Indianapolis Star hopes to #ShareTheLove with internet critics

Here’s the coolest idea I’ve seen this week…

The folks at the Indianapolis Star have taken a cue from Jimmy Kimmel‘s “Mean Tweets” segments and had staffers read some of the mean-spirited — and, sometimes, just foul-mouthed — feedback they get from readers.

Among the staffers included are investigative reporter Marisa Kwiatkowski

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…columnist Matthew Tully, who got his journalism credentials from a box of Cracker Jack…

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…columnist Erica D. Smith

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…editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel

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…and former designer Cori Faklaris, who was named the Star‘s network editor a year or so ago.

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Funny stuff.

The Star is attempting to turn kindness on the interwebs into a mini-meme this week. according to an unbylined story accompanying the video:

Think no one reads the mean, personal comments some people write on www.indystar.com? Believe it or not, real people are on the other side of the screen. Yet we know these kind of comments come with the territory of working at IndyStar.

Do they need to come with the territory for readers who only want to engage in meaningful, civil conversation online?

The story goes on to make this pitch:

What would the Internet be like if everyone behaved online as they do in real life? If the bravery to be a digital jerk disappeared and we treated others as we’d treat strangers in real life? (Yes, we know there are real-life jerks, too).

So we’re going to stop asking “what if” — and do something about it.

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And we’re asking you to join us. Please help us #ShareTheLove online during the week of Feb. 9 through Feb. 15.

So, what’s the reaction been like? The Star‘s engagement and utility content manager Amy Bartner tells us:

Overall, it’s been great.

Our engagement and digital team spends a lot of time and energy interacting with the online community, so we knew there’d be some inevitable negativity. But that also means we know how valuable the positive comments are, as well. The campaign made it to BuzzFeed, USA Today and several local media folks in the city have helped share the message, as well.

There’s a collective feeling of, yeah, something has to happen to create a more civil environment. I wasn’t expecting so many people to feel the way we do about that — which just tells me that it’s time to for a culture change.

Go here to read the Indy Star’s story about the campaign.

And if you’ve never seen Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segments, say goodbye to the next half-hour or so. Because you must see these:

A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages

Well, it’s all over for America’s favorite Cinderella team. Florida Gulf Coast University was stomped 62-50 by the University of Florida Friday.

I think many of us enjoyed the on-court antics of the cool guys from FGCU. I’m not sure who I’ll pull for now…

NEWS-PRESS

Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 54,761

After an amazing run of front pages and special coverage (see here, here and here), the News-Press of Fort Myers covered FGCU’s loss with equal aplomb.

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You probably didn’t see that today, because that was a wrap around the A section. The picture is by staffer Andrew West. The design is by Michael Babin, the Florida design team leader at Gannett’s Nashville design studio.

Here’s the front page that was posted at the Newseum today.

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The photos of local fans enjoy the game are by staffers Jack Hardman and Sarah Coward.

NAPLES DAILY NEWS

Naples, Fla.

Circulation: 45,136

The folks down the road in Naples also put a shooter in Texas this week. Instead of the amazing celebration shot the Daily News probably hoped for today, however, it led with a picture of a dejected FGCU team trudging back to its locker room.

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The picture is by staffer Scott McIntyre.

HERALD-TRIBUNE

Sarasota, Fla.

Circulation: 63,864

Sarasota went with an Associated Press picture by Tony Gutierrez.

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TAMPA BAY TIMES

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Circulation: 299,497

St. Pete also went with wire art — this one’s from MCT.

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However, the folks at the Times may have come up with the best Florida Gulf Coast headline of the day.

GAINESVILLE SUN

Gainesville, Fla.

Circulation: 29,583

Meanwhile — inland, just a bit — the scrappy Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast got no sympathy at all in the home town of the Florida Gators.

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That picture is by Sun staffer Matt Stamey.

DETROIT FREE PRESS

Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

While that Florida Gulf Coast loss was heartbreaking, it wasn’t exactly close. The Michigan win over Kansas? Now, that was close.

The magic moment was an impossible three-point shot at the end of regulation time that sent the game into overtime.

Neither of the Detroit papers did much with the game on page one — it was shoved into the skybox — but here’s today’s Free Press sports front, designed by Ryan Ford.

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The lead picture is by staffer Julian H. Gonzalez.

JOURNAL-WORLD

Lawrence, Kan.

Circulation: 27,719

The folks from Kansas, however, were completely stunned. As you might expect.

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That photo is by Journal-World staffer Mike Yoder.

KANSAS CITY STAR

Kansas City, Mo.

Circulation: 200,365

The Kansas City Star, too, focused on Jayhawk shock.

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That picture was made by staffer Shane Keyser.

COURIER-JOURNAL

Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

Notice how most papers tend to lead with reaction shots, pictures of teams walking off the court and so on. The intent is to focus on emotion and on personalities. Which are good things to do.

Sometimes, however, I miss a good action shot on page one. Because that’s what the game is all about, right? The actual game?

Case in point: Check out this great action picture by the Courier-Journal’s Michael Clevenger.

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Great stuff.

HERALD-SUN

Durham, N.C.

Circulation: 21,367

Here’s another one:

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That picture is by Herald-Sun staffer Bernard Thomas.

LANSING STATE JOURNAL

Lansing, Mich.

Circulation: 41,330

I applaud the Lansing paper for opting to put game action — as opposed to reaction — on page one….

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…but I have to question the choice of that particular picture. Generally, it’s best to use an action picture in which we can see someone’s face. Please refer to the two previous examples.

The photo is by staffer Rod Sandford.

MACOMB DAILY

Macomb, Mich.

Circulation: 54,419

Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before: A page-one ad… embedded into the lead package.

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Wow. How unusual.

I sure hope that trend doesn’t spread.

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indianapolis, Ind.

Circulation: 164,640

And in Indianapolis, the Star opted to focus on referees.

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The picture of a zebra stretching before a game is by staffer Matt Detrich.

POST-STANDARD

Syracuse, N.Y.

Circulation: 78,616

I couldn’t find enough motivation to post the various skybox treatments for March Madness thsi time around. I’ve not seen many that really excited me.

This one, however, struck me as particularly attractive.

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NEW YORK POST

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 555,327

And, in a similar vein, the New York Post suddenly discovered today that Syracuse is located in their state.

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Now, that’s enough about today’s pages. Let’s end this post back where we started — with the…

NEWS-PRESS

Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 54,761

The aforementioned Michael Babin of the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville was kind enough to send me today’s wrap front — I led today’s post with it — as well as the 16-page special section the News-Press published Friday.

He went sideways with staffer Kinfay Moroti‘s gorgeous shot of practice in the venue.

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In order to save you from straining your neck, here’s that same page oriented so you can read it. Click it — or any of these special section pages — for an extra-large view.

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Michael tells us he and staffer Melissa Koenigsberg designed the section.

Page two features a fun illustration by Doug McGregor.

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Page three holds a great graphic by staffers Scott Sleeper, Craig Handel and Michael Donlan on the Dallas Cowboys Stadium where Friday’s game was played.

Again, here’s another look at the same page.

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The graphic focuses mainly on scale. Cowboys’ stadium is so much bigger than anything Florida Gulf Coast has ever been associated with before.

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That’s FGCU’s entire basketball area. Tucked neatly onto the playing surface at Cowboys Stadium.

Pages four and five served as a detailed breakdown of the upcoming game with Florida.

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Pages six and seven zero contain a selection of sidebar-like material…

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…including a large takeout on the school’s assistant coaches.

Here is the center spread on pages eight and nine. Eight serves as a rundown on the players of both teams.

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Nine is a closer look at Florida.

Ten looks at other times Florida and Florida Gulf Coast have met in competition. The lead art shows a big women’s softball win over Florida last year.

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The half-page on 12 is a bit of wishful thinking: It’s a look at Michigan, who the folks in Fort Myers (correctly) thought would beat Kansas and might serve as FGCU’s next opponent.

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Full-page ads occupy 13, 14 and 15.

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And the back page gives a little perspective on the school. The file art shows the day before the school’s first basketball game in 2002.

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With the exception of the Fort Myers material and the Detroit sports front, all of these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

With work moving to a design studio, Indianapolis Star moves some print designers to digital team

Old news: The Indianapolis Star is now joining the Gannett Design Studio network. All print design functions are in the process of moving to the Louisville studio.

New news: The Star has now selected which newsroom staffers will be assigned new jobs in the paper’s digital operation, which is led by former Star graphics director Jennifer Imes.

Among those staying in Indy: Designer Cori Faklaris, who’ll be the paper’s first-ever “local network editor,” working with social media. As she posted last night on Facebook:

If you tweet, post, snap, blog or pin it, I’m on it.

She tells us:

I will switch over sometime in February. We go live on NewsGate on Monday and will be transitioning the sections to Louisville over the next five weeks. Some design work will probably still be necessary from me, even as I start my new job.

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A 1995 graduate of the University of Illinois, Cori spent a year as a correspondent for the Peoria, Ill., Journal Star before joining the Star in 1997. She designs news and serves as the paper’s CCI super user. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

Also staying in Indy will be designer Emily Kuzniar, who will become a producer for news and sports on the cross-platform team.

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A 2005 graduate of Ball State University, Emily served as a designer and then design editor for the Ball State Daily News and spent the summer of 2004 working an internship at the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., before joining the Star that fall. She also sells Mary Kay cosmetics. Find her print portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Cori and Emily are just two of several Star staffers who’ll join the digital side rather than make the move to Louisville.

Cori got clearance to pass along this memo that was sent out to all staffers Monday by editor Jeff Taylor and managing editor Kevin Poortinga:

Jeff and I are pleased to announce the following selections:

Those who will be joining or assuming new roles on Jennifer Imes’ digital team:

  • Digital Operations Manager: Adam Yates. Adam’s deep history of digital editing excellence, paired with his calm demeanor, ambition and strong work ethic, make him an excellent fit for this critical role, which will oversee the six digital editors and producers who manage the prioritization, packaging and enhancements of the umbrella page and sports and news channel fronts, in addition to advanced digital enrichment of that content.
  • Engagement and Utility Content Manager: Amy Bartner. Amy has excelled in her roles at The Indianapolis Star, most recently as the go-to person for all-things-social-media. Her enthusiasm for user engagement will serve her well in this new post, which will lead an awesome team focused on subscriber acquisition and retention through (a) high-utility, high-interest features content production and promotion, (b) marketing of all Star Media content through social media and search engines, and (c) the identification and aggregation of user-generated content and external local digital content.
  • Mobile and Tablet Editor: Gregg Montgomery. Gregg will join Adam’s team and become our newsroom’s expert on the optimization of our content for mobile and tablet products. As you heard from Karen last week, these platforms are very much at the forefront of our digital future, and we’re glad to have Gregg and his legacy of editorial knowledge and management in this role.
  • SEO and Digital Copy Editor: Tina Swarens. As a critical member of Amy’s team, Tina will be the newsroom champion of increasing traffic to our digital portfolio from search engines and newsletters; she will also address a critical need to reduce the number of errors in content, bad links and other site issues. With her depth in features content editing and strong analytic ability, Tina was a natural choice for the role.

Time out for a second: You see that, right? “Digital copy editor.” “A critical need to reduce the number of errors in content.”

I’m sure there are papers out there that are throwing copy desk resources at their online products — as opposed to, y’know, throwing them out on the street. This is the first time I’ve seen it spelled out like this, though, in black and white.

Very cool.

Cori’s announcement was listed next:

  • Local Network Editor: Cori Faklaris. Cori will become the epicenter of all external local content being reported, blogged, posted, commented, Instagrammed, YouTubed, Flickrd and tweeted. When prompted for what her tagline might be, Cori responded, “Your cheat sheet to Internet chitchat, in Indy and beyond.” She has long been active in digital social spheres and is a constant promoter of our content across all social media. Long known for her desire to push for optimal visual storytelling, Cori brings a unique background and rare ambition to Amy’s team.

Please note we will be posting for backfills for both Social Media Editor and Digital Homepage and News Editor.

Those who will be joining Phil Mahoney on his cross-platform presentation and operations team:

  • News and Sports Producer: Emily Kuzniar. Emily brings a can-do attitude to the afternoon news meeting every day, pushing our storytelling techniques to do what’s best for A-1. We’re delighted to continue to lean on Emily to strive for excellence with the design studio, but we’re even more excited to start leveraging her talents to evolve the presentation and packaging of our digital design and content.
  • Features and Utility Content Producer: Janet Schneider. Janet is a perfect example of a journalist who is always seeking to evolve her own abilities to meet new user expectations. She has a primo portfolio of multimedia and fantastic ideas. We welcome Janet to champion a fantastic relationship with features designers in Louisville, but more importantly to strengthen our digital features presentations and content.

Everyone will transition to their new roles in February (specific dates will vary.)

Please join us in congratulating these seven journalists who embody what we require in our ever-evolving newsroom.

Also, I should mention that Jennifer Imes moved from her graphics editing position to content chief for digital in 2011.

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A 1998 graduate of Ball State University, Jennifer worked at the Muncie Star Press, the Baltimore Sun and the Miami Herald before joining the Star in 2002 as graphics director.

And somewhere down the line, I missed design director Phil Mahoney’s move to managing the Star’s cross-platform presentation and operations team.

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A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Phil served internships at the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader, the Baltimore Sun and the Sun of Bremerton, Wash. He spent three years as a designer at the Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal and another three at the Times of Munster, Indiana before moving to the Star in 2002. He designed sports for the Star until he was promoted to design director in 2011. Find his print portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

An old matchbook collection makes for a striking features page

Here’s a fun features page today from the Indianapolis Star

Designer Jenny French built this food page that uses a matchbook collection owned by a local person as a springboard into the city’s culinary history with memories of restaurants that closed their doors years ago.

Click for a much larger look.

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Designer Cori Faklaris tells us:

I asked our features editor, Jennifer Morlan, how the cover came about. She said that the idea for the story was food writer Jolene Ketzenberger’s. Jolene knew someone who had a collection of matches and brought them in to the Star to be photographed.

Photographer Frank Espich took a photo of them in our studio. Jenny supplemented that with the archive photographs for the chunks of information. She did the layout in CCI with pointers drawn to highlight the matchbooks for the different restaurants spotlighted, although I can see that she used Photoshop to do a custom headline treatment.

A couple of examples from the page:

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Naturally, the entire thing is available online, too, as a photo gallery.

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It’s a great idea, a fun read… and it’s easy to emulate. Start hunting now for a match collector in your own town.

Average daily circulation for the Indianapolis Star is 164,640.

You like playing with matches like this? You’ll love this one from last summer by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

R.I.P. Indy Star copy desk chief Roxanne Morgan

Editor Jeff Taylor and managing editor Kevin Poortinga of the Indianapolis Star sent this message out this morning to the staff there:

All,

It’s with sadness that we say we’ve lost a longtime member of our newsroom family.

Roxanne Morgan, our copy desk chief and journalist at The Star for 31 years, passed away last night while on vacation in Nevada with her husband, Steve.

We have few details at the moment, but she began feeling ill suddenly and died after her husband took her to the hospital.

Members of Roxanne’s team frequently say she was the best boss they ever had, and it’s easy to see why, as she led by example with her superior skill, patience and calmness, even under the most intense conditions. It was common for Roxanne to put her staff’s interests above her own, in both work and personal life.  Above all, we will remember her as a compassionate, loving human being.

This is a difficult time for everyone. If anyone needs time away from work, please let us know.  Counseling is available through our employee assistance program and we can provide information as needed.

We will share details about funeral or memorial services as soon as possible.

For now, we’ll all keep Roxanne’s husband and family in our thoughts and prayers.

Jeff and Kevin

Thoughts and memories of Roxanne have been rolling in this afternoon…

Stephen Beard

Senior news artist, Indianapolis Star

In the time I worked with Rox, she was indefatigable in her copy editing work and a genuinely nice person. This is a very hard loss for us.

And if she were editing this message, I’m certain “indefatigable” would be replaced with the more sensible “tireless.”

Ryan Hildebrandt

Creative director of Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio

Former news design director at the Star

She was the calm in the storm – always on top of everything no matter what was happening. It’s impossible for me to count how many times she saved a page I was working on – not just from typos (which I undoubtedly inputted quite a few), but also by suggesting better visual threads.

Jeff Taylor said in the staff announcement ” It was common for Roxanne to put her staff’s interests above her own, in both work and personal life.”

His statement couldn’t be more accurate. Not only was she fantastic at what she did, but she had so much care and love for her staff and everyone she worked with. In an era of cutbacks and unprecedented change and uncertainty, Roxanne did everything in her power to protect the people who worked for her from feeling the effects – even if it meant more work and inconvenience for herself.

My heart goes out to her husband, her family, and her family at the Star.

Dennis Ryerson

Stepped down in June as editor of the Star

Nobody cared more about her work, and her colleagues on the desk, than did Roxanne.  She was smart, steady in the crunch, caring, and extraordinarily hard working.  She was the very example of a focus on quality.

Though I no longer work with her, I can tell you that she will be greatly missed by everybody who was fortunate to have been able to work with her.

Patti Tims

Copy editor, Virginian-Pilot

First, condolences to Roxanne’s family. I worked with Rox in the late 1990s. In addition to being talented and hardworking, she was kind.

Oh, and she loved a good time and, if memory serves, Aerosmith.

Pete Scott, a copy desk colleague of Roxanne until 2004, wrote an endorsement for her via LinkedIn, four years ago.

Roxanne Morgan is an incredibly talented editor, writer and supervisor. Her vocabulary, attention to detail, grammatical mastery and ability to apply creative twists to dry content are unmatched. As a supervisor, she leads by example with relentless work ethic, and she shows compassion and encouragement often missing in highly charged newsrooms. You will not find a better editor or supervisor. This is not social-networking hyperbole — this is the truth.

I’ve sent out requests for more. If you have thoughts — or any photos — to share, please send them along. I’ll post them here.

A look at today’s Neil Armstrong front pages

Most folks did pretty well on page one today. There were relatively few mistakes and flubs.

I’ve love to take credit for helping that happen — with my post yesterday afternoon — but, most likely, all the folks out there in newspaper design land have simply become more aware of the common pitfalls.

My hat is off to you all.

FLORIDA TODAY

Melbourne, Fla.

Circulation: 63,087

Folks in Florida had a bit of a problem on page one today. Not only did Neil Armstrong — who spent a lot of time around Cape Canaveral — pass away, but also there is the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa. And then there is the little matter of a tropical storm just off the southern coast.

I was just a little disappointed this morning when I found one of the nation’s larger space-oriented newpapers — Florida Today — with not a darned thing about Armstrong on page one.

Wow. It couldn’t have been a deadline issue. I guess all the other news pushed Armstrong off the front or something. I shrugged and moved on.

Oh, ye of little faith. Turns out, Armstrong was pushed off the front. Into a gorgeous four-page special section that wrapped around today’s paper.

Michael Babin of Gannett’s Nashville Design Studio tells us:

With Isaac setting its sights on Southwest Florida, the death of Neil Armstrong and the uncertainty surrounding the GOP Convention, it was quite the day in the Nashville Design Studio.

Florida Today gave its Space Coast readers a special 4-page wrap celebrating the life of Neil Armstrong, while Fort Myers continued its strong coverage of Isaac, providing plenty of region-by-region updates, forecasts and storm preparedness tips for its readership.

Special thanks goes to designers Chris Bistline, Bill Campling, Melissa Koenigsberg, John Maynard, Michelle Irwin, Bill Wachsberger, Josh Ulrich, George Brooks, Stefanie Romba and Kayla Golliher — as well as the entire staffs in Brevard and Fort Myers — for pulling together so many moving pieces/parts in such an extraordinary way.

Here are the inside pages. Click these — or any page today — for a larger view.

 

The back page used one of the very few pictures taken by Buzz Aldrin of Armstrong on the moon on July 20, 1969. The design team turned the page sideways, ran the picture huge and got the hell out of its way.

And it surprises me how well this works. Because I didn’t think it’d look so good, with the lens flare and all. Which is why I told folks in my post yesterday to not fool with this picture.

Hey, I’m delighted to be wrong. And this is where we’ll start our romp through today’s front pages…

NEIL BY THE LEM

Neil Armstrong carried the primary camera that day. Buzz Aldrin also shot pictures, but he was assigned to photograph specific technical details, rather than tourist-like shots of Neil on the moon.

Being a technical-minded fellow — even before Apollo 11, Buzz held a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering — he did just what he was told. To the chagrin of historians and news designers everywhere ever since.

Despite my advice yesterday, a number of papers used this picture large yesterday. Perhaps you’ve heard of a few of them. Like the New York Times (circulation 1,586,757) and the Washington Post (circulation 507,615)…

 

…or the Cleveland Plain Dealer (circulation 246,571) and the Dallas Morning News (405,349).

 

I found four more papers using this picture on page one today:

From left to right: The Bakersfield Californian, the Portland Oregonian, the Asbury Park Press and the Daily Record of Parsippany, N.J.

STILL FRAMES FROM THE 16MM MOVIE REEL

Another picture I mentioned yesterday but also suggested you stay away from: A still frame from the 16mm movie reel that was shot by a camera rigged in the cockpit of the lunar lander. That reel contains footage of both astronauts on the lunar surface. But I didn’t think the fuzzy, washed-out images would play well on page one today.

Wrong again. As you can see, the News Tribune of Duluth, Minn. — circulation 30,606 — managed to use pictures from this film quite well today.

Newsday of Melville, N.Y. — circulation 397,973 — cropped in on just Armstrong for a nice front-page promo.

Four more papers used the picture as lead art on page one today: The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind., the Times of Trenton, N.J., the New Mexican of Santa Fe…

 

…and the News of Opelika, Ala. The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune and the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis used the picture as skybox art.

AFTER THE MOONWALK

You’ll recall one of the pictures I recommended you use is this great shot of Neil Armstrong in the lunar lander, immediately after the historic moonwalk.

Luckily, the AP also moved that picture, meaning you didn’t have to go digging for it.

My favorite Neil Armstrong page of the day, in fact, used this picture.

That’s a wonderful job by the Forum of Fargo, N.D. — a paper that works its way into my blog more and more these days. Average daily circulation for the Forum is 45,298.

Other nice displays of this picture were by the Herald of Everett, Wash. (circulation 46,481), the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk (circulation 142,476)…

 

…the News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. (circulation 78,453) and the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash. (circulation 69,161).

 

The 401,120-circulation Denver Post wins my admiration for the most unusual headline of the day.

Other papers using this picture on page one today:

ARMSTRONG’S OFFICIAL NASA PORTRAIT

Another picture I didn’t recommend yesterday was Armstrong’s pre-Apollo 11 official NASA portrait. Mostly because this is probably one of the most common images of Armstrong your readers have seen over the years. My feeling was: Given the depth of the NASA archives, we can do much better than this.

However, a few newspapers chose to lead their front page with this picture anyway. And doggoned if the results weren’t bad at all.

Here are a couple of big-city tabloids: The Daily News of New York — circulation 579,636 — and the Chicago Sun-Times, circulation 422,335.

 

A couple of broadsheets: the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., circulation 8,458, and the Record-Courier of Ravenna, Ohio, circulation 17,328.

 

Other papers using the portrait: Sister papers in Moline and Rock Island, Ill., the Gazette of Texarkana, Texas…

…the Caller-Times of Corpus Christi, Texas, the Press-Citizen of Iowa City, the Press of Johnson City, Tenn., and the Standard of Aiken. S.C.

THE ICONIC ‘FOOTPRINT ON THE MOON’ SHOT

One of the things I had specifically suggested you stay away from last night was the iconic picture of a lone footprint on the moon.

If you’re using to use it in an illustrative way, then fine. But most of the time I see this picture used, it’s used improperly. For starters, I often see it upside-down. And, in fact, the version the Associated Press sent out was upside-down.

The one you see there is correct — scanned by NASA directly from the negative.

Secondly, I see this often captioned as either a) Neil Armstrong’s very first footprint on the moon, or b) “a footprint left by one of the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission.” Which is, in fact, the way the AP captioned that picture Saturday.

And that’s baloney. The footprint belongs to Buzz Aldrin. So does the boot that you see in the fourth and fifth pictures of the sequence he photographed himself, about 40 minutes after he stepped out of the lunar lander.

   

 

NASA very carefully reconstructed what happened on the moon every moment of every mission. Most of that material is available to you in the form of “surface journals” that include transcripts and links to each picture or film clip shot. Everything is carefully labeled — NASA knows who shot which picture, with which camera and which roll of film it was on.

None of that is open for debate. Yet, Associated Press moves an upside-down picture and an inaccurate cutline. Sigh…

Because AP got it wrong, perhaps I shouldn’t blame papers for using this shot incorrectly. Still, wrong is wrong. The only way we can hope for AP getting its act together is to go on the record with the errors we find.

Not only did the 16,696 Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig run the picture upside-down — the way AP moved it — they also implied with the headline this was, in fact, Armstrong’s “one small step.”

Quincy certainly wasn’t the only paper to use this picture. Here are the Citizen Tribune of Morristown, Tenn. (circulation 18,923) , and the Quad-City Times of Davenport, Iowa (circulation 46,824).

The 94,016-circulation Daily News of Los Angeles used the picture. And so did all the Daily News‘ sister papers, including the Long Beach Press-Telegram (circulation 82,556)…

 

 

…the Daily Breeze of Torrence (circulation 75,352), the Daily Bulletin of Ontario (circulation 61,699) and the Sun of San Bernardino (circulation 56,456).

Other papers going using the footprint prominently today: The Citizens’ Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho…

 

…the Journal Star of Peoria, Ill., the Times of Valdosta, Ga., and the Herald of Brownsville, Texas.

And I’ll have to pick on my former colleagues at the Virginian-Pilot. I loved their front page today. And I loved the look of the jump page inside. However, not only did they run the footprint flopped…

…they also ran this cutline with it. Which is just flat-out wrong.

BUZZ STANDING BY THE FLAG

The thing I feared most was a newspaper running a picture of Buzz Aldrin on page one today and either a) claiming or b) implying it’s a picture of Neil Armstrong. As we’ve said, there are hardly any pictures of Neil on the surface of the moon.

Sure enough, that’s just the trap that ensnared the Lima News of Ohio, circulation 29,120.

Granted, there is no cutline that says that’s Neil Armstrong standing by the flag in that picture. But, of course, it’s not Neil. So there’s no reason to use this picture at all.

Boo, hiss, Lima.

UPDATE – 5:45 p.m.

My pal Chris Olds of Beckett Media points out that Lima is minutes away from Wapakoneta, Armstrong’s home town. Making this error all the more worse.

Ditto for these sister papers in Massachusetts — the Herald News of Fall River (circulation 14,979) and the Gazette of Taunton (circulation 6,703). Neither should have used that picture in its skybox today.

I got all worked up about the New York Post — a paper I don’t exactly admire in the first place. I was halfway into writing a scathing rebuke of these guys before my eyes finally landed on something in the picture that caused me to stop.

Can you spot it, too?

Check out the flag. It’s at half-staff. Meaning this is a photoillustration.

Granted, the “photoillustration” credit is very tiny and runs vertically up the left side of the art. But still. One can interpret this as Buzz, saluting the flag at half-mast for his fallen commander.

So I’m going to give the Post a free pass on this one. Plus, brownie points for being so clever.

Average daily circulation for the New York Post is 555,327.

TODAY’S BIGGEST BLUNDER

I hate to accuse anyone of making a dumbass mistake. But there’s really no other way to describe the boneheaded blunder atop today’s El Paso Times.

Here’s a closer look at the Neil Armstrong skybox promo.

Which features a nice, cutout picture. Of Michael Collins.

Collins was the third member of the Apollo 11 crew. He’s the one who stayed in lunar orbit in the Apollo capsule while Aldrin and Armstrong landed on the moon.

Needless to say, Michael Collins did not die Saturday.

Here is the Associated Press picture from which the Times extracted that promo. The picture appears to be captioned correctly. I have no freakin’ idea what would cause the designer to cut out the wrong astronaut.

Unless he was distracted, perhaps, by Buzz Aldrin’s hairpiece. 

Average daily circulation for the El Paso Times is 70,450.

REACHING DEEPER INTO THE NASA ARCHIVES

I started out this post by explaining how disappointed I was — originally — with Florida Today‘s front-page presentation of Armstrong’s passing. Until I found out that today’s paper was wrapped in a special Neil Armstrong special section.

Double-ditto on that with the Houston Chronicle. Armstrong lived in Houston during the time in his life when he became famous in the first place. But all he gets is a strip across the top of the page?

UPDATE – 7 p.m.

Gawker wasn’t very impressed with the Chronicle‘s headline.

Perhaps the Chronicle also ran a special section or a wrap today. If they did and if you have PDFs you can send me, please do.

Average daily circulation of the Chronicle is 384,007.

Meanwhile, I was delighted with the treatment on page one of the paper where Armstrong has lived for the past several decades: Cincinnati. The Enquirer skipped all the standard Apollo 11-era pictures — which we’ve seen so many times over the years — and instead used something from Neil’s previous NASA mission, Gemini 8.

Average daily circulation for the Enquirer is 144,165.

The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va. — circulation 26,092 — used that same file photo today, but with not nearly as much bang.

 

The paper where I worked 20 years ago — the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. — reached deep into the archives to find this picture of the three Apollo 11 astronauts making their way out of the preparation facility and to the van that would drive them to their launch vehicle on July 16, 1969.

The coolest thing about Rock Hill’s coverage today, however, is the local angle the paper took with its lead story. Charlie Duke — who walked on the moon in Apollo 16 and who served as the official voice of mission control during the actual landing of Apollo 11 — is from nearby Lancaster. The story works in Duke’s memories of that night.

Average daily circulation for the Herald is 21,063.

Also leading with that same picture today: The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., and the Star of Anniston, Ala.

 

A few other papers also reached deep down to find pictures of Armstrong during his Gemini 8 days.

From left to right: The News Tribune of Jefferson City, Mo., the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y., and the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla.

Two papers led today with pictures of the Earth rising over the moon, as seen from lunar orbit by the astronauts aboard Apollo 11. On the left is the Stockton (Calif.) Record. On the right is the Tribune of Bismarck, N.D.

 

This worked fine… as long as the picture really is from Apollo 11. As opposed to the more iconic, more famous picture of Earthrise shot by Apollo 8. I have no reason to believe these pictures were not shot from Apollo 11, so I’ll give these pages praise here.

Granted, though, after all I’ve written here, I’m too tired to go check.

And just a handful of papers led today with nice portraits of Armstrong shot fairly recently. The picture you see here on the front of the Dayton Daily News — circulation 93,425 — is a file shot by staffer Chris Stewart.

That same picture — and page design — was also used by Dayton’s sister papers in Springfield, Middletown and Hamilton.

And that brings us to my second-favorite front page of the day: This one by the Journal & Courier of Lafayette, Ind. — the home of Purdue University, where Armstrong attended college.

The wonderful portrait there was shot by Cliff Owen of the Associated Press during a Senate committee hearing three months ago.

Average daily circulation for the Journal & Courier is 25,531.

All of these newspaper pages — with the exception of the Florida Today material and the Virginian-Pilot page I obviously photographed myself — are from the Newseum. Of course.

Today’s five best Fourth of July front pages

Fireworks, hot dogs and American flags. What did you put on page one today?

Here’s a look at today’s five best Independence Day-themed front pages, as found in the daily archive at the Newseum.

#5

KANSAS CITY STAR

Kansas City, Mo.

Circulation: 200,365

In the category of kids running back flags, this wonderful centerpiece photo by staffer Keith Myers gives a wonderful red, white and blue effect to the front page of the Kansas City Star. Especially when you take into account the Star’s blue nameplate.

The red, white and blue baseball skybox just adds to the effect.

#4

GAZETTE

Charleston, W.Va.

Circulation: 35,621

Lots of papers led today with fireworks pictures shot locally Tuesday night. Some papers ran them downpage. A few ran them up top, above the nameplate.

My favorite of the batch was this one from Charleston, W.Va.

The picture was by staffer Lawrence Pierce.

That’s twice this week that the Gazette has appeared here in the blog. Somebody there is doing some awfully good work.

A close runner-up is this fireworks-themed poster-front from the Los Angeles Daily News.

The picture is from Getty Images.

Average daily circulation for the Daily News is 94,016.

#3

NEWS JOURNAL

Pensacola, Fla.

Circulation: 40,435

Today’s lead story was a brief essay by staff editorial cartoonist Andy Marlette , answering the question: How Do You Draw a Patriot?

How better to illustrate that kind of a topic than with an illustration by Andy himself?

Andy cites plenty of examples of Patriotism from his own family. For example, he writes about his…

…great grandmother, who in 1934 was stabbed by a bayonet of a National Guardsman sent in to put a stop to a labor uprising at a sweatshop of a textile mill in Burlington, N.C.. Her crime? Singing in protest; speech. Sometimes the patriot is attacked by the very country she cries out for.

Find Andy’s essay here.

#2

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indianapolis, Ind.

Circulation: 164,640

The Indianapolis Star today asked its readers to share their vision for America. Staffer Janet Schneider placed the replies and mug shots atop a textured flag illustration.

#1

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

But today’s very best Independence Day front page is from the Orange County Register, which turned this gorgeous Getty image into a poster front that truly makes you want to stand at attention.

The Register also designed last year’s best Independence Day page as well — this one from July 3, 2011:

That one was built around an iStock Photo image. Read more about it here.

Go here to see more July Fourth pages from last year.

All of these pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

The good, the bad and the most interesting health-care court ruling front pages

One of the reasons I love the little 26,531-circulation Victoria (Texas) Advocate is because the paper does a pretty great job now. But it’s always looking to do better.

Case in point: I heard this morning via Twitter from Chris Cobler, the editor of the Advocate. Chris writes:

And my reply is: You did pretty well today, Chris. You recognized right away that the protest shots that were moving all over the wires yesterday was not a good choice to lead today’s front page. In your case, you looked to add a little analysis to the decision.

So you went in the right direction. And sometimes, text is the way to carry the front. As you’ll see in this (admittedly overlong) blog post today.

The quibble I have with your front today, Chris, is clutter. Your page is well-organized. But that lead element at the top — the mug shots of the Supreme Court — could have worked with less ink on it.

The good news: Although it had major impact at the top of your page, that would have been a pretty easy — and quick — fix. You had your fundamentals right. And that’s the important thing.

Which leads us into today’s lesson…

I was awfully disappointed in the choice of lead art by most papers today. Those protest shots were all taken by 10 or 11 a.m. Thursday. Meaning they were nearly 24 hours old by the time our readers today saw them. Not a great way to sell newspapers, I think.

 

And most main headlines I saw today simply told what happened yesterday. The important stuff — how the decision is being spun, what happens next, how it affects the reader — was pushed into smaller headlines or sidebars or even off the front page.

And those were the most important things to push at the top of page one today!

 

____________________

MILLIONS OF MUG SHOTS

Let’s start where Chris left off — with pages built around mug shots of the Supreme Court justices.

A number of papers stripped the mug shots across the top of page one today. Some divided the mugs into “for” and “against,” like Pittsburgh did (below right). Others made the readers hunt for that info in the little cutline labels (Bangor, Maine; below left).

 

Two of the nation’s largest newspapers put this kind of treatment on page one today. The Washington Post ran its mug shot collection below the obligatory protest photo…

…while the New York Times built its own into a centerpiece. This kind of thing is very unusual for the Times, I think it’s fair to say.

What did both of those pages have in common? They kept their little mug shot graphic treatments as clean as possible. There’s a minimum of lines, boxes and rules. And there’s plenty of white space to give the mugs some air. The little semi-cutout treatment helps reduce clutter, as well.

The Denver Post today ran two mugshot graphics across the top of today’s front, in order to show how the court voted on two issues.

Note how the greyed-out effect makes this a quicker read.

While the Newark paper made their group shot of the SCOTUS — little little labels — into lead art.

The newly-converted-to-tabloid Burlington, Vt., paper also made a huge, reversed (for extra oomph) headline and a collection of mugs its lead art today.

Every one of these pages worked well. Just like I think Victoria’s page worked.

Or, rather, might have worked a little better without all the boxes and lines. But you get my point.

Here’s one — from Gainesville, Ga. — that I thought was less than successful:

The problems? First of all, the designer “ghosted” an image of the Supreme Court building into the background of that package. I’m not sure how effective that is at telling the story. It harms readability and it’s also an awfully “old-fashioned” approach.

Secondly, I take issue with the main headline. It refers to state officials, while the main visual shows the Supreme Court of the United States. This makes for a huge disconnect between the main head and the main art.

While we’re on the subject of SCOTUS photos, let’s look at two pages that focused on the “swing vote” in this particular decision, Chief Justice John Roberts. Bakersfield turned Roberts into today’s huge centerpiece art.

The problem I have with that page: From what I can tell, that’s a photo of when Roberts was sworn in as a justice, back in 2005. That seems like a bit of a stretch. Was there nothing more recent than this?

And while Hartford didn’t run a photo of Roberts out front today, it did make him the subject of its main headline.

I’m not sure that worked at all. Better if there was some way of working either a big photo of Roberts into that package. Or, at least, including a mug shot of some kind.

__________________

POLITICS OF THE DAY

I don’t have to tell you that the subject of affordable health care — like so may other topics in this country — has become way too politicized. A number of papers today dove into the political waters today by taking that bigger-picture look at Thursday’s court decision.

And, in some cases, a few of these papers even seemed to take sides.

The Allentown, Pa., paper didn’t take sides. But it made it clear: This wasn’t just a landmark court decision. It was a political win for the President.

The Portland Oregonian made the same point and added a health-care pun as a bonus.

This one caused me to stop and scratch what’s left of the hair on my head.

A “Hallelujah moment“?

I like this front page quite a bit — it’s clean and bold and the typography and colors are just wonderful. And I also like the gentle pun.

But wow — I’d think anyone of a conservative bent would boil over when they saw it. I wonder if the editor of Newsday got calls today.

In that magical world of New York City tabloids, of course, just about anything goes.

Most papers tried to play it much straighter, of course. Many focused on the fact that Republicans are pledging to either a) defeat the President this fall, b) repeal the legisation, or c) both.

Canton, Ohio warns us all: This ain’t over yet.

The Cincinnati Enquirer made the conservative backlash the main story today.

And a number of papers followed along these lines — at least with their main headlines.

Great Falls, Mont.:

St. Paul, Minn.:

Kalamazoo, Mich:

Minneapolis, Minn.:

San Antonio, Texas:

Everett, Wash.:

That last one struck me oddly. That sounds like it’s edging a bit towards advocating for the conservative point of view. If that’s intentional, then that’s fine. But I suspect it may not have been intentional.

The headline afront today’s Gainesville, Fla., paper seemed to put just a bit too much emphasis on the part of the ruling that limits an expansion of Medicaid.

This caught my eye because no one else really did this in their main headline today.

The headline used by Syracuse also struck me as odd:

The decision ignites new debate? Really? You mean no one was debating health care before Thursday morning?

And the main headline on the front of the tiny Twin Falls, Idaho, paper nearly made me laugh out loud by calling the decision “a precarious situation.”

Yes, Tea Party-types like the man pictured there might consider this ruling “precarious.” But I think the rest of us regard it as politics as usual. Or what passes for “usual” in these days of extreme political polarization.

The Washington Times — to the surprise of no one, perhaps — screams the nation was stunned by the decision.

The New York Post took the opportunity to have quite a bit of right-wing fun with the story.

Talk about a political spin: According to the Boston Herald, this decision gives Mitt Romney just the fodder he needs for a vigorous race this fall.

And, at first glance, this front-page editorial by tbt — the youth-oriented tabloid published by the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg, Fla. — seems to be directed against the ruling and against the health care legislation.

In fact, the editorial is for it. I’m not quite sure if the disconnect is a) intentional or b) only in my mind.

_________________________

PUSHING THE STORY FORWARD

I think the best way to handle the story today was to push it forward: Rather than focus on the politics or analyze how the ruling went down — that’s great material for inside — spend your page-one real estate explaining what this means to the reader and how this will affect her.

If you can do this with a strong local bent, then so much the better.

There’s no “what happened yesterday” headline afront today’s Fort Lauderdale newspaper.

Now, granted, I think the design of that centerpiece package is a little scattered. I’d love to have inserted vertical rules between the “if you have insurance” and “if you don’t boxes, as well as between the main copy and the little sidebar down the left. But the point is: This package told readers just what they needed to know today: Why should I care?

The Indianapolis Star did much the same today.

My two complaints here: 1) There’s just a bit too much text. Too much text will scare off most readers. And 2) The headline is very close to advocating for the newly affirmed law. Better to keep it more neutral, I think.

The centerpiece package on the front of today’s Chattanooga paper might have used a bit more structure — trims or rules or some other device — to make it seem less text-heavy.

But again: The content seems right and the direction is spot-on.

Las Vegas built its front around a series of iconesque pieces of stock art — in essence, building a graphic.

The Seattle Times did the same, but then used reverse bars to try to group its text boxes into categories.

This, in fact, did give the Times‘ centerpiece a little more structure and made for a better reading experience.

I don’t like the way two short stories are crammed into the lead story space here. But I love the right side of the package on the front of today’s Poughkeepsie, N.Y., paper.

What it means to individuals. What it means to businesses. What it means to hospitals.

This is what I’m talking about when I refer to structure. This is readable. Very much so.

And notice: The lack of a dominant image doesn’t really hurt this page at all.

My old friends in Des Moines did want a dominant image today, so they went with (what I presume is) stock art.

It almost worked.

The problem: The skews on the right side of the package makes that “10 ways” sidebar a little hard to read. I wonder if this might have worked better if the huge icon were just a bit smaller.

What’s very good there, though: The localized headline. The state prepares to deal with the fallout from this decision.

The same Gannett Design Studio that produced that last page also designed this one, for Iowa City. To some extent, I think this one might have worked a little better.

Clean. White space. Easy to read.

Look at this tab illustration by AmNewYork. Note how the headline is written about you.

That’s the secret to these headlines. What does this court ruling mean for us?

Here’s just the headline from Salem, Oregon:

Gadsen, Ala.:

Birmingham, Ala.:

And Rochester, N.Y.:

Also cool to get out front — if you can — are local voices. Note how the Connecticut Post pushed its protest shots inside — if it used them at all — and built its front page around a local doctor and local medical patients.

Ditto for the Detroit Free Press.

These editors and designers knew the protest art from outside the Supreme Court building would be way too old to lead page one today. So they looked for ways to build their front pages around local folks who will be affected by the law.

My favorite of these pages: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del.

Mostly because of that nice picture by staffer Robert Craig.

And while I don’t particularly think this page works very well, look what Medford, Oregon tried today: It built its entire front around local quotes about the law and the court decision.

It was a great idea. But, as you can see, the result was awfully cluttered. Perhaps if the mug shots were a little smaller — meaning we could have had a little more white space between them — the centerpiece might be a little kinder on the eye.

The summary rail down the right side was a little too jammed, as well. Trims might have been made here.

But the idea was sound.

Now, speaking of clutter…

________________

TOO MUCH CLUTTER

Many papers were very ambitious about what they wanted to put out front today. That’s a good thing.

But in several cases, papers either tried to pack too much stuff into their lead packages. Or they didn’t take the opportunity to do a little trimming or use a little white space.

The result, as we’ve seen in several examples already, is cluttered. And it’s difficult to attract the reader’s eye with a cluttered page.

Here’s one example from Johnson City, Tenn.

If the designers could have dumped the shot of the building, run the SCOTUS group shot across the width of the package and then put the two stories side-by-side, this might have worked a bit better.

But someone felt the need to force the Supreme Court photo into that page. To the detriment of the page.

This page, too — from Ventura, Calif. — simply has too much going on.

By themselves, each element might work well. But together? Yikes.

The paper in Youngstown, Ohio, used a graphic treatment down the left side of its lead package and an actual graphic across the bottom.

What went wrong here: The two promos that were jammed into the top of the package. It was just too much.

Daytona Beach today went with what I’d try to describe as a collection of pictures and mug shots.

It’s a little cleaner than the last few pages we saw. But I think there were simply too many elements here to make this work.

And I was concerned about these three pages, which have a) Very small pictures, and b) a lot of text.

   

Those are all three Cox Communications newspapers, which are in the process of consolidating their design, graphics and copy desks this summer.

I was hoping that hubbing these papers might open up the design a little more. But perhaps it won’t. Sigh.

___________________

THEY TRIED TOO HARD

And the lack of strong art today as noted by Victoria’s Chris Cobler resulted in a number of papers trying hard — way too hard, perhaps — to build something around which to build a front-page centerpiece.

The designers in Stroudsberg, Pa., for example: They dove into the stock art library pull a prescription pad, a judge’s gavel and a huge, 3D check mark.

I’m sorry. But I think a protest shot from Thursday morning might have been more effective.

I applaud the effort on this piece by the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park for the East Brunswick, N.J., paper.

I applaud the effort. But not necessarily the result.

At the very least, there was no reason to fade the bottom of the art.

The folks in Longview, Texas, thought to bring “Lady Justice” into the mix.

Note the doctor’s mask on Lady Justice. Also note the way the editors wrote the headline to make the package work better.

Good try. I think.

The News-Times of Danbury, Conn., went with a more illustrative style for its gavel icon.

Note how the little gavel is striking the headline.

Again: I think they were trying just a little too hard here.

The Shreveport, La., paper went with a faux EKG across the top of its package to signal: This is about health care.

And remember that big question mark/caduceus icon we saw on the front of the Des Moines paper. Well, if using that is a good idea, then using it nine times must be a fabulous idea!

The rail down the right might have worked better with simple bullets or larger lead-in text.

Also, if you feel you must have art overlap your photos, at least turn your drop-shadow to “multiply.”

_______________________

I’M PUZZLED BY HEADLINES

I have to admit, I’m bad about writing question headlines myself. But I’ve been coached — and, sometimes threatened — not to write them.

My opinion: If the “question” is too obvious, you’re not just voicing the reader’s concern. You’re also looking a little silly. It’s kind of a “Duh!” headline, if you know what I mean.

Sure, we’re all wondering what’s next with the health care law and its implementation. But I’d argue a “What’s next?” headline today is just a little too obvious. Or, at the very least, a little too broad.

Yet, there were a bunch of question heads today. From the San Francisco Chronicle

…the Salisbury (N.C.) Post

…the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal

…the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette

…the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News

…and the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

I rather liked the “cheat” the folks in Arlington Heights, Ill., used today. This is basically a question headline. But there’s no question mark. Therefore, the paper is telling me what’s going to happen next, as opposed to looking like they don’t have a clue.

I was very surprised today by the number of papers using the word “Obamacare” in their main headlines. I’m under the impression this was a term that is mostly used by Republicans as an attempt at disparagement.

If that’s the case — and that’s a big “if” — then the term has no place in a lead headline on page one. If a newspaper is trying to remain politically neutral, I mean.

Yet, the word was all over the place. Here’s the Sandusky (Ohio) Register

…the Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera

The Intelligencer Journal/New Era of Lancaster, Pa….

…the Bucks County Courier Times of Levittown, Pa….

…the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram

…the Decatur (Ala.) Daily

…the Grand Island (Neb.) Independent

…the Prescott, Ariz, Daily Courier

…the Massillon, Ohio, Independent

…the Lorain, Ohio, Morning Journal

…the Pascagoula Mississippi Press

…the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal

…the Los Angeles Daily News

…the Fort Smith, Ark., Times Record

…and the Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel.

Perhaps this is a like Ronald Reagan‘s old Strategic Defense Initiative, which nearly everyone eventually called his “Star Wars” plan. Perhaps so many folks out there — on either side of the ideological spectrum — call the Affordable Health Care Act “Obamacare” that it’s OK to use the term in a headline.

If that’s the case, then I’d feel better seeing it in quote marks. Like so:

The Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle

…the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat

…the Dover/New Philadelphia, Ohio, Times-Reporter

…the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review

…the Lodi, Calif., News-Sentinel

…the Brainerd (Minn.) Dispatch

…the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla….

…and the Ottawa (Kan.) Herald.

But at least these headlines say something. This next one says nothing at all, I’d argue.

I hate to embarrass anyone, so I won’t tell you that headline came from Fort Myers, Fla.

What I really liked today, however, were a number of headlines that presumed the readers are not dummies and that they had already heard about the ruling. Sure, the decks give you the entire story. But the headline here — in this case, from Hendersonville, N.C. — says simply “It stands.

Sam thing here from the paper in Spartanburg, S.C.

Granted, these are still backward-looking pages with backward-looking lead art. But I think this approach to the main headlines shows promise.

Here is Express, the commuter tab published by the Washington Post.

And here is the Boston Globe.

Some good ideas there, I think.

___________________________

THE DAY’S TEN BEST FRONT PAGES

So, after all that… Are you still awake? Are you ready for my picks of the day’s best ten pages?

Here goes…

VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Norfolk, Va.

Circulation 142,476

Is anyone surprised to find the Virginian-Pilot at the top of this list? The Pilot nearly always does a superb job of presenting the days’ news. The bigger the news, the quicker the Pilot rises to the task.

Ace A1 designer Robert Suhay was responsible for this one, I’m told.

Note the features: A headline that assumes you’ve already heard the news by now. A brief collection of SCOTUS mugs across the top, summarizing their positions. A collection of photos that round up the day’s events. Three stories that 1) Tell the news, 2) Provides the statewide local angle, and 3) Offer up “how it affects me” info in an easy-to-read, Q&A format.

What makes this all work is plenty of structure and plenty of white space between the elements. That keeps it all from becoming too cluttered.

Wonderful work, as usual.

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Salt Lake City, Utah

Circulation: 110,546

Another nice, clean page with plenty of structure and plenty of white space. While I’m not crazy about the protest shot, at least there’s an unusual, horizontal crop on it to give it some visual interest.

My favorite two features of this page: 1) I love the headline. “Curveball” does a great job of summing up the morning’s news. And 2) The “what’s next” timeline across the bottom. Clean and succinct.

Reversing that text out of yellow and orange boxes might not have been a great choice, however. I hope the Tribune‘s presses could handle that kind of registration challenge.

JOURNAL & COURIER

Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 25,531

The tiny Journal & Courier also went with an approach that sums up the entire story. Three small vignettes show the scene in Washington D.C. and a larger picture tells the story of a local person who expects to be affected by the ruling.

The page was designed by David Leonard, I’m told.

What makes this work well: a) Structure. b) Some white space. And c) A great headline.

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

TENNESSEAN

Nashville, Tenn.

Circulation: 118,589

First, what I don’t like here: The headline seems a little weak. Obvious, even.

Now, what I do like: Everything else. Especially the photo — by staffer George Walker IV — of a local advocacy rally.

While I don’t like the headline, I do like the three bullet point decks. The little SCOTUS head-shot graphic across the bottom is nicely done, as well.

The page was designed by Nancy Broden of the Gannett Design Studio there in Nashville, I’m told.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

The folks at the Orange County Register knew they didn’t really have lead art today.

Their solution? A “type attack” approach. Which worked beautifully, thanks to a) A wonderful headline and great subheads to break it all up, b) Plenty of white space, and c) A rail of supplementary material down the left side for contrast.

Daniel Hunt of the OCR tells us:

This was the handiwork of senior designer Andrea Voight, who also did our bin Laden cover a little over a year ago. The headline was written by our copy desk chief, Wendy Fawthrop. The pieces were packaged by our news desk chief, Gene Harbrecht, with help from wire editors Mathis Chazanov and Paul Davenport.

TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH

Tyler, Texas

Circulation: 26,155

Here’s a very similar approach by a much smaller newspaper, half-a-continent away.

I asked Vanessa Pearson if she could tell me who designed that page. She replies:

It was me! I actually saw [an] Arizona Republic page on your blog when I was scrambling for a concept. So I borrowed. I worried it was so text heavy but our reporters got all over it to localize it to the tune of 150 inches almost. I thought it came out well.

I thought so, too, Vanessa.

CLARION-LEDGER

Jackson, Miss.

Circulation: 57,710

The folks in Jackson, Miss., also went with a text-heavy approach today. They, too, went with a horizontal crop of the SCOTUS building across the top of the page.

The difference between this page and the previous two: Color reverse bars and tint boxes to break up the type. It worked nicely — mostly because the designer didn’t let the page get too cluttered.

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Omaha, Neb.

Circulation: 135,223

While Omaha’s page looks nice and clean, there are, in fact, a number of moving pieces here.

Most obvious, I suppose, is the Supreme Court building photo. The headline here is particularly nice: It looks forward and also gives you a sense of the political realities. In fact, this might very well be the best headline of the day.

You’re seeing two stories, a long, vertical summary down the right side and a graphic showing how the justices voted on three factors in this case. In fact, that graphic is my only complaint here: With so many rules and reverse bars, I wonder if it might have been done with a slightly lighter touch. All that black ink draws my eye down there to that graphic a little too quickly.

That’s a relatively minor quibble, however. The page was designed by Tammy Yttri, I’m told.

ASBURY PARK PRESS

Neptune, N.J.

Circulation: 98,032

What I like about this page…

1) The headline, which uses a “cheap” designer’s trick to add to the “oomph.” However, the trick works very well here. So don’t let that sound like a complaint. More importantly, I like how the headline puts the focus on the reader.

2) The box down the right side that sums up the effects on the ruling on various aspects of daily life.

I’m told the page was designed by Gary Stelzer.

Now, compare that to the APP‘s sister paper in Parsippany. What we gain is a bigger, bolder headline and a larger photo.

What we lose, however, is the rail down the right side. Instead, that is converted into a brightly-colored tint box.

Which do you like better? Normally, I’ll go for the bigger art every time. In this case, though, I prefer the Asbury Park version.

Compare both of those, however to a competing paper in that region, the Herald News of Passaic, N.J.:

The Herald-News also went with a protest photo and a summary of “what it means to you.” But notice how this page just isn’t organized nearly as well. The length of the breakout box and the visual clutter caused by the items being to close to each other make the structure of the whole thing break down.

 

The lesson here: Keep your page clean. And a little white space can go a long, long way.

PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS

Philadelphia, Pa.

Circulation: 63,958

We’ll close with what I think might have been theho best tabloid page of the day. I’m not so crazy about the lead art, which I expect might have been stock art. Rather, it’s the headline that makes this page sing.

Now, that’s how you get folks to read about the decision and how it might impact them.

All of these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

  • Find Poynter’s roundup of today’s front pages here.
  • Find the Huffington Post‘s roundup of today’s front pages here.
  • Find the Newseum‘s own Top 10 front pages — and boy, do I differ from them — here.

Looks like the Indianapolis Star has a new fan

The proud folks at the Indianapolis Star are passing around this photo today, taken by Brian Spurlock of US Presswire.

That is movie star Ashley Judd, admiring Monday’s 12-page special wrap around the Indianapolis Star. After all, her husband — Dario Franchitti — won his third Indy 500 Sunday.

I can’t help but want to have some fun with this, however. Like so:

Or how about:

Want to play? Here ya go:

Take a closer look at Monday’s Indianapolis Star here.

 

Today’s Indy 500 special section from the Indianapolis Star

It was yet another exciting finish in the Indianapolis 500 this year as Dario Franchitti — better known to some as Ashley Judd‘s husband — won his third race there.

Here is the front of the special race section that wrapped around today’s Indianapolis Star. Click for a much larger look.

Director of digital and visuals Scott Goldman tells us that cover was…

…designed by the one and only Phil Mahoney, with a fabulous Dario shot by Matt Kryger. Phil, Michael Jackson and John Kalmar, on loan from the Louisville Design Studio, designed the 12-page special section.

The race-ending drama came when Takuma Sato — in the blue-and-white car — attempted to creep around Franchitti as the leaders passed through Turn One of the final lap. But, as you can see in this picture by the Star‘s Robert Scheer, Sato made contact with Franchitti’s car…

…which sent him careening into the wall. Franchitti suffered no ill effects and sailed on for the win.

That second photo was by Andrew Weber of US Presswire. Find those pictures — and many more — in the photo gallery posted last night by the Star.

In addition, a detailed graphic by the Star‘s Stephen Beard — using text by Zak Keefer — broke down the race into five 100-mile increments. Click on any of these five segments for a larger look.

Scott adds:

Great coverage throughout the day from our photo team — all of it is on IndyStar.com, including several feature videos and great photo galleries.

It was a pleasure, one last time, to work with this amazing team on Indy 500 race day!

Scott, you might recall, is leaving the Star after eight years there. His last day will be Thursday.

Average daily circulation for the Indianapolis Star is 164,640.

Indianapolis Star’s Scott Goldman joining Advance Digital in New Jersey

Scott Goldman announced today he is stepping down as director of digital and visuals at the Indianapolis Star and to take a position with Advance Publications’ digital team in New Jersey.

Here is the email Scott sent out to the visuals team today:

Before the news goes out to the whole room, I have to let you know that I will be leaving the Star.

I have accepted a position with Advance Digital (the Newhouse chain) as a director position at Advance Digital. It’s based in New Jersey, just across the river from the Big City — in fact, they just christened new offices looking out over the World Trade Center site yesterday. I’ll be commuting to New York for a while, racking up frequent flier miles!

But that’s all yet to come. I’d like to instead take a moment and thank you all for the extraordinary efforts you’ve put in over the past 8 years. It has been an honor working with all of you, and I will treasure so many of the relationships that I’ve made with so many of you over my time here. You are an extremely talented and hard-working group, and there has been so much great work to be proud of — and so much more yet to come.

My last day will be next Thursday; looking forward to one more Indy 500 weekend with all of you!

Thank you again for everything!

In addition, Star editor Dennis Ryerson made a similar announcement:

Scott Goldman has accepted a position with Advance Digital in New Jersey as a director… Scott’s last day here will be Thursday, May 31.

Scott has been with Star Media for eight years, coming here from The Washington Post. He’s a master at how the newspaper is put together. That has been so very beneficial to us as we went to the 40-inch web and made numerous section changes under Scott’s leadership. Last year he took our digital desk under his wing, and was a key player in such things as our Super Bowl success.

Our print pages have become much bolder in terms of presenting news as it is — unpredictable and lively.

Scott’s knowledge of typography and design, and again, how print products are organized, made him a go-to advisor to the corporate news division. Last year Scott spent a great deal of time helping corporate sort out details involved in design studio conversion.

We’ll miss Scott’s hard work and his dedication to our business.

Please join me in wishing Scott the best as he moves to his new position with Advance Digital.

Dennis is quite right — the Star has been on a bit of a hot streak lately in terms of visuals. A few of the recent blog posts I’ve written about Scott and his staff:

Aug. 15: A music stage collapses at the Indiana State Fair

Nov. 12: Popsicle sticks on page one.

Jan. 31: Poynter live chat about sports coverage

Feb. 2: Super Bowl special section

Feb. 5: An inside view of Super Bowl Sunday

May 14: Three-part tornado series

The Star — like all Gannett’s regional papers — will be moving its visuals operation to a Design Studio hub.

A 1990 graduate of Syracuse University, Scott spent two years as the Sunday sports editor for the Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1994. He moved to the Washington Post in 1999 and then to the Indianapolis Star in 2004. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 2006.

Find Scott’s Twitter feed here.

Inside the Indianapolis Star’s three-part tornado series

Sunday, the Indianapolis Star launched a three-part series about the tornado that struck southern Indiana two months ago.

Part two runs next Sunday. The series will conclude Sunday, May 27. (I’m told there’s some kind of auto race in town that day, too. Go figure.)

Every bit of Sunday’s first installment was wonderful. But the most outstanding component, perhaps, was this extraordinary six-minute video photographed and produced by staffer Matt Detrich. It’s narrated by the reporter for this series, Robert King.

Robert writes that the storm contained winds of up to 175 mph, stayed on the ground for the better part of an hour and moved along at about 60 mph. That’s about twice as fast as a typical tornado.

This map by the Star‘s Stephen Beard shows the route the storm took.

The highlighted area is the section covered by Sunday’s story.

Robert reports:

Some described what was about to upset their lives as if it were a living animal.

It roared like a beast, they said, and ate the objects in its path. To others, it seemed to stalk them like a predator or pursue them as they fled.

Images of the tornado, captured in photos and on video, play to that theme. They show a storm that expanded and contracted, produced fangs and pointed fingers. At times, the tornado even sprouted sisters.

Some accounts of the tornado were deeply personal.

The tornado pulled at people’s skin, made their ears pop and their noses bleed. More than one person said the tornado lifted them off the ground. One person described a storm chase in which the tornado seemed to be the one doing the chasing. It ended with a father clinging to his daughter at the threshold of safety, only to feel the tornado try to pull her away.

The web version of the story — which contains several more videos, in addition to the one I showed you above — was developed by online producer Amy Haneline, says Scott Goldman, the Star‘s director of digital and visual.

Scott tells us:

The storytelling, both in text and in video and photo, has been extraordinary with this story. Matt Detrich is a storm-chaser at heart (in fact, he’s on vacation right now, in Tornado Alley), so he threw himself into this project. The video is just breath-taking.

A 1994 graduate of Ohio University, Matt worked at the Medina County Gazette and the Akron Beacon Journal before joining the Star in 1999. He’s won several awards for his work over the years — most recently, he was named Photographer of the Year by the state News Photographers Association.

Find galleries of his work here and here. Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Scott continues:

Phil Mahoney designed the [print] package, with a nice assist from Emily Kuzniar.

Here is page one of the print component:

The lead picture is a still frame from a video of the tornado itself, which you saw at the top of the video. It was shot by New Pekin resident Kendall Lewellyn.

The story behind that photo is lower in Robert’s story:

“Dad,” [Kendall Lewellyn] said, “this is a bad one.” They went to the basement, where Gene [Lewellyn] covered his granddaughter with his own body.

Kendall stepped out into the backyard for one last look. He also pulled out his camera phone for 20 seconds of footage of a tornado about to descend on a town.

The view is chilling. The tornado is a menacing white funnel that’s practically rippling with muscles. It’s potent, and it’s poised to wipe out anything in its path as it crests the ridge above New Pekin on its way toward the lumberyard and the welding shop.

The screen wobbled as Kendall headed toward the basement. As he went down the steps, the video flickered out. His dad, meanwhile, took one last glimpse out a basement window. What he saw wasn’t comforting.

The funnel cloud hit the bottom of the hill and mushroomed. It was getting bigger.

The story jumped to pages eight and nine inside…

 

…and then again to the A section doubletruck, pages 10 and 11.

Click on any of those for a much larger look, of course.

Scott also tells us there’s a…

…live chat coming today, too, at 3 p.m. with the writer (Robert King) and editor (Alvie Lindsay) on the package.

That’s 3 p.m. today EDT, 2 p.m. CDT, and noon PDT. Find the chat here.

Links to the series…

  • Read part one of the 49 Miles, 49 Minutes series here.
  • See the photo gallery here.
  • Find all the pieces of the series here.

Average daily circulation for the Indianapolis Star is 171,662.

Previous posts about that tornado outbreak, when it happened:

  • March 1: A look at today’s notable tornado front pages
  • March 2: How the tiny paper in Harrisburg, Ill., covered Wednesday’s tornado
  • March 3: Eight powerful tornado front pages

A little perspective from the Midwest

Here in the airport in Newark — Yes, I’m still here enduring an extended layover on my way home from Nigeria — everybody is talking about the megamillions lottery.

And I mean everybody.

Thankfully, Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star

 

…steps up to put that story into perspective for us:

That apparently ran in today’s paper. I’ve written about Varvel most recently here. Find his cartoon blog here.

In addition, whoever it is that writes material for the Indy Star‘s Facebook page writes today:

Now, here’s a perspective on how much 1 trillion is: If you spent $1 million every day since the time Christ was born until now, you will have spent approximately, $735 billion. Think about that. $1 million every day for 2012 years and you still will not have spent $1 trillion. And we’re $15.5 trillion in debt.

Amazing stuff.

Indy Star’s Kathleen O’Malley moving to Chicago Tribune

Kathleen O’Malley — A1 news editor for the Indianapolis Star for the past four years — is moving on.

Kathleen posted last night on her Facebook wall

Well, word’s bound to spread now that I’ve told a few people in the newsroom, so … I’ll be leaving The Indianapolis Star to take a job as a copy editor at The Chicago Tribune. I’m excited to join the team at Tribune Tower, but Indy folks: I’m going to miss you.

A 1994 graduate of Indiana University, Kathleen spent more than ten years as a copy editor, a wire editor and a page designer for the Times of Munster, Ind. She moved to the Washington Times as assistant national editor in 2004 and then moved again to Indy in 2008.

She’ll join a number of other Munster alumni at the Tribune, including Chris Rickett.

Eight powerful tornado front pages

I wrote here in the blog back on Thursday:

Wow. Tornado season started early this year.

After storms late Tuesday and early Wednesday ripped through the Midwest and South, killing 13, another wave moved across that same region Friday. This time, 38 people were killed in five states.

The hardest-hit area was along the border of Indiana and Kentucky, as you can see in this map from today’s Indianapolis Star.

A total of 19 were killed in Kentucky and 14 died in Indiana. In addition, another four were killed in Ohio, just a bit further downwind.

Here’s a look at today’s eight most powerful tornado front-page presentations.

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indianapolis, Ind.

Circulation: 171,662

First up is the Star. The combination of this brief but huge headline, three curt bullet points and then the enormous aerial photo of Marysville, Ind. — where the devastation just boggles your mind — made for an outstanding visual report.

The picture is by Michael Clevenger of the Star‘s sister paper in Louisville, Ky. The map is by the Star‘s Emily Kuzniar.

HERALD-LEADER

Lexington, Ky.

Circulation: 89,050

The huge picture on the front of Lexington today is of downtown West Liberty, Ky., and was shot by staffer John Flavell.

The headline turned out to be a good one: The deck right above it mentions “at least 12” killed in Kentucky. As of this moment, that number is now 19.

The map seems just a little awkward because Kentucky shows county lines but Indiana does not.

COURIER-JOURNAL

Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 142,801

Indianapolis led today with that awe-inspiring aerial from the Louisville paper, but the Courier-Journal itself didn’t use it. What could Louisville possibly have found better than that picture?

This one, perhaps, of a family surveying what’s left of their business in New Pekin, Ind.:

The picture is by staffer Matt Stone.

The page is quite good, despite the unfortunate ad that hampered what the editors could place downpage.

My biggest quibble with this page is the kerning of the main headline. Does this not bother you? It bothers me.

Big, one-word headlines like this nearly always need a little kerning help, folks. It only takes a second or two. Let’s take that second or two and get it right.

LEDGER INDEPENDENT

Maysville, Ky.

Circulation: 6,697

This picture by the Associated Press afront the Maysville, Ky., Ledger Independent of the middle school in Henryville — where the entire second floor was ripped away — I find terrifying.

That’s an awesome, chilling choice of photo and a dynamite design. I have just two quibbles:

  1. Storm rages” doesn’t seem like a very descriptive headline. Does that hed need another word or something? Is “rages” an intransitive verb? Perhaps it is. But this doesn’t read well to me.
  2. Check out the headline on the story stripped across the bottom of the page. Yeah. The editors here had bigger problems than “Storm rages.”

TIMES OF NORTHWEST INDIANA

Munster, Ind.

Circulation: 86,894

The Times also led today with a huge, terrifying shot of Henryville Middle School.

This one is by C.E. Branham of the Associated Press.

I could have done without the secondary picture of Marysville, Ind., residents walking down the street and gawking at damage. Surely there was something better to use here.

COURIER & PRESS

Evansville, Ind.

Circulation: 51,338

Instead of leading today with a wire photo of all the damage downstate, the Evansville paper went with a picture of a funnel cloud hovering over their own city.

The picture was submitted by a reader, Kelley Coures.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Cincinnati, Ohio

Circulation: 140,877

The Cincinnati paper — smack in the middle of all the mess — came up with a great headline and a great lead photo full of emotion.

The picture by staffer Patrick Reddy shows a pajama-clad woman in Northern Kentucky’s Boone County, frantically searching through the rubble of her home for two puppies. The cutline tells us the two puppies were found by a neighbor.

I love the way the crop of that picture puts the emphasis on the woman. But if you zoom out on that crop, we see something very interesting in a plastic tub in front of the woman.

Three puppies.

Which brings up a number of questions:

  • Were there a total of five puppies?
  • Were the two puppies found by the neighbor before this picture was taken?
  • Did cropping in on this photo make writing a quick cutline — without going into great detail — virtually impossible?

You have to admit, seeing the woman with the puppies there in front of her changes your entire impression of the picture. Instead of a distraught animal lover fearing the worst, she looks like she’s overcome with gratitude and relief.

So while I like the front very much, I’m a bit troubled by how the crop might — or might not — have messed around with the original picture.

For what it’s worth, the headline on this page has similar — but not quite as dire — a problem with kerning as did the Louisville page.

HUNTSVILLE TIMES

Huntsville, Ala.

Circulation: 44,462

Our eighth and final page today is one that did not appear in the Newseum today. It’s the Huntsville Times, a paper where staffers certainly got a lot of practice last year with tornado front pages.

The lead picture by staffer Dave Dieter — as well as the secondary shot by staffer Eric Schultz — shows folks picking through their damaged homes. Note the mobile home in the background of the lead picture, untouched by the tornado.

Particularly hard-hit in the Huntsville area was the little town of Harvest. As Steve Doyle and Paul Gattis report in that story down the right side of today’s front:

James and Judy Hodges were finally putting the drama of last April’s tornadoes behind them.

The $65,000 remodeling job on their home at the corner of Old Railroad Bed and Yarbrough roads turned out great. On Thursday, Judy Hodges wrote a check to begin paying off the couple’s brand new Ford Ranger, a 2011 tornado replacement as well.

“The check was in the mailbox,” she said. “But the mailbox ended up coming through the window.”

A missing mailbox is the least of the Hodges’ troubles after their house took what appeared to be a direct tornado hit Friday morning.

Read the story here.

With the exception of the Huntsville front — which came from that paper — the rest are all from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at today’s notable Super Bowl pages

There was way too much similarity in choices of front-page Super Bowl art around the country. The best photo choices were made today by some of the nation’s largest papers.

Here’s a look at some of the more notable pages of the day…

________________________________

REPRESENTING THE NEW YORK GIANTS

NEWSDAY

Melville, N.Y.

Circulation: 404,542

Newsday today wrapped its usual tabloid edition in a sideways page that unfolds into a huge poster of Giants quarterback Eli Manning holding the Lombardi trophy.

That was a Reuters picture.

AM NEW YORK

New York, N.Y.

Distribution: 345,053

Newsday‘s free sister tabloid, AM New York, did the same thing but with a Getty picture.

I’m pretty sure that is by Getty’s Rob Carr.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 605,677

The Daily News today also built a wraparound cover with Manning and the trophy. Only half of it appeared today at PressDisplay

But here’s what the whole thing looked like, unfolded.

Thanks to the most gracious Diego Sorbara of the New York Times for sending me that picture.

The credit goes to Daily News staffer Ron Antonelli, Diego tells me.

NEW YORK POST

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 512,067

The New York Post led with — Guess what? — a picture of Manning with the trophy.

The picture is by Post staffer Charles Wenzelberg.

METRO NEW YORK

New York, N.Y.

Distribution: 328,296

Metro’s New York edition built its cover around… well, you can see.

The picture is by Rob Carr of Getty Images.

THE RECORD

Hackensack, N.J.

Circulation: 146,523

And you’ll never guess what the Bergen County Record put on page one today.

Go ahead. Guess.

That picture was by staffer Chris Pedota.

By now, my sharp-eyed blog readers might perhaps be noticing a pattern.

   

   

HERALD NEWS

Passaic, N.J.

Circulation: 18,037

The Record‘s sister paper in Passaic, however, breaks the pattern for us today.

Instead of Manning, that’s receiver Victor Cruz, who happens to be a native of nearby Paterson, N.J. The picture is also by Chris Pedota.

ASBURY PARK PRESS

Neptune, N.J.

Circulation: 104,582

The Asbury Park Press used a much looser crop of a Manning trophy shot for lead art today. I’m pretty sure this is the same Getty picture used today by AM New York.

The folks in the Asbury Park Design Studio used that same design on the front of three other papers it handles for Gannett:

   

From left to right:

  • Home News Tribune of East Brunswick, circulation 31,252
  • Daily Record of Parsippany, circulation 20,855
  • Courier News of Bridgewater, circulation 16,261

Kiersten Schmidt of that design studio was kind enough to send along a couple of sports fronts today. Here is Asbury Park’s sports page today, featuring yet another Getty image.

And here is the sports front that ran in the the three smaller papers.

The picture is of Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes hugging coach Tom Coughlin while –as the caption says — they’re “doused with liquid.” I guess they had to phrase it that way because it doesn’t necessarily look like Gatorade.

Both sports fronts were designed by Kiersten and sports team leader Michael Johnson.

REPUBLICAN AMERICAN

Waterbury, Conn.

Circulation: 43,694

Let’s look at two more Giants-oriented front pages. And, what the heck — let’s choose pages that feature pictures of Manning holding up the Super Bowl trophy!

Here is the first of several you’ll find today using Déjà vu as a headline motif.

That trophy-hoisting shot is from the McClatchy News Service.

CONNECTICUT POST

Bridgeport, Conn.

Circulation: 48,661

And the Post of Bridgeport, Conn., decided to pun off of Manning’s name today.

The lead art is yet another shot by Getty’s Rob Carr.

____________________________________

REPRESENTING THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

BOSTON GLOBE

Boston, Mass.

Circulation: 205,939

While the red, white and blue confetti rains down on the New York Giants, the Patriots’ Tom Brady walks dejectedly off the field after his hail-Mary pass attempt with no time left on the clock failed to produce a touchdown.

The picture is by the Globe‘s Jim Davis. Robert Davis — no relation, most likely — designed the front.

Speaking of that hail Mary, just feast your eyes on the lead art of today’s sports section, also shot by Jim Davis.

An amazing shot. And a fabulous headline, as well, alluding to the two times, now, that the Giants have beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

That page was designed by Luke Knox.

Luke also built the right two columns of this game recap page. Graphic artist Dave Butler built the left two-thirds of the page.

BOSTON HERALD

Boston, Mass.

Circulation: 113,798

Unlike the Globe, the Herald focused its front-page attention on a picture of Brady walking dejectedly off the field.

Oh, wait. That’s not unlike the Globe.

The picture here is by Herald staffer Matthew West.

METRO BOSTON

Boston, Mass.

Distribution: 163,000

Metro built its front around a picture of… dare I even say it?

The picture is from Getty.

After all those trophy shots we saw of Manning, this mind-numbing front page sameness is kind of funny, right?

 

No?

Well, hang on. We’re not quite done yet.

SUN CHRONICLE

Attleboro, Mass.

Circulation: 14,245

Moving away from Brady walking off while confetti drops, let’s look at shots of Brady reacting near the end of the game last night.

The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro gives us our third  Déjà vu headline of the day — but, at least, it’s properly punctuated this time.

The photo is from the Associated Press.

CAPE COD TIMES

Hyannis, Mass.

Circulation: 41,282

Cape Cod chose a great picture by Paul Sancya of the Assocated Press of Brady sitting flat on his ass.

It’s not indicated in the caption, but I wonder if this was after that last hail-Mary pass.

STANDARD-TIMES

New Bedford, Mass.

Circulation: 22,814

The paper in New Bedford ran the same picture but cropped in even more tightly.

In fact, I think of these three, Cape Cod came out the best.

   

Unlike some designers, I don’t mind putting type over a picture. But only when there is something to be gained by doing so. In this case, the looser crop and the lack of type adds to the feeling of loneliness you get from these photos.

SUN JOURNAL

Lewiston, Maine

Circulation: 33,900

The Sun Journal of Lewiston, Maine, found a great picture for its page-one art today. Coach Bill Belichick had conferred with Brady, late in the game. Belichick walks back to the sideline while Brady appears to be glancing back over his shoulder at his coach.

The picture is from the Associated Press.

_________________________

BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA

INDIANAPOLIS STAR

Indianapolis, Ind.

Circulation: 171,662

The Star wrapped itself today with a 20-page special section. A picture by staffer Matt Kryger of Eli Manning in a shower of confetti filled the entire front,  which was designed by design director Phil Mahoney.

Scott Goldman – the Star‘s director of digital and visuals — was kind enough to send a few inside pages overnight. Like this one, examining the halftime show by Madonna.

Madonna promised no controversy and no wardrobe malfunctions in her show and that’s pretty much what we go. The one exception: A guest star who flipped off a TV camera. I’m surprised there were folks offended by that. In some states, I’m told, you can’t get a driver’s license unless you know how to use that finger.

The two larger pictures are by staffer Michelle Pemberton. The page was designed by Emily Kuzniar.

And then there was this fascinating sampling of who sat where and how much they paid for their seats. Scott tells us:

The “Seats” page, originally done by our friends at the Detroit Free Press, was a great idea and well done, again by Emily Kuzniar. Lead photo by Charlie Nye.

There are a few surprises tucked into that page. Like two-time Super Bowl champion Jim Plunkett, who dropped $19,200 on 16 primo seats.

Interestingly, Plunkett pulled for the Giants. Before he moved to the 49ers and then the Raiders, he spent five years with the Patriots. There’s an interesting story there, I’ll bet.

Inside that special section was the Star‘s regular front page. Which, yes, prominently featured the dismantling of downtown Indianapolis’ Super Bowl village, even as the game was starting.

The pictures there are by staffers Frank Espich, Joe Vitti and Mike Fender.

JOURNAL & COURIER

Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 26,658

This is perhaps the best front page of the day, in terms of photo choice and headline.

The Getty picture is of punter Steve Weatherford, who set a new Super Bowl record last night by pinning the Patriots inside their own 10 yard line three times. He’d have done it a fourth, but a bad bounce put the ball over the goal line for a touchback.

The page was designed by Karen Taylor, I’m told.

That headline is fabulous. Just fabulous.

_______________________________

GREAT PHOTOS IN THE MAJOR DAILIES

When I worked at the Sporting News, we had an editor who didn’t believe in running trophy shots. His point: We’ve all seen a picture of someone holding up a trophy. That could be anybody, anywhere.

It’s pretty easy to poke holes in that opinion — hell, 80 percent of any sports photos look like cliché shots. There are only so many ways to throw, catch or kick a football, y’know? Plus, the Sporting News was specifically a sports publication. General fans, on occasion, want to see their heroes celebrating with their trophy.

Still, in just the short time I was there, I formed a greater appreciation for action photos.

That all came flooding back to me this morning when I discovered that while I found myself bored with many of today’s A1 photo choices — as you can see by my snarky comments — several of the nation’s largest newspapers led their front pages today with action shots from the game.

And good ones, too!

Case in point: This wonderful picture by Getty’s Rob Carr shows that critical catch by Mario Manningham that put the Giants 38 yards closer to the goal line.

You’ll recall that Belichick challenged the call but it turned out Manningham indeed had possession and indeed got both feet down in bounds. It was perhaps the biggest play of the game.

That was lead art today on the front of the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s that same play — moments later, but from a similar angle — shot by Getty’s Andy Lyons.

That was four-column art today atop page one of the Washington Post.

 

Average daily circulation for the WSJ is 2,096,169. Average daily circulation for the Post is 507,465.

Similarly, a few moments later, Ahmad Bradshaw broke through the line — untouched, as far as I could tell — and ran to the goal line. Perhaps realizing it was just a little to early to score the winning touchdown just yet, he seemed to pause, turn around and squat. At that point, he went ahead and tumbled over backwards for the winning socre.

Here is that play, captured by Win McNamee of Getty Images.

That was lead art for today’s Los Angeles Times.

Here’s an angle from the other side of the field by Barton Silverman of the New York Times.

The NYT, too, ran that across four columns at the top of today’s front page.

 

Average daily circulation for the L.A. Times is 572,998. Average daily circulation for the New York Times is 1,150,589.

It’s not really an action shot, but I love this overall view from above of the playing field at Lucas Oil Stadium as the confetti was dropped immediately after the game.

That picture by Getty’s Andy Lyons was stripped above the nameplate of the Chicago Tribune today.

Average daily circulation of the Tribune is 425,370.

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AND A FUN ONE TO CLOSE WITH

DAILY NEWS

Philadelphia, Pa.

Circulation: 110,000

The Daily News led with a tight crop of this great Paul Sancya shot of Manning.

But just look at that whine:

Why is it never us?

No offense, Eagles fans. But you just have to laugh.

The Newsday wrap, the Boston Globe pages, the Asbury Park Design Studio pages and the Indianapolis Star pages are all from those respective papers. The Daily News front page is from PressDisplay.

The rest are all from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous NFL Super Bowl coverage here in the blog:

  • Sunday, Jan. 23: Conference championship front pages
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24: Indy Star kicks off its Super Bowl coverage with a fun A1 cartoon
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31: Recap of a Poynter chat with Indy Star‘s Scott Goldman
  • Thursday, Feb. 2: A look at several Super Bowl sports fronts by the Boston Globe
  • Thursday, Feb. 2: Inside the Indy Star‘s Thursday Super Bowl special section
  • Thursday, Feb. 2: USA Today‘s cut-out action figures of the Super Bowl quarterbacks
  • Friday, Feb. 3: Cool Super Bowl roster graphics by Martin Gee of the Boston Globe
  • Friday, Feb. 3: The Associated Press needed a copy editor for this interactive Super Bowl history
  • Saturday, Feb. 4: All you need to know about the game is here, in this wacky Next Media Animation from Hong Kong
  • Saturday, Feb. 4: Save yourself some time Sunday. The Giants say they’ve already won.
  • Sunday, Feb. 5: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican can’t quite figure out the Roman numerals of today’s game
  • Sunday, Feb. 5: Today is a lousy day if you’re a Packers fan. Perhaps this wonderful poster of MVP Aaron Rodgers will warm you up.
  • Sunday, Feb. 5: A look at the day’s notable Super Bowl preview pages
  • Sunday, Feb. 5: An inside view of the Super Bowl from the Indy Star‘s Scott Goldman.

An inside view of today’s Super Bowl from the Indianapolis Star

Scott Goldman — director of digital and visuals at the Indianapolis Star — is on duty at the Super Bowl today. And he’s tweeting like mad.

Around 3 p.m. EST, he tweeted:

An hour later, he had found the Star‘s seats. He tweeted:

Here is the view from those seats:

Scott refers to Star sportswriter Phillip Wilson, who’s livechatting from the game via CoverItLive. Find that here.

Phil’s opinion of the seats differs just a tad from Scott’s. He writes:

Heh…

Meanwhile, down in the bowels of Lucas Oil Stadium, the teams are getting ready…

…and spaces have been prepared for the victors.

The Star‘s picture-editing crew is ready for the game to begin. Scott tweets:

[Here is] where the @indystarvisuals team will edit photos tonight for Super Bowl XLVI.

And that’s just a start. The game itself is about an hour away.

My favorite has been the Star‘s SuperBuzz blog. Find that here.

Find a directory of all the Star‘s Super Bowl coverage here.

Inside the special Super Bowl section wrapped around today’s Indianapolis Star

Earlier today, we took a look at great Super Bowl advance pages from Luke Knox of the Boston Globe.

Now it’s time to check out a bit of the 24-page special section wrapping today’s Indianapolis Star.

Director of digital and visuals Scott Goldman tells us:

Design director Phil Mahoney gets the kudos for the cover design and most of the inside pages as well. Today was the visitor’s guide to Indy, as we welcome the Giants and Patriots fans to our town.

While a cartoon-driven front-page presentation last week told locals what to expect from their guests from New York and New England, this section focused on bringing the game crowd up-to-date on Indianapolis and the Midwest.

Page one contains brief promo snippets and a look at the things that make Indiana.. you know, Indiana.

Click any of these pages for a larger look.

Here is page four, with tips on what to do while in town.

Page 11 keeps readers up to date on the latest buzz making the rounds of the Super Bowl crowd.

This ties in with the Star‘s Super Buzz blog. Find that here.

Scott tells us:

Former Star graphic artist Arnel Reynon drew the special map presentation [on page 13].

I don’t mean to rub in the terrible season the Colts had this year, but that ad at the bottom of the page just cracks me up.

Page 17 looks at some of the changes Indianapolis made for the benefit of Super Bowl guests.

This is the first of several special section wraps the Star will be running over the next several days. And, because they’re wraps — the “offical” page A1 is inside — you probably won’t see even the front of these sections in the Newseum.

Scott promises to send more as the week goes on.

In the meantime, check out some of the Star‘s online coverage. Scott writes:

I love these 360-degree panoramas from Lucas Oil Stadium, the Super Bowl Village and the NFL Experience.

Mike Heinz from the Lafayette Journal and Courier shot these and Adam Yates, from our digital team, produced them for the site.

Currently, there are seven of these posted. Find them here.

I’ve been enjoying the aforementioned Super Buzz blog. Find that here.

Find all the Star‘s Super Bowl coverage here.

As we noted in the Poynter chat on Tuesday, the Star is all over social media with its Super Bowl coverage. Find the IndyStar Twitter feed here and the IndyStar‘s Visuals Twitter feed here.

All of the Star‘s Super Bowl Twitter traffic is going out with the hashtag #SuperIndy

Average daily circulation for the Indianapolis Star is 171,662.

Find my earlier post here about the Boston Globe sports fronts.

A recap of the Poynter chat today with Scott Goldman

The live chat I hosted this afternoon at Poytner.orgwith guest Scott Goldman, director of digital and visuals at the Indianapolis Star — went over pretty well.

I was worried that we might not get enough great questions. I needn’t have worried. The crowd had fabulous questions. And Scott provided terrific answers.

Poynter has asked me to contribute to its site more regularly. Either via articles — such as the couple I wrote the week of the Iowa Caucus (one and two) — or with live chats like we had today.

So here’s my question for you: What topics would you like to see covered? What guests would you like us to bring in? Let me know in either the comments of this post or via email:

chuckapple [at] cox.net

Back to today’s chat: Scott talked about what the Indy Star is doing to attract more readers via social media channels and what they’re doing, specifically, with the Super Bowl in town this week. We also touched upon ethics in a new media world and how cool it is to have a talented editorial cartoonist contribute his time for page one illustrations.

Oh, and we found out that Scott — who’s originally from the western suburbs of Boston — thinks the Patriots might win Sunday. How about that?

It was a great conversation. Replay it here:

Don’t forget today’s live chat with Scott Goldman of the Indy Star

A fun cartoon illustration on the front of today’s Indianapolis Star illustrates the hoopla around town in advance for this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

The cartoon was lead art on page one today…

…and was drawn by editorial cartoonist Gary Varvel

 

…who is the same guy who drew a large cartoon for A1 last Tuesday, as well.

What other cool things might the Indy Star — one of the more sports-saavy newspapers in an extremely sports-crazy town — be cooking up for this week?

Perhaps we’ll get a clue this afternoon when the Star‘s director of digital and visuals, Scott Goldman, joins me at Poynter for a live chat.

That’s at…

3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

2 p.m. Central Standard Time

1 p.m. Mountain Standard Time

Noon Pacific Standard Time

…or about 75 minutes from now. Come prepared with great questions. You’ll find us here.

A 1990 graduate of Syracuse University, Scott spent two years as the Sunday sports editor for the Post-Star of Glens Falls, N.Y., before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1994. He moved to the Washington Post in 1999 and then to the Indianapolis Starin 2004. He served as president of the Society for News Design in 2006.

Find Scott’s Twitter feed here.