for the Columbia Journalism Review – and do more writing on leadership and integrity issues for Loyola.

A 1972 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Jill spent 25 years at WITI-TV in Milwaukee, Wis., ending up as vice-president of news. She earned a Master’s degree from Duquesne University in 2004. She worked with the Poynter Institute for more than 16 years as a senior faculty member for leadership and management programs. She switched from senior faculty to affiliate status earlier this year.

In 2012, she published a book: Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know — aimed at managers in all fields, not just journalism.


The university press release reports the book…

…grew out of a column and podcast she did over a number years. The book has been released in English, Portuguese and Korean editions. Her podcasts have been downloaded over 13 million times.

Find the news release here. See Poynter’s version of this story here.

Find Jill’s CJR columns here. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

‘Infographics legend John Grimwade’ moving to Ohio University

My old pal Tim Goheen — the still-new director of the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University — passes along a huge bit of news today.

Tim writes:

Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication (VisCom) has hired infographics legend John Grimwade as a faculty member.


Assistant professor, tenure-track. He starts teaching undergraduate and graduate level infographics and data visualization in the fall.

You can quote me as being “very excited.”

A graduate of the Canterbury College of Art, John previously served as graphics director of the Times of London. He spent several years as graphics director of Condé Nast publications. He has taught all over the world. Most recently, he’s been teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here.

The University of North Carolina seeks your style guides

Old or new. Basic or detailed. Printed or electronic. Domestic or foreign.

It doesn’t matter — the j-school library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is building a collection of style guides. And they want yours.

I asked the director of the Park Library, Stephanie Willen Brown, to write me up a brief pitch to post here. She replies:

The Park Library at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC has a growing collection of newspaper stylebooks.


The collection primarily includes titles from various newspapers in the United States, such as the the AJC (Atlanta Journal & Constitution) Style : Style and Reference Guide Covering News, Sports, Business and Features Issues (1998);  The Kansas City Star Stylebook (1987); The Los Angeles Times Stylebook (1979 & 1995) … and so many more. See our collection here.

We have local stylebooks: The News & Observer, 2001-2005; the Daily Tar Heel (1932 and 2001); plus the Stylebook of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (1983-present).


We have books for usage when covering different groups, such as the CNS (Catholic News Service) Stylebook on Religion; the GLAAD Media Reference Guide; and the Manual de Estilo from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

We have stylebook from various wire services — of course we have the Associated Press stylebook for many years (our first edition is from 1953), as well as A Handbook of Reuters Journalism : A Guide To Standards, Style, Operations (2008); various editions of  The Bloomberg Way : A Guide for Reporters and Editors; and the United Press Radio News Style Book (1943).

Most of our stylebooks are from the United States, but we have one from Canada (The Gazette Style c.1995) and two from the UK (Stylebook of the Manchester Guardian Style, c. 1928 and BBC News Style Guide, c. 2014).

However, we don’t have any guides to the use of graphics, fonts, or illustrations in a newspaper, magazine, or website. Our books focus almost exclusively on the use of text, grammar, and punctuation. This week, the design & graphic editors at the Daily Tar Heel asked for some graphic style guides, thus illuminating a glaring hole in our collection.

At my colleague Andy Bechtel‘s request, I solicited the assistance of Charles Apple … hence this blog post.

If you have a graphic style guide / stylebook / set of notes that you’d like saved for posterity, please send them my way!

In fact, I have a couple I can send her — styleguides I’ll never use again and that would make great additions to the Park Library’s collection. This is the big one:


That’s the style guide from the May 2007 redesign of the Virginian-Pilot. The redesign was huge. And so is the style guide.

I also have a Chicago Tribune style guide from the 1990s kicking around here somewhere. Or, at least, I did back in California. I can’t seem to lay hands on it now. I’ve had so many style guides slip through my fingers over the years.

But keeping these things for research purposes strikes me as a worthy endeavor. If you can help, please contact Stephanie. Here’s her address…

Stephanie Willen Brown
Director, Park Library
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3365

…and here’s her email address:

swbrown [at]

Find Stephanie’s Twitter feed here.

Inside the Daily Tar Heel’s commemorative Dean Smith edition

Legendary basketball coach Dean Smith died Saturday night. He was 83.

The independent student paper at the University of North Carolina, the Daily Tar Heel, published a 10-page special commemorative edition Monday.

Click any of the pages below for a larger look.

The cover illustration consisted of a file photo of Smith with the background blacked out.


The illustration is credited to visuals editor Katie Williams.

Page two, below left, starts out with a passage from Smith’s book. Page three, below right, holds stories in which folks share their memories of Smith.


The story at the top of the page — focusing on Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street — is by senior writers Jordan Nash and Gabriella Cirelli. The story below is by senior writer Dylan Howlett.

Daily Tar Heel editor-in-chief Jenny Surane answered a few questions for us:

Q. How long ago did you begin planning this section?

A. We heard the news around 9 a.m. Sunday morning and I called a noon meeting with my desk editors and the sports senior writers. I told them to come with ideas. We all sat around our conference room table for an hour and brainstormed the stories you saw in today’s issue.

I knew as soon as I heard the news that I wanted to do a whole issue about his life. I’m just happy my incredible sports, photo and design desks were able to deliver.

Q. Did you have stories and visuals built in advance? Or did you do all this on the fly over the weekend?

A. We did it on the fly. We had an obituary prepared in advance with biographical information (age, hometown, etc.). It was about two years old. We ultimately didn’t need to use any of that. Dean Smith was such an incredible guy, we had no trouble finding people to talk to us about him.

The center spread focuses on the Dean Smith coaching legacy. On the left are brief bios of Smith’s players who went on to become noted coaches themselves, written by Pat James. On the right is a by-the-numbers piece, paired with a file illustation by Tyler Vahan.


Across the bottom is a timeline of Smith’s life.

Page six holds columns and editorials about Smith and his legacy at UNC. The DTH even managed to work in a few letters to the editor.


Page seven looks at Smith’s role in the world. Senior writer Aaron Dodson writes about Smith’s humanitarian work and University editor Bradley Saacks addressed Smith’s role in the Democratic party.

Page nine, below right, features a large picture by visuals editor Katie Williams of students holding a vigil outside the Dean Smith Center.


Senior writer Daniel Wilco wrote the story of students gathering to honor Smith.

Two more questions for the editor-in-chief:

Q. Who masterminded the plan?

A. It was truly a team effort. I just asked them to fill the paper and the sports writers, design team and photo editors went crazy. It’s beautiful.

Q. Who designed the pages?

A. It was a joint effort between Mary Burke, the art director for our special projects and investigations team, and Tyler Vahan, our design and graphics editor.

If you’re a UNC fan or graduate, then you probably love one of Smith’s most controversial gifts to the game, the Four Corners offense. If you’re a fan of other team — especially another ACC team — then probably not so much.

The story on page eight, above left, by assistant sports editor Brendan Marks addresses this:

“The crowd in Carmichael would erupt when the point guard raised the four,” said Dave Chadwick, who played for Coach Dean Smith from 1968 to 1971. “When we saw the fours go up, game’s over.”

A graphic by Katie Williams diagrams the infamous delay tactic.


Page ten closes with the perfect image: Smith and his star pupil, Michael Jordan. That was shot in 2010 by David T. Foster III of the Charlotte Observer.


The story downpage, by sports editor Grace Raynor, tells the story about how Smith touched the lives of his players, his assistant coaches and even a 12-year-old girl who somewhat randomly wrote a school paper on Dean Smith.

In a paper full of good reading, this story was probably the best.

One final question for DTH editor-in-chief Jenny Surane:

Q. Andy [Bechtel, a former colleague at the Raleigh News & Observer who now teaches at UNC] tipped me off about an article somewhere — [turns out it was Jim Romenesko who posted it] — that said you went back to press for more copies. Clearly, reaction on campus to your work was pretty significant. Care to comment on this?

A. We printed an extra 1,100 last night. Boxes were empty by 9 a.m. this morning. So by 10 a.m. we put in another order for 7,000 additional copies.

If demand is any indication, I think our issue struck a chord. It was beautifully designed, well written and informative. I’m so so proud to be part of this team.

Find the Daily Tar Heel web site here.

I used to write quite a bit about the Daily Tar Heel. But then — I dunno, perhaps all the students I knew there graduated or something. I rarely hear from them any more.

Previous coverage here in the blog about the Daily Tar Heel

  • September 2010: Daily Tar Heel diagrams the UNC football scandal
  • March 2011: Infographics you truly do NOT want to miss
  • April 2011: Daily Tar Heel of the University of North Carolina redesigns
  • March 2012: Wonderful student-drawn hoops graphics to brighten your (Carolina) blue Saturday
  • April 2012: An e-mail error leads to today’s mini-seminar on infographics
  • April 2012: How two student newspapers are dealing with the week before finals
  • April 2012: How the Daily Tar Heel played Tuesdays’ presidential visit
  • October 2012: Friday is hump day at the University of North Carolina
  • October 2012: Another illustration about football concussions — this one by a student journalist
  • February 2013: Possibly the most perfect headline in the history of SEO
  • February 2013: Behind that swirl of numbers on the front of today’s Daily Tar Heel
  • February 2013: UNC’s Daily Tar Heel celebrates its 20th year of independence with a wrap
  • April 2013: Student newspaper at North Carolina puts a full-page editorial on today’s page one

MCT Graphics’ Tim Goheen named viscom director at Ohio University

Longtime MCT Graphics art director and managing editor Tim Goheen has been named director of the school of visual communication at Ohio University.


Tim tells us:

I start July 15. My last day at MCT is July 3. Will be teaching visual journalism, data visualization, design, etc.

A 1986 graduate of Michigan State University, Tim spent eight-and-a-half years as a news artist for the State newspaper in Columbia, S.C. In 1995, Tim became a senior illustrator for the old Knight Ridder-Tribune graphics service in Washington, D.C.

He was promoted to art director in 1995. He earned a master’s degree in visual journalism from Ohio University in 2006. Shortly after, McClatchy bought Knight-Ridder and KRT changed its name to MCT.

Earlier this month, Tribune Publishing bought out McClatchy’s share in McClatchy Tribune Information Services. Tim’s entire department was — and still is — reportedly scheduled to be laid off this summer.

Go here to find a press release from Ohio University about Tim’s appointment.

Last call for student design contest

The 15th annual design contest for student journalists — administrated by the Edmund C. Arnold student chapter of the Society for News Design at Michigan State University — is accepting entries.

But only until Wednesday. The web site says March 21, but the deadline has been extended, professor and faculty advisor Sheryl Pell tells me.


The 2011 winner of best newspaper features
page: Alyson Morris of Ohio University.
She’s now iPad editor for RedEye. Find her
portfolio site here
and her Twitter feed here.

Entries cost only $7.50 apiece. Winners get nice certificates. And, more importantly, you can put the award on your resume.

Read all about it here.

Go here to find lists of student contest winners going back more than a decade.

A look at the Iowa State Daily’s electronic-only hoops edition

This weekend, the Iowa State Cyclones pulled off three consecutive wins over Big 12 conference foes to win its first Big 12 conference title in 14 years.

And, as luck would have it, school is out this week. Spring Break. Or what passes for spring in Iowa, this time of year.

So the hardworking students of the independent student paper there, the Iowa State Daily, built an eight-page PDF-only edition that students could download from home. Or from Florida.

Jake Lovett — now a designer with the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines but previously an editor-in-chief at the Daily — tells us:

Katelynn McCollough is the Editor there now. I know she was highly involved in making it happen.

I think the kids did some tremendous work on a quick schedule on their own accord.

The cover shot of a player cutting up the net Saturday after the big 74-65 win over Baylor is by staffer Kelby Wingert. As is every picture in the section.


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

Pages two and three focus on the celebration Saturday night. Stories here are by staffers Dean Berhow-Goll and Alex Halsted.


The center spread serves as picture pages. On the left are photos of Saturday’s final. Pictures of fans are on the right.


At upper right is a gorgeous shot of a Saturday pregame pep rally.

Pages six and seven hold game stories, covering the three weekend games: A 91-85 win over Kansas State on Thursday, a 94-83 victory over Kansas and Saturday’s victory.


The stories are by Dean Berhow-Goll and Alex Halsted. Again, all the pictures are by Kelby Wingert.

The back page shows a player after making a shot Saturday.


Find the Daily‘s web site here and its Twitter feed here.

The Iowa State Daily has done this sort of thing before. It put out a special online edition following a stunning double-overtime football win over No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State in November 2011. Read all about that here.

Behind the UMass Daily Collegian’s full page, page-one ad

Wednesday, the Daily Collegian of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst ran a full-page ad on page one.

The ad was for UMass’ housing  office. Click for a slightly larger view.


Editor-in-chief Stephen Hewitt explained in a column Wednesday:

As our readers who have been here for more than one year may note, we’ve cut down on circulation and cut the Friday paper. Those decisions were difficult, but they allow us the financial stability to continue to produce excellent journalism for you, in-print and online, every day. Today’s unusual ad placement was a decision made for similar reasons.

Don’t anticipate on seeing front page ads all that often (truthfully, they’re expensive). As a staff, we also determined that if major news were to break, the ad would be moved before publication.


Left: Monday’s front page. Right: Wednesday’s ad.

The Daily Collegian column even cited this eight-year-old Slate piece by Jack Shafer as evidence this trend has been going for a while.

I used to blog about these sort of things all the time, but they simply became way too common. There’s preaching against an alarming trend that runs contrary to our missions of a) serving the public and b) selling newspapers, and there’s beating your head against a brick wall. Blogging about this trend felt too much like the latter.

Thanks to James F. Lowe of the Daily Hmpshire Gazette, for the tip.

Iowa State’s Charlie Weaver named publisher of Oregon Emerald operation

Charlie Weaver — for more than 12 years, the design director and online and social media director for the Iowa State (University) Daily in Ames, Iowa — has been named president, publisher and CEO of Emerald Media Group at the University of Oregon.


The announcement was made last Wednesday. Charlie replaces Ryan Frank, who will become political editor of the Las Vega Sun at the end of March.

The Emerald is perhaps one of the more interesting independent student operations out there — for a lot of reasons, but especially because it switched from a daily to a digital-first operation a year-and-half ago. The Emerald still publishes an “alt-weekly” print edition twice a week.

Designer-turned-editor-in-chief Andy Rossback — who had once interned at the Virginian-Pilot — kept us posted as the Emerald made all those changes:

  • May 23, 2012: Oregon student daily switching to biweekly, ‘alt-weekly’ format
  • Sept. 6, 2012: A look at the new twice-a-week Daily Emerald of the University of Oregon
  • Sept. 28, 2012: University of Oregon students ripped off by Yahoo News
  • Dec. 31, 2012: ‘Our goal is to redefine how college journalists cover football’
  • Jan. 3, 2013: Another bold move by the Daily Emerald: Replace its home page for a day-and-a-half

Charlie earned an associate’s degree in journalism from North Iowa Area Community College in 1999. He spent four-and-a-half years as art director of Dimensional Graphics and the Printing Office, doing everything from design to editing to running a press. He moved to Iowa State in 2001, serving as a designer and then design director of the Iowa State Daily, an independently-owned student publication

After his graduation in 2005, Charlie stayed on in his multi-platform role as part of the paper’s professional staff.

I was graphics editor of the Des Moines Register from 1999 to 2003. I spent many an afternoon in Ames, mentoring students and critiquing portfolios and editions of the Daily. I remember Charlie very well. He was brilliant as a student and he’s been brilliant as a professional. The Emerald couldn’t have made a better choice.

The Emerald‘s Sami Edge reports:

“Once you’ve participated in a college media organization it’s in your blood. It’s there for life,” Weaver said. It would take a lot to get me to even think about quitting my job at the Daily because I love the students, I love what I do and it’s a huge passion of mine. But this is an amazing opportunity that I really want to take a shot at.”

At the Emerald, he hopes to capitalize on opportunities presented by the Venture Department — the Emerald’s new creative funding agency — and help inspire innovative methods of improving the financial stability, breadth and impact of student journalism efforts.

Charlie will start in his new job no later than May 1, Sami reports.

Charlie describes himself as an “amateur chef” but a “professional nerd and geek.”

I’m also fairly certain he’s not related to this gentleman.


That’s comedian Cliff Arquette, who performed country-type humor as a character called Charlie Weaver. Those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, remember him as the anchor in the center square on the game show Hollywood Squares.

Find the Daily/Emerald‘s Charlie Weaver here and his Twitter feed here.

WSJ’s Sarah Slobin named ‘Innovator in Residence’ at W.Va. University

Longtime infographics editor Sarah Slobin of the Wall Street Journal will spend a month next spring at the j-school at West Virginia University as the school’s first Innovator in Residence, the school announced Monday.


A press release from the school reports:

Slobin, a senior graphics editor at The Wall Street Journal, is serving as an expert on a new, experimental project in interactive journalism. In a course co-taught by Slobin and journalism professor John Temple, students will conceptualize a data-driven project that utilizes the latest interactive storytelling techniques, multimedia production and interactive design.

The multidisciplinary project will bring together students and faculty from across campus to collaborate at the intersection of journalism, technology and media and create a rich, interactive news experience.

The school says that Sarah and the faculty will select a project, set up a timetable and assemble a team this fall. The class itself will launch early next year.

A graduate of New York University, Sarah spent three years as a news assistant for the New York Times, compiling award entries for the paper. She became a graphics editor for the Times in 1996 and then was named assistant editor for the Times‘ business graphics in 2003.

She moved to Fortune magazine in 2006 as senior graphics editor. She joined the WSJ in 2009. She’s also taught at Columbia, Parsons School of Design and at her alma mater.

Find Sarah’s web site here and her Twitter feed here.

A look at the Daily Iowan’s basketball preview section

Kristen East, editor-in-chief of the Daily Iowan — the student paper at the University of Iowa — shares her paper’s 2013 Basketball Guide, a four-page section inserted into Friday’s paper.

She tells us:

As far as I know, this is the first special product produced by the DI for basketball.

Our women’s team has been a solid team for a while, appearing in the NCAA tournament this year. And there’s a lot of hype right now surrounding our men’s team, as they were in the NIT championship game this past spring and are in tourney discussions.

The first page… is our cover, which features cutouts of primary players as well as the coach of each team.


 The back page is a complete roster of each team.


The real meat of the guide is the double truck, which features the DI‘s predictions for the starting 5; the Box Score (a statistical analysis); season schedules; and Big Ten power rankings.


Our Sports Editor/Projects Editor Jordyn Reiland was instrumental in the production of this special insert, as was our Design Editor Haley Nelson and Photo Editor Tessa Hursh.

All content was produced by our team of basketball reporters — Ben Ross and Ryan Probasco covering men’s, and Jacob Sheyko and Matt Cabel covering women’s.

I do love that doubletruck. The jerseys of the starting lineups running along the bottom is a nice touch.

The only quibble I might have — and this is a minor point — would be with the back page. That’s an awful lot of space to devote to something with so little actual information on it.

I wonder if we might have done something with that to make it more readable. Last season’s stats, for example. Bar charts that show each player’s key stats (shooting percentage, rebounds, assists, and so on) year-to-year. Perhaps how those numbers compare to team average. Or, better yet, to the Big 10 conference average.

Something like this might have taken an awful lot of time to put together. And admittedly, the result would have been awfully dense with information. The solution the Daily Iowan chose resulted in something that a) highlighted those cool new Nike Elite men’s jerseys, and b) might make an interesting poster for a dorm wall.

Therefore, don’t mistake my critique for disapproval. I’m merely pointing out another option that might have been taken.

Find the Daily Iowan web site here.

A critique of the redesign of the Rocky Mountain Collegian

Corinne Winthrop, design editor of the student paper at Colorado State University, the Rocky Mountain Collegian, wrote this week to ask my opinion of the redesign they’ve been phasing in this fall.

As Corinne — and her predecessor, my pal Greg Mees — know, I’m happy to offer free advice to college journalists and newspaper staffs. The only price they pay: Sometimes, I like to blog about the work they show me. I might share my tips with blog readers.

And that, of course, is the case this week. What I’ll show you here are before-and-after pages and Corinne’s descriptions. I’ll fold in the comments I fired back her way.

Feel free to let us know where you think I’m off the mark…

Corinne writes:

First of all, I appreciate your last blog post about the Collegian‘s football section in August! Your feedback about our infographic was especially helpful, and I know the Collegian‘s sports desk loved reading about it.

I’d like to share with you an update concerning our redesigned paper. I understand that Greg Mees sent you a few pages earlier this year, and I wanted to follow up and send you a couple more redesigned pages now that we are a few more weeks into the school year.

The original plan was for Greg to serve as art director this semester, overseeing the redesign changes and how they might alter once implemented. However, after Greg left for Minneapolis, I was put in charge of carrying out the redesign.

Here are some of the bigger changes the paper has seen with the redesign:

> We were using quite a few different typefaces throughout the paper last year, so we brought it down to two. We’re now using Chronicle from Hoefler & Frere-Jones for our serif font and Interstate as our sans-serif font.

And I love the new typefaces. You’ll see them in the samples, in just a moment.

> The other huge change for the paper was the Page One layout. Last year, the page was restricted to a set layout: teases on the top, Strip Club to the right and the main story with a big photo under the nameplate.

On the left is a page from last spring. On the right is a new page. Click these — or any pages here today — for a larger look.


Note the Strip Club feature that Corinne mentioned. It’s on the right on both these pages.

Corinne continues:

The redesign gives us more freedom with how we lay out the page. We’ve experimented with both the Strip Club and nameplate moving around the page each day and the overall arrangement of stories.


Though some days P1 can be a challenge to design, most days it’s really exciting building a different front page everyday.

Here’s another pair. Note how Strip Club is stripped across the top in this example.


My comments:

I love the new front pages. I think the nameplate works better black than grey. I also like the way you’re integrating the lead story into the nameplate. You’re probably aware that the Virginian-Pilot does this a lot. We’ve started doing it more often here, as well [at the Orange County Register].

Moving the Strip Club around the page is probably the smart way to go, but in a lot of ways, I miss it when it’s not vertical. I don’t think it works particularly well horizontally.


I also wonder how readable it is, reversed out of black or out of a color. That deep blue sample you sent, for example — most papers would have trouble printing white text on a blue background like that and still have the text readable. If the colors get just a little out of register, you end up with a mess on your hands.

I don’t know. As much as I love the Strip Club… given what you’re doing on page one, I wonder if it might make sense to move it to your jump page. That would be one way to bring more eyeballs inside, perhaps.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Strip Club. And, from time to time, folks ask me about it: “Hey, what was that college paper that runs the Strip Club? Can you send me samples?” You’re probably aware this harkens back to the old “Edge” feature that Tim Harrower did for the Oregonian, back in the 1990s. Fun stuff. Whatever you do, please don’t kill it.

(However, please edit that copy carefully. I’m a big comics fan, so I immediately became absorbed in the Batman Strip Club. And immediately, I spotted a typo: It’s Kevin Conroy, not “Evin” Conroy.)


I love the front page samples you sent me. Two of them were wonderful — “Plaza” and “Poudre.” The “Fresh Welcome” page was a bit flat, but that was because your lead art was split between two smaller pictures. One big pic trumps two smaller photos every time.

Corinne replied a short time later:

A friend told me yesterday that she has been less inclined to read Strip Club since the redesign. She would always pick the paper up just for that, mainly because she knew where it was.

Feedback like this from readers always gets me thinking. I like the freedom the new front page allows but sticking to a vertical Strip Club may make it a bit easier for readers to pinpoint everyday and then we’ll avoid flipping it on its side. I agree, it doesn’t work as well horizontally.

Corinne also sent a number of inside pages. Here is a before-and-after look at the new jump page.


I told her:

The new jump page seems much more structured than the old page. You’re getting a half- to a quarter-page every day here. There’s no reason not to display some kind of visual here as well. What you’re doing with the “Campus voice” is pretty good.

I also like the pull-quotes. Nice and clean.

Your pullout boxes and whatnot look cleaner and brighter without the tint boxes. Tint boxes are so clunky, so “1980s.” One of the first things I do when I go into a newspaper is reduce the use of tints. It really opens up the paper and makes for pages in which the elements can be integrated better with each other.

I wrote this note back on Monday. Since then, I’ve happened to notice how many tint boxes I’m using in my current work.

Mental note: Sometimes, I’m SO full of shit.

Back to my critique…

So nice work here.


The new opinion page is terrific. The new page is a much better canvas with which to display art. And ultimately, that’s whats going to pull readers into your page: The art.

These samples also show off your new page headers well. I love ’em. The two-tone grey approach works well.


I also like the odd spacing in the point-counterpoint column and the way the mugs are offset a half-pica or so.

The sports pages — at least among the samples you sent me — also seem to have more visual oomph, but that might have to do with the color in the photos. I’m a football guy, so football photos appeal to me a little more. I like the bolder lead headline. I don’t miss the all-caps at all.


I also think the serif font is working a little better, here, than does the sans serif. So that was a good change as well.

The only thing that’s bothering me is the lack of space between the lead headline and the lead photo. Granted, you don’t need space for descenders when there are none. But this (“Rams survive shootout“) seems awfully tight.


I like the stadium centerpiece, but I feel the big chart is a big clunky. I think it’s awkward to read all that sideways text. There was plenty of space there to either widen the bars, stretch the chart across the page and then turn the labels upright or simply turn the chart on its side — with the long bar on the bottom, perhaps — which would make room for upright labels.

For what it’s worth, when you put the values on each bar like this, you don’t really need a scale. So you could save some room that way, too.

I didn’t have time the other day to whip up a quick example of how this chart might have been done differently. But now I do:


I took out all the redundant matter, I reoriented the chart so the labels worked better and I maintained all the alignments with the edges of the package. I also changed the color, because the light green nearly matched a color in a photo with an unrelated package.

I told Corinne:

This is chart nitpicking, though. The basic page was well-done. This reminds me, though, that you guys ought to get some more infographics training. You’re working at such a high level with your design, your photography, your photo editing and the other aspects of your work that this chart seems to lag behind just a bit.

She replied:

As for the chart on the sports page, and other charts we’ve created for the paper, they could certainly use work. The charts in our paper don’t always have a uniform look, but your suggestions will definitely help improve this. Maybe there will be some infographic sessions to attend at SND Lou in November!

I hope so. I remember once my pal Robb Montgomery was hosting a group of Egyptian journalists as they traveled around the country visiting newsrooms. Their trip culminated with SND/Boston, where Robb hoped to find them some infographics training.

However, that particular year, there wasn’t much going on with infographics. Or something. So Robb rented a meeting room and asked me to stay over an extra day to teach a session in basic infographics. Which I did.

Unfortunately, I tried to cram way too much content into my presentation. As a result, I nearly caused three English-to-Arabic translators to pass out due to exhaustion. Lesson learned: When you work with a translator, speak slowly.

If there happens to be nothing on the SND/Louisville schedule, perhaps you can get someone to teach you a “bonus” session in basic charting. Perhaps you can get together with some other student papers to make that audience a little larger — and perhaps more attractive — for a prospective speaker.

Or maybe someone will read this blog post and have an idea. You never know.

Previous occasions on which I’ve written about the student paper at Colorado State…


  • Sept. 2: Football preview section: Wonderful portrait work by Colorado State student paper
  • Sept. 16: Colorado State’s special pull-out section for a rivalry game this weekend
  • Oct. 6: How newspapers presented the death of Steve Jobs
  • Nov. 14: Colorado State student paper follows an athlete for a week
  • Dec. 9: Behind Thursday’s retro front page of the Colorado State student newspaper


  • March 1: Cool poster front photo today by the Colorado State student paper
  • May 3: College design standout Greg Mees headed for Boston Globe
  • Dec. 7: One way to deal with an embarrassing page-one display text error


  • Jan. 25: One cool college tab cover, please, with pepperoni, mushrooms and extra cheese…
  • March 11: High-end fashion pages by a college newspaper
  • March 27: Colorado State student paper celebrates a local tradition of craft beer
  • Aug. 29: Student journalist Greg Mees headed for Minneapolis
  • Sept. 2: A look at the Colorado State student paper’s football preview section

George Washington Univ. student paper halves print frequency, redesigns

Jenna Bernick, design editor for the Hatchet of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., tells us the big changes at the GW student paper paper this week:

  1. The print Hatchet is going from twice weekly to once weekly.
  2. The paper launched a redesign with its Tuesday edition.

On the left is the front page of Thursday’s paper. On the right is this week’s front.


Click that — or any pair of pages here — for a much larger look.

Jenna tells us:

Our idea for a redesign mainly came from what we saw as a need to modernize. Our design wasn’t bad, but it looked old. Our goal was to create a cleaner, less crowded looking Hatchet with a more modern style, which I think we’ve achieved mainly through cutting the number of stories we publish in print and through our new use of natural borders with space rather than with physical lines.

Staffs over the years have made smaller redesign efforts, but nothing that gave the Hatchet a new look or feel, and nothing that really prioritized design in the way we believe it needs to be prioritized. Because most of our readers are online (and that’s no longer something we’re in denial about), we are treating our print issue as more of a showcase for our more in-depth, longer stories, which matches well with the new weekly format, which also allows for a higher page count.

We’ve cut down on the amount of stories we’re trying to cram in the paper (in fact, there will be a zero-cramming policy), and are looking to include a cover story style design on all of our front pages. We have totally revamped our flag and the inside page flags to match, while trying to maintain some history by keeping the flag’s original typography. Our body text is the same (Palatino) as is our serif headline font (Escrow), both of which worked, but we’ve replaced our main sans serif font Franklin with Trade Gothic, which looks much fresher and mature.

Page 2 got a complete makeover, making it more of a magazine-style index to our paper, fitting in lots more quick reads in the same amount of space.


The open page of news on page three gives you a good idea of the change in headline fonts.


Here are before-and-after looks at the new editorial page…


…the features page…


…and the sports page.


Notice the annotated style of the story on the new sports page.

Find editor-in-chief Cory Weinberg‘s column about the redesign here.

Go here to read a story about the cutback in print frequency.

Find the Hatchet‘s web page here. Find the paper’s Twitter feed here.

University of Missouri’s Maneater becomes a weekly, launches a redesign

Tim Tai of the Maneater — the independent student newspaper at the University of Missouri — wrote this past week to tell us:

The Maneater just got a big redesign thanks to production manager Mitch Gerringer. This comes in conduction with the paper’s switch beginning this semester to publishing once a week. Formerly, the paper was printed twice a week.

Disclaimer: I work for The Maneater as its online development editor. Part of my role this year is finding new ways to improve the online content experience, which becomes more crucial due both to the new print schedule and to the fact that our audience (primarily college students) are constantly on their phones, tablets, and laptops all day.

On the left, here, is the first issue of last school year. On the right is the front page of last week’s paper.


Wow. A huge difference.

Tim tells us:

The infographic on the front page of the new issue was a collaboration between the city, state and nation section editor Beatriz Costa-Lima, and graphics manager David Freyermuth.

I have a few comments to make about that graphic. More about that in a moment.

Here’s a closer look at the new front:


The format itself — the new typography and especially that great new nameplate — is quite striking.

Here is a before-and-after look at page three, the primary local news page.


Notice the much larger art. Editor-in-chief Ted Noelker writes in a column about the changes:

Larger graphics and photos accompany these stories to convey the news through all its elements. At times, photos are capable of presenting the impact of their subject better than words; graphics strive to organize and simplify information in ways a paragraph structure cannot; and stories now emerge from a more stringent editing system that maximize their reporting.

Here’s the new editorial page.


Here’s the entertainment page.


Tim tells us:

MOVE, which previously ran as an entertainment and culture pullout magazine once a week, has replaced the Arts & Entertainment section (which previously ran the other publication day of the week). Arts and culture is now the MOVE section, and special MOVE editions will still run every few weeks.

And here’s the sports page.


OK, now back to that page one graphic. I love the graphic, but I do have a few constructive — I hope they’re constructive — comments about it…

1. Placing the crimes on a map of the city is a pretty good idea. But in the future, you might want to add a few key streets or highways, just for reference.


2. I love the idea of placing all the crimes on a timeline. But only if that timeline tells us something: If there are any patterns or lessons or insight we can draw from the timeline. But that doesn’t appear to be the case here.

3. I thought that big yellow thing was the coolest use of a quote box I had ever seen. But as I read it, I found it’s not actually a quote box — it’s simply a headline/explainer box.


4. The key to the pie/doughnut chart is nearly as large as the chart itself. In this case, it might have been better to pull those five labels out of the key and simply pair each with the percent: “62.8%/Thefts,” “21.6%/Burglaries,” “14.2%/Aggravated assault” and so on. It would have taken up much less space that way. Plus, the dark grey box really draws your eye… to the key and away from the data.

5. In that pie/doughnut chart, my eye is drawn to the red data — which happens to be burglaries — more than to the two teal-colored data sets. I would presume this is because you want to highlight that data or draw my attention to it for a reason. That doesn’t appear to be the case, though.

6. Likewise, I see the red data in the pie/doughnut chart and I keep wanting to apply that data to the one red point on the timeline. But, in fact, the red in the pie chart represents “burglaries” while the red in the timeline represents “stabbings.” Same chart, same color. But used for two different meanings.

As you build a chart, keep in mind that color is not just a decorative element — color is a tool that leads the reader’s eye through the chart and directs him or her to the most important facts. If your colors fight with any of the points you want to make with your chart or if they randomly lead the reader’s eye in the wrong direction, then you’re doing it wrong.

7. Here is page one again:


Notice how the page seems awfully crowded. That’s because the editors used that big graphic — which is pretty cool — but also felt compelled to cram three stories out there. Which they could do, before the redesign.


But now? Not so much.

Lesson No. 1: Infographics, by their nature, suck up a lot of space and have a lot of moving parts. Don’t be afraid to push something inside to give them some breathing space.

Lesson No. 2: Points of entry are great. But it’s possible to have too many points of entry. Go for quality, not quantity.

Now, that’s a lot of material I’m tossing out as a critique for the editors of the Maneater. But I think their redesign is terrfic. I love the new look. I’d say they did a pretty good job with their first issue. Let’s see how they improve upon it.

A look at the Colorado State student paper’s football preview section

Corinne Winthrop, design editor and chief of the copy desk for the student paper at Colorady State University, the Rocky Mountain Collegian, wrote us last week:

This past week, the design desk at the Collegian has been working with our sports editor Quentin Sickafoose on a special preview section for the Rocky Mountain Showdown that I’d love to share with you.

This would be the big game Sunday between Colorado and Colorado State. Which, by the way, Colorado won 41-27.

Corinne adds:

The section came out [Friday] as an insert along with our Weekender paper that featured Macklemore, who [was] coming to the CSU campus [that night].


That would be rapper Ben Haggerty, better known as Professor Macklemore and now, just Macklemore. And no, I had never heard of him, either, so don’t feel bad.

Corinne tells us:

Greg [Mees, the Colorado State senior who’ll serve an internship later this semester at the Minneapolis Star Tribune] designed the cover of the football section that featured a photo from our chief photographer, Dylan Langille.


Be sure you click on that for a much larger view.

Corinne writes:

Greg and I both worked on laying out the center spread for the football preview as well.


The lead art on that spread is “Facing off,” the player vs. player diagram. Because I’ve built so many similar diagrams in the past — and because I’ve advised so many college journalists on how to improve their starting lineup diagrams (recent example here; result here) — I’m going to offer up a few quick tips…


  1. You’ve included more than just the player’s name, position and jersey number — the stats provide added value to your diagram.
  2. The field looks less like a football gridiron and more like a tennis court. You might want to add more yard lines, hash marks, etc.
  3. I love the little mug shots — as opposed to tiny cartoon drawings of players — but I might suggest you crop all the mugs in a more consistent manner. In this case, I’d zoom in closer on the Colorado State players.
  4. You color-coded the mugs nicely with the color strokes. Why not do the same with the little black square bullets in the writeups?
  5. When I started reading this, I expected this to be a starting lineup diagram — such diagrams are standard in pregame reports. This, however, is not a look at each team’s starting lineups. This is a chart showing key matchups. Therefore, I’d argue the reader might be better served by killing the big chunk of grass and then presenting the material in a grid form. Or, for that matter, in a rail. The result would be much easier to read, the mugs would work better with the text. And the entire piece would be significantly smaller than this was. The space savings could then be used to either a) punch up the lead visual for, say, “the Real Big Mac” and let that be the lead art instead. Or b) You could find a nice picture of one of the players in your key matchup and use that as lead art.

I hope that helps.

Here’s the back page:


Find the Collegian‘s web site here.

I didn’t post any football season preview pages this year, and I regret that. Luckily for us all, SportsDesigner has been all over it. Find a ton of football preview fronts and inside pages here.

Student journalist Greg Mees headed for Minneapolis

Let’s call it the Greg Mees “prolonged farewell to college” tour.


Greg — who worked his way up from designer to managing editor and, finally, editor-in-chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, the student newspaper at Colorado State University — keeps pushing back his final semester of school in order to work internships and fellowships.

Really good ones.

Last year, he put off school for a while to work an internship at the Boston Globe. He spent much of this summer at the Denver Post. And now, he’s going to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Presentation editor Chris Carr announced this week that…

  1. Greg is moving to the Star Tribune for a five-month stay.
  2. He’ll work nights and weekends designing news, biz and sports.
  3. Greg will take online courses with the idea of staying on track to graduate in May.
  4. He starts work Sept. 12.

A 2009 graduate of Columbine High School, Greg spent a year as designer for College Avenue magazine and then joined the Collegian as a designer in January 2010. He was promoted to chief designer that May and then to visual managing editor in 2011. He was named editor-in-chief for 2012-2013, but then took the fall 2012 semester off to serve a six-month design co-op internship at the Globe.

Last year, Greg and photographer Hunter Thomson were awarded first place in special section design by the Michigan State chapter of the Society for News Design for this project in which they followed a student football player for a week and chronicled his life.

Read more about that project here.

More samples of his work:



Find Greg’s home page here and his Twitter feed here.

Previous occasions on which I’ve written about work by Greg and the student paper at Colorado State…

  • Sept. 2, 2011: Football preview section: Wonderful portrait work by Colorado State student paper
  • Sept. 16, 2011: Colorado State’s special pull-out section for a rivalry game this weekend
  • Nov. 14, 2011: Colorado State student paper follows an athlete for a week
  • Oct. 6, 2011: How newspapers presented the death of Steve Jobs
  • Dec. 9, 2011: Behind Thursday’s retro front page of the Colorado State student newspaper
  • March 1, 2012: Cool poster front photo today by the Colorado State student paper
  • Dec. 7, 2012: One way to deal with an embarrassing page-one display text error
  • Jan. 25, 2013: One cool college tab cover, please, with pepperoni, mushrooms and extra cheese…
  • March 11, 2013: High-end fashion pages by a college newspaper
  • March 27, 2013: Colorado State student paper celebrates a local tradition of craft beer