R.I.P. Seth Hamblin of the Wall Street Journal

Seth Hamblin — deputy global head of visuals at the Wall Street Journal — passed away suddenly Sunday morning. He was 46.

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The Journal‘s Jennifer Smith reports that Seth…

…collapsed while running a 5K race in Morristown, N.J., his wife, Tanya Prescott, said Monday. The race was a first for both of them, she said. He took off ahead, and collapsed near the finish line after having a heart attack, Ms. Prescott said.

A 1991 graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, Seth spent a year as a features writer for Cairo Today in Egypt and another year as an editor, reporter and designer for Aruba Today before moving to Microsoft Network News in Redmond, Wash. He joined the Washington Post in 1995 as a copy editor and contributing writer. He moved up to national graphics editor in 2000. He also earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 2005.

In 2007, Seth moved to the Journal, where he served as news editor, managing an 18-person data visualization team. He spent a year teaching at Missouri as an adjunct and was then promoted to graphics chief, as which he managed 35 producers, developers, artists and visual reporters.  He was promoted to deputy global visual editor in 2013, supervising more than 100 web developers, visual reporters, designers and photo editors working across all platforms.

Seth also wrote a blog in which he offered research and presentations hints to visual journalists. There are some really great tips there. It’d make a really great book or something.

Find Seth’s Twitter feed here.

Journal managing editor Gerard Baker wrote in an announcement to his staff Monday:

Seth’s tireless optimism, boundless energy (even when encumbered with velcro shoes) and wide grin were an uplifting feature of our newsroom life. For me personally, one of the highlights of my day was to watch and listen as Seth, with evident and slightly mischievous delight, ran through the most promising visual opportunities for our digital and print offerings at the 9.30 morning news meeting.

His death leaves a great hole in our newsroom and an empty space in the hearts of all who had the pleasure to work with him.

Seth’s WSJ colleague Sarah Slobin tells us:

Seth was a break-a-the-mold kinda guy. He was a former D.J., a gardener, a photographer and a gun enthusiast. There are not many people who you can discuss planting cycles and the bullets with in the same sentence.

He was also a newsman, in the romantic good-story chasing kind of way. And he loved a good diagram and he loved good illustration.

Once when I came back to work from being sick — I had a sinus infection — Seth sent me the diagram he did at the Washington Post of the surgery he had to fix his own sinus problem. It was good and frightening in that TMI kind of way, which was Seth, all over.

I reported to Seth, part of a team of visual editors. His note to us Friday was typical Seth:

I had fun in London, but it will be good to see you all again on Monday. I am no longer walking with a cane and may have a tan from many garden strolls.

We’re still expecting him.

(The cane was unrelated to his passing, he pulled his back at the gym trying to keep up with his father.)

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

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

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A press release from the school reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to throw a fastball

Last year’s burning question at the start of baseball season: How do they get that little criss-cross pattern in the outfield grass? The Washington Post provided the answer.

This year, the burning question is about trend in baseball is fastball pitching. It’s on the rise, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In 2003, there were only three pitchers who threw at least 700 pitches 95 mph or better. In 2012 there were 17. There were 20 pitchers a decade ago who threw at least 25% of their fastballs 96 mph or faster. Last year there were 62.

Not only did the WSJ report this last week, it also showed the techniques used by today’s pitchers to “bring the heat.”

Click for a larger, readable view:

130404BaseballFastball

The text at the left is credited to Mike Sudal. I’m not finding a separate credit for the little infographics or the gorgeous lead illustration.

Find the online version here and the story here. There’s also a slideshow featuring some of these pitchers.

Average daily circulation for the Wall Street Journal is 2,118,315.

Oh, no, New York Post. Really? You went there?

The only paper I can find in the Newseum today playing up the somewhat arbitrary — and frowned upon by most reputable meteorologists — name for this week’s winter storm bestowed upon it by the Weather Channel was the New York Post.

130209SnowNewYorkPost

Nemo bites. But not as much as the name Nemo does in the first place.

Boo, hiss, Post. Shame on you.

In a related issue, see that woman struggling with her umbrella? That was shot yesterday in Boston by Brian Snyder of Reuters. Snyder scored a triple word score with that picture today making the front of not only the Post but also the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

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If you add up the average daily circulation of all three papers, Snyder scored more than 4.25 million readers for his photo. In theory.

UPDATE – 8 p.m.

Add the Washington Post to that, please.

130209SnowWashingtonPost

That makes more than 4.76 million readers.

All three four of these page images are from the Newseum. Of course.

Read yesterday’s blog post here about the winter storm in the Northeast.

The problem with a color-coded map on a black-and-white page

…is that you don’t get the colors. As the folks at the Wall Street Journal found today.

Ivan Lajara, the social engagement editor for Digital First Media’s Daily Freeman in Kingston, N.Y., puzzled over that one today.

My theory was that it was an illustration for that story you see on the “divided nation.” It is, after all, an opinion page. Perhaps it’s meant to be ironic or something.

However, John W. Tomac of Brooklyn and Jim Romensko in Chicago both confirm the map ran in color in their editions.

And I’m told it appears in color with the online version of the story, although that’s safely tucked behind a paywall away from my prying eyes.

Ivan referred to the map as “50 States of Gray.” In fact, just two shades would have fixed it. I’d typically use 25 percent to represent red and 50 to represent blue. Letting a page design program automatically flatten the colors often results in something the other way around: Red turns nearly black.

“50 States of Gray” also works as a reference to the novel. Because this is light torture for the graphics department, I’d guess.

WSJ graphic shows how an airline makes — or doesn’t make — its profit

Every time I climb aboard an airplane and squeeze myself into a seat designed for someone three inches shorter and 100 lbs lighter, I wonder: Just how much money does an airline make by treating me like a head of cattle?

The answer: Not much. According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, US Airways typically makes a profit off of one out of every 100 customers. Fares from the other 99 passengers is eaten up by fuel, salaries, government fees and maintenance costs.

Here’s the graphic included with today’s story. Click for a larger view:

I’ve never seen this data laid out before. Kudos to WSJ columnist Scott McCartney.

I still don’t care for those damned baggage fees, however.

Find the story here.

Clever headline alert: Wall Street Journal

Ashley Kritzer of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Business Journal tweets:

The headline over which she’s swooning this morning is inside toay’s Wall Street Journal:

The reference is to James Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase, which reportedly lost $2 billion in questionable trading, under the noses of regulators. His explanation that no, the bank is not taking bad risks are a bit of a reach.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Find today’s Heard on the Street column by the WSJ‘s David Reilly here.

Wall Street Journal illustration is ‘lively and original and different’

Cathy Clabby — a friend from my old Raleigh News & Observer days and now a senior editor for American Scientist magazine in Research Triangle Park, N.C. — writes:

I thought of you this morning when I saw an incredibly charming and inviting and clever illustration in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

I don’t know if you share good work in that realm on your wonderful blog, but I thought I’d pass it alone. It’s work by Jason Schneider that accompanied a piece on “why hiding money from your spouse has gotten a lot harder.”

It’s so lively and original and different that I had no choice: I had to read the story. Nice to see something that compelling in an “old media” outlet…

Indeed I do, Cathy. And I depend on suggestions like this one to help me find great work.

I don’t have yesterday’s WSJ handy, but I presume the illustration that’s currently posted with the story actually ran with it in print Monday.

You can see what caught Cathy’s eye: The amusing concept. The clean, almost comic-book lines. And, yes, even the deliberately muted color palette.

Jason, in fact, contributed a number of smaller spot illustrations to run with the story. Click on any of these for a larger look.

   

Plus, there is a by-the-numbers box with the story as well. The page designer wisely chose to use the same colors on this.

Jason was born and raised in Toronto and, evidently, lives there still. In addition to the Journal, he’s illustrated for Reader’s Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, the Atlantic, Fortune, Time, the New York Times and Fast Company.

Wow. Talk about your fast company.

A few samples of his work:

 

 

 

Find more on Jason’s web site.

Find the original WSJ story here.

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.

_________________________

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.

Death and carnage — including children — on page one

While most U.S. newspapers put file art of Pearl Harbor, Christmas scenes or local photos on page one today, four of the nation’s eight largest newspapers made a very tough call to show the aftermath of a terrorists attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Three of the four papers used pictures taken by the same photographer, in fact: Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse. His work was distributed in the U.S. by Getty Images.

These pictures are alarming, so my apologies. But this should be the talking point of the day for visual journalists everywhere.

Tuesday was Ashura — a day of mourning for some Muslims, observing the martyrdom of the grandson of Muhammad. Suicide bombers attacked obvervances in Kabul, however. Between the two attacks, about 60 were killed and 150 wounded.

Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times led today with this horrific photo of the immediate aftermath. Click for a larger view.

You can see dead and injured as they lay on the ground. A figure in the upper right appears to be drenched in blood, surrounded by other victims tending to him or her. A small child in the lower right — wearing the yellow outfit — appears to be dead.

What appears to be mothers or, perhaps, teenaged girls, serve as the center subjects. One sits crying among the victims. The other stands screaming in horror and in helplessness.

Granted, most of us would never dream of playing such a bloody, gruesome scene large on page one. The phones would ring off the hook.

But this was the news of the day for papers that can still give major real estate to international news on page one. And, as journalists, it’s important to show readers what happened.

The New York Times played the picture across four columns today. The story appears down the right column.

UPDATE – 6:30 p.m.

The New York Times‘ Lens photo blog has posted a detailed piece about Massoud’s photos today, including his memories of yesterday. He was injured himself in the blast. Read it all here.

In addition, the Washington Post‘s Elizabeth Flock spoke with visuals editors at her paper, the NYT and the WSJ about running the pictures out front. Find that here.

The Los Angeles Times used the same picture today and at about the same size, but cropping in on the foreground. This gives the screaming woman just a little more impact on the page. All we lose, really, are the two victims laying on their backs at the upper left.

The LAT also packaged the picture with a story and headline that puts the attack into perspective — the “security gains” might not look so damned secure now.

The Washington Post played up a picture by that same photographer and also at four columns today. You’ll notice right away the standing woman isn’t screaming here; she appears to be resigned to witnessing the carnage.

The sitting woman shows quite a bit more emotion here, however.

The significant thing about this picture, however, is the apparently dead child wearing yellow. His head doesn’t appear in this frame. In fact, had we not seen the picture above, we might not even know that’s a dead child at the lower right.

Despite the photo’s slightly softer tone, the Post still played it huge across the top of today’s front page.

The only other paper running pictures of this incident on page one today was the Wall Street Journal, which used work by freelancer Joel van Houdt.

Van Houdt’s picture doesn’t include the pile of bodies at the standing woman’s feet, nor does it show the apparently dead child in yellow. However, a woman in the background — who is kneeling behind the standing woman in the other pictures — is standing in this frame, revealing she’s drenched in blood herself. It’s fair to say the editors probably weren’t trying to soften the gore shown in the picture.

The Journal, too, played the picture across four columns and above the fold.

The impact of the gruesome picture is lessened quite a bit by the garish skyboxes across the top of the page.

Average daily circulation of these four papers:

  • New York Times: 1,150,589
  • Los Angeles Times: 572,568
  • Washington Post: 507,465
  • Wall Street Journal: 2,096,169

These front page images are all from the Newseum. Of course.

How newspapers presented the death of Steve Jobs

A Facebook friend wrote this morning:

I will be very interested to see your feedback on the Jobs A1s. Some papers have a very good reason to give the obit huge treatment, but I am concerned that designers and news types tend to be such fans that they will lose sight of what their audiences want/need.

I hear you. There has been a lot of criticism over the past few years about what fanboys we in the newspaper business have become of Steve Jobs and Apple computer. And I must admit, I’m one of the biggest.

But I submit to you that Apple really has changed the world with its work. They might not have created the first graphic interface, but they’re the first ones who brought it to the marketplace and perfected it. Now, nearly all computers use “point and click.”

Their Apple Operating System beats hell out of all others. Their laptops are the first choice for creative people who want to work, as opposed to those who enjoy tinkering with computers.

And surely no one is going to argue that iPods and iTunes and iPhones and, now, iPads have not changed the way the world uses music, video and portable computers.

No, I’m convinced that newspapers are justified in playing up the death of Steve Jobs at age 56 on today’s front pages. He’s the closest thing this generation will ever have to Thomas Edison or Henry Ford or Robert Fulton.

And with that… let’s look at today’s pages.

————————————

BAY AREA NEWSPAPERS

We’ll start out with pages in and around Cupertino, Calif., where Apple was born and where Jobs died Wednesday.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

San Francisco, Calif.

Circulation: 235,350

The Chronicle led page one today with a classic 1985 file shot — by staffer Steve Ringman — of Jobs, not long after he was forced out of his own company.

My old friend Todd Trumbull writes:

You asked for pages, so I’m sending you ours (this in spite of your recent comment that the Merc is really Steve Jobs’ hometown paper — a claim we would dispute, of course, but it’s your blog, so have it your way!).

Front page cleared, obviously, for Jobs coverage except for a breaking news story which couldn’t be pushed inside (workplace shooting in which three people died). We did get some ads shifted around and an additional two pages added to the A section once we heard the Jobs news.

These pages were designed by assistant managing editor for presentation Frank Mina and A1 designer Reid Sams.

UPDATE – 4 p.m.

Frank Mina tells us:

At the start of the day, we had a spadea ad covering half our front page. When we received confirmation that Jobs had indeed passed, my managing editor, Steve Proctor, went to our advertising head, Mark Adkins, and asked if we could move the spadea to another section of the paper.

This is the kind of request the newsroom does not take lightly given the economic state of newspapers. We know we need as much advertising as we can get to survive, but we must remember our readers in this equation. To his credit, Mark Adkins understood the importance of the story to our readers and moved the spadea to another section.

I feel fortunate to work under leadership that understands the value of news and its importance to our readers.

Todd says:

The four open inside pages contain the obituary, with sidebars on Apple’s future, community reaction, plus our tech columnist on what it all means. I put together the timeline that runs across the top of the inside pages.

Here is page 12, including the start of the four-page timeline…

…page 13, with lots of jump and a sidebar about the new Apple CEO…

…page 14, with even more jump…

…and page 15, with a reaction story and the final segment of Todd’s timeline.

Click any of those for an extra-large view.

The picture of the iPad tribute on page 15 is by staffer Lea Suzuki.

Find the lead story in today’s Chronicle here.

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

San Jose, Calif.

Circulation: About 225,175

You saw Todd’s bemused reaction about my reference last night to Jobs’ hometown paper. That, of course, was the San Jose Mercury News. Of all days for the Merc to be tied up on major breaking news.

I asked design director Tiffany Pease if she had any inside pages to share. She replies:

I think our front page was the most noteworthy of our coverage today.

As you saw, we had a second huge news story to contend with yesterday –   a suspect loose in a deadly shooting Wednesday morning. So we aimed to create the right feel for the Jobs obit while still doing right by the news. Any other day Jobs would have been the whole front page for us.

Find the Merc‘s online coverage here.

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

San Francisco, Calif.

Free distribution: About 200,000

The Examiner today built page one into a twist off the old Apple “Think differently” advertisement.

Those ads are so old, though, I wonder if anyone still remembers them. Also, I wonder if the old 1980s-style Apple logo stands out too much in a black-and-white environment like that. Perhaps a more modern, more low-key white Apple logo might have worked better here.

Note the use of Garamond, however. Just like the old Apple ads.

Does anyone find it a strange coincidence that all three Bay-area papers went monochrome with their Steve Jobs art today?

   

Not bad, by any means. But certainly an odd coincidence.

———————————————–

BEST FRONT PAGES OF THE DAY

My favorite front page of the day, however, is from a very small paper…

LEDGER INDEPENDENT

Maysville, Ky.

Circulation: 8,174

Ian Lawson, design editor of the Ledger Independent writes:

Another night of scrapping our original ideas and leading with the breaking news of Mr. Jobs’ death. Sad news all around, as I am surrounded by my Mac and all of my iDevices.

Please include with your roundup if deemed worthy, and any critiques you have would be appreciated.

Click for a much larger look.

The nice file shot of Jobs — once again, turned black-and-white for effect. Perfectly framed in front of the Apple logo. A wonderful headline. A very nice use of blank space.

Note how Ian took down the size of his nameplate to make the package pop just a little bit more.

Not only do I deem the page worthy of showing here, I also deem this the best page of the day.

TAMPA TRIBUNE

Tampa, Fla.

Circulation: 164,568

A number of papers chose to run sequence shots of Jobs over the years. Some of these may be with the intent of showing his declining apparent health.

The Tampa paper cropped three file photos into verticals that a) serve as a single focal point, and b) illustrate three key moments in the history of Steve Jobs and Apple computer.

All three pictures are file shots from the AP. And the package is topped off with a great headline. Yes, that sums up Jobs and his approach to nearly everything Apple did.

VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 152,198

Here in Virginia Beach, it was great to wake up this morning and find this atop my former paper, the Virginian-Pilot.

Immaculate typography. And with all the black-and-white shots we’re seeing today, it was nice to see the Stevemeister in color for a change.

The picture is by Justin Sullivan of Getty.

TENNESSEAN

Nashville, Tenn.

Circulation: 128,400

I love odd, dramatic crops. This was perhaps the most unusual vertical crop of the day.

I’m a little surprised the story jumps where it does, however. I think I might have put another seven or eight lines of story in there before I jumped.

SEATTLE TIMES

Seattle, Wash.

Circulation: 253,742

A number of papers built their front pages around this 2007 picture by Paul Sakuma of the Associated Press. But none did it better than the Seattle Times.

Because we see Jobs’ back in the main art, the designer added a small vignette shot in the upper right to show his face.

Laura Gordon sent this PDF and told us:

Last night’s A1 designer was Bob Warcup and the picture editor was Angela Gottschalk.

———————————————

THE SILHOUETTE LOGO PICTURE

A few papers made great use of that striking silhouetted photo by Justin Sillivan of Getty of Jobs against the Apple logo, taken in 2004

PRESS DEMOCRAT

Santa Rosa, Calif.

Circulation: 59,542

The Santa Rosa paper — not far from Cupertino — ran the Getty silhouette shot large. Just like Seattle, though, the folks in Santa Rosa realized you can’t see Job’s face in the main art. So they ran the same small photo up top.

REDEYE

Chicago, Ill.

Free distribution: About 200,000

And RedEye — the Chicago Tribune‘s commuter tab — simply ran the silhouette picture as a full page shot.

Perhaps that’s really the best page of the day. You tell me.

THE APPLE HOME PAGE

And the Associated Press last night picked up the tribute to Jobs posted by the Apple computer web site. A few papers led with that.

HOUSTON CHRONICLE

Houston, Texas

Circulation: 364,724

The Houston Chronicle gave it a huge run this morning…

INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN

Ontario, Calif.

Circulation: 60,096

THE SUN

San Bernadino, Calif.

Circulation:57,053

…as did these sister papers in Southern California.

 

————————

ILLUSTRATION

Only one paper I could find led with an illustration today.

BISMARCK TRIBUNE

Bismarck, N.D.

Circulation: 25,313

We saw a lot of these on Facebook last night. Heck, I even drew one myself and distributed it to my friends. But only Jennifer Weisgerber of the Bismarck, N.D., paper put on in print on page one today.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGIAN

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colo.

While I’m on the topic, however, check out the front of today’s student daily at Colorado State. You see the Steve Jobs story stripped across the bottom. But do you see the “Strip Club” rail down the right side of the page?

Leading the Strip Club feature today is the little icon I built last night and gave out to anyone who wanted it.

Yes, design editor Greg Mees wrote and asked my permission to use it. I was happy to send him an EPS version.

Glad I could be of service.

Read my recent piece about the Colorado State paper here.

———————————–

PAGES YOU SUBMITTED

In last night’s blog post, I asked you to submit your own Steve Jobs pages. A few of you did.

DAILY JOURNAL

San Mateo, Calif.

Circulation: 14,800

Artist-turned-Julio Lara tells us:

Credit here goes to Erik Oeverndiek, our page designer. I’ll take partial credit for suggesting we stick it in front of our flag.

Space-wise, we had to go simple …. plus, there was another pretty gripping story, out of Cupertino too, that needed prominence somehow. It would’ve been our top story, but news of Jobs dying broke, well, that’s front page news in any newspaper.

Thanks to Julio for sending a high-rez PDF.

BEAUFORT GAZETTE

Beaufort, S.C.

Circulation: 10,439

ISLAND PACKET

Hilton Head, S.C.

Circulation: 19,512

Our friends in the lowcountry of South Carolina sent along their Steve Jobs tributes. The Beaufort paper was designed by Andy Carpenter

…while the Hilton Head front was designed by Jennifer Alliet.

Thanks to Andy for sending those.

FLORIDA TODAY

Melbourne, Fla.

Circulation: 67,970

And Bill Wachsberger of the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville writes:

This is a very different Page One for Florida Today. I was the designer with help from fellow designer Chris Bistline, design leader Krista Volenski, creative director Javier Torres and operations manager Steve Kramer and the universal wire desk along with the editors in Melbourne – John Kelly and Eric Garwood.

We pushed the ‘Purple Heart’ centerpiece and local news story downpage and shrank the news rail to strip the Jobs obit. We blew up the image of Jobs with an all-cap Franklin Gothic head to signify the importance of Jobs’ passing and how he changed the way we live.

We didn’t start brainstorming/designing til after 8 ET and finished designing by 11:15 ET (the paper’s off-the-floor deadline) We didn’t get off until 11:45 pm ET. It was a team effort, from Nashville to Brevard and back.

This is what teamwork is all about.

Thanks to Bill for sharing.

The Nashville studio redesigned Florida Today just last week. Read about that here.

————————————————————-

SOME OF THE NATION’S LARGEST PAPERS

And, of course, Jobs’ passing was major news for most of the nation’s largest newspapers.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Chicago, Ill.

Circulation: 437,205

The Getty portrait by David Paul Morris chosen by the Tribune today looked almost like some sort of Renaissance-era religious painting.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Los Angeles, Calif.

Circulation: 605,243

The L.A. Times‘ choice of a Getty image by Justin Sullivan wasn’t spectacular. But the space the Times gave it on page one today was.

USA TODAY

McLean, Va.

Circulation: 1,829,099

USA Today chose a much more recent picture by Paul Sakuma of the Associated Press that shows just how sickly and gaunt Jobs was in his latter days.

NEW YORK POST

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 522,874

The Getty picture on the front of today’s Post, however, makes Jobs look a lot brighter. Healthier.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 2,117,796

And oh, how Wall Street loved Steve Jobs. This huge treatment across the top today by the Journal would be shocking… for anyone else. But not the master of Apple computer.

—————————————-

AND ONE TO CLOSE WITH…

STAR NEWS

Wilmington, N.C.

Circulation: 40,596

Can anyone tell me why that girl is kicking Steve Jobs in the back?

Oof!

Steve would have liked that one.

Except where noted, these pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

Julie Moos of Poynter collected a number of front pages from newspapers, magazines and web site. Find those here.

The Society for Professional Designers compiled the top ten greatest Steve Jobs magazine covers of all time — Eleven, actually, with the recent bonus Newsweek cover. Find those here.

Go here to find my Wednesday evening blog post about Steve Jobs.

For your consideration…

A frequent blog correspondent — who shall remain nameless today — points out the somewhat odd-looking lead photo on today’s Wall Street Journal and writes:

Overheard in my newsroom:

So…are they standing at the urinal or something?

The picture is by D.C.-area freelancer Kristoffer Tripplaar, who was part of the White House pool on Sunday. Find his blog here.

The Journal used the photo huge above the fold today.

Also amusing about today’s WSJ front: There’s a cute little downpage story about how marketing geniuses today avoid use of articles like the word “the.” For example, it’s not “the Kindle” or “the Nook,” it’s “Kindle” or “Nook.”

How did the Journal illustrate the story? With a “headcut” drawing of the word “the.”

Don’t call it stipple, however. Today’s example is more crosshatching than stipple.

The story by  Geoffrey A. Fowler and Yukari Iwatani Kane, in fact, is a good one. One quick sample:

Mignon Fogarty, who writes under the pen name Grammar Girl, has given up being outraged by marketing grammar, including missing articles.

It’s hard, she says, to make the case that bad grammar is wrong when someone like Mr. [Steve] Jobs announces that the new iPod is the “funnest” ever, she says. “How can you tell your kids, you won’t get anywhere in life if you use that language?”

Find the, uh, article article here. Find Grammar Girl‘s Twitter feed here.

I’ve written quite a bit over the years about the Journal‘s trademark “headcuts.” Find a bunch of links at the bottom of this post.

That page image is from the Newseum. Of course.

How newspapers played the stock market free-fall on page one

The story of the day, of course, was that disastrous day for Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 500 points Thursday. It has lost more than 10 percent of its total value over the past 10 days.

Thursday was the single worst day for the stock market since… well, since 2008. Which doesn’t sound all that bad, once you think about it. The Dow lost everything it’s gained since December.

Many, many U.S. papers put large fever charts on page one today. Looking at some of them, you’d think Thursday was the end of the world.

Sure enough, that looks like one hell of a drop over the past two weeks. That’s the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., circulation 134,562.

Ditto on the front of today’s 142,283-circulation World-Herald of Omaha, Neb.

And the deck heds there give great perspective: Thursday’s drop, it was feared, might be a session that whatever economic recovery we’ve enjoyed this year was wiped out in panic selling over dissatisfaction with the debt ceiling deal.

The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News told that same story today with a fever chart much more detailed than those last two and a centerpiece grouping of smaller graphics, showing mixed signals: Are we headed for another recession or not?

Average daily circulation for the Mercury News is about 225,175.

But no one ran a more detailed fever chart — or one that suggested a bigger crash on Thursday — than did the Washington Post.

The graph, photo, three stories and one column took up three-quarters of page one today. Here’s a closer look at the huge fever graph.

The black area shown at bottom right was Thursday’s loss. A fine job by the uncredited WaPo artist.

Average daily circulation for the Post is 550,821.

But then you look at other fever charts on the front of other newspapers today and the crash just doesn’t seem nearly as bad. Take, for instance, the Dallas Morning News.

The headline clearly states this was the biggest selloff in three years. There are even two experts on page one, offering up advice on how to deal with the devastating losses.

But unlike the Washington Post — which charted data back to June 18 — this chart goes back three entire years. So as bad as Thursday was, you can see that the Dow was much, much lower in 2008, 2009 and much of 2010.

Morning News staffer Kyle Alcott did a wonderful job with that chart. Click on it so you can read all the little pullout boxes that put the various peaks and valleys into perspective.

Average daily circulation for the Morning News is 404,951.

Similarly, check out how the 224,761-circulation Union-Tribune of San Diego, Calif., played its own chart today.

First of all, that’s a terrific facepalm shot by Jin Lee of the Associated Press. I saw that today on a lot of front pages.

Second of all, it was nice to see a fever chart not in red. I try to stay away from using red in financial graphics, simply because of the connotation of “red ink.” The Dow did lose a lot of money Thursday. But again, the chart — by Union-Tribune staffer Beto Alvarez — suggests that the fall really isn’t that bad. When taken in context.

Beto’s data goes back to last August. And you have to admit: Going back just one year flattens the chart considerably.

John Duchneskie and Mike Placentra of the Philadelphia Inquirer also produced a super-detailed chart for today’s front page. They also chose to stay away from the obligatory red color.

And they, too, went all the way back to January. Which flattened the chart. I love the “Climate of Fear” headline, which went the extra step to explain the circumstances in which Thursday’s selloff took place.

Average daily circulation for the Philadelphia Inquirer is 343,710.

And while the Inky gave the readers of Philadelphia a detailed graph putting Thursday’s crash into perspective, the Daily News contributed to the coverage by doing what?

Right. Well, that’s “loud, irreverent and fun” for you.

Average daily circulation for the Daily News is 110,000.

A number of papers featured large, wonderfully-drawn, handsomely-detailed fever charts today, each of which went back far enough that the data flattened out considerably.

   

From left to right…

  • Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Mo. Circulation: 196,232. Chart goes back to: August 2010.

  • Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. Circulation: 193,549. Chart goes back to: October 2007.

  • Miami Herald, Miami, Fla., Circulation: 173,555. Chart goes back to: May 2011.

Now where would you expect to see a really fine chart showing the performance of the Dow Jones Industrials yesterday?

Right. The Wall Street Journal. Which ran a four-column chart across the top of the page showing the Dow throughout the day yesterday, starting at 9:30 a.m.

But while there’s some interesting data here, I find my eye distracted by a) The garish colors used for the pullout boxes…

…and b) By the funky font chosen for the headline.

Geez. What’s the matter? Could they not find Comic Sans in their menu?

I don’t quite understand what’s happening, design-wise, with the Journal these days. They have some wonderfully talented people up there. But from an art direction standpoint, they’re all over the map. Mining your computer for obscure decorative advertising fonts and “decorating” a chart with primary colors, seemingly chose at random, are what we’d normally consider “rookie” errors.

Ah, well. It could be worse for the Wall Street Journal, I suppose.

Average daily circulation for the Journal is 2.1 million

A number of papers today chose to not even try to accurately represent Thursday’s freefall in chart form. Rather, they went with a more illustrative approach.

Our first example: The Times of Huntsville, Ala., circulation 47,366.

The big orange arrow weaves in-and-out around the Times‘ nameplate and then drops down the right side of the page. Very cool. But only because it’s clear this arrow doesn’t represent any actual data.

Compare that to the front of today’s Journal & Courier of Lafayette, Ind., circulation 27,140. The chart appears to be live, with labels showing actual data points in March and then on Thursday.

But then the arrow takes a downward turn and runs out of the bottom of the package. Very cool, visually. But where does the actual data end and the illustrative part begin? I’m guessing at that last small angle, just next to the “Thursday” label. Everything below that point is fake.

If you do this sort of thing, folks, make it clear when you’re using real data and when you’re illustrating. There’s nothing wrong with a giant arrow to simply get across the idea of “down.” But you have to be clear. I’m not sure Lafayette was clear today.

Compare that to the big red arrow running down the front page of today’s Tribune of Willmar, Minn, circulation 16,825.

Just an arrow. No data at all shown here, and that’s clear enough. And complementing that arrow perfectly is that Jin Lee facepalm photo and a truly great headline.

A couple of New York City tabloids also used giant arrows purely in a decorative way today. And to good effect.

 

Left to right:

  • New York Post. Circulation: 522,874
  • Newsday, Melville, N.Y. Circulation: 298,759

Note how the Courier-Post of Camden, N.J., used an arrow to replace the numeral “1” in its big headline showing the number of points the Dow fell Thursday.

Was that clear enough for most readers? Possibly not, in fact. But it’s an interesting attempt.

Average daily circulation for the Courier-Post is 49,620.

Highlighting the word “Dow” in “Down” is an idea that’s been around for at least a couple of years. I first saw it in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News in October 2008.

Still, it’s a clever way of writing a headline on a day like today.

 

From left to right:

  • Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J. Circulation: 229,255.
  • Daily News, Anchorage, Alaska. Circulation: 45,791.

 

These two papers used the same idea, but with the word “Downer.” Was was also very clever.

 

From left to right:

  • Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyo. Circulation: 14,061.
  • Ledger Independent, Maysville, Ky. Circulation: 6,999.

And then there were a few papers I liked just because of their headlines.

Like, for example, the Record of Stockton, Calif., circulation 38,194.

I liked the “Epic” and “melt” bits. But the forced near-pun on “Dow” vs. “down” didn’t quite work. Just “Epic meltdown” would have been terrific.

Similarly, I was intrigued by “Dow craters” on the front of the 52,459-circulation Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.

I’m not quite sure that headline was as successful as it might have been. “Craters” is a difficult word to use as a verb in a headline. Good try, though.

While lots of papers today used references to fear on the part of investors, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., used that word big and bold. Making this possibly the best headline of the day.

Average daily circulation for the Virginian-Pilot is 152,198.

But my favorite headline of the day — and one that expressed exactly how many of us felt about the stock market “correction” Thursday — was this one, turned into a ticker sign by the folks at A.M. New York.

What a perfect headline. How screwed, indeed?

Design director Chris Sabatini tells us:

In the late news meeting, we kept trying to do punny headlines that really didn’t work. So then we all became really juvenile, pitching stuff we could never print. The editor turned it around and cleaned it up.

Average daily distribution for the free A.M. New York tab is 345,053.

All of these front-page images are from the daily archive at the Newseum. Of course.

Why the Wall Street Journal’s Europe edition needs a copy editor

The Wall Street Journal‘s European edition needs a copy editor to keep it from using the wrong word in its main headline. Like it did today.

The word they wanted, of course: Rout. As in an overwhelming defeat.

The word they used: Route. As in a road or avenue for passage or travel.

D’oh! As in… well: Do’h!

Thanks to Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon for tweeting this today. And to Jeff Jarvis, for taking a break from tweeting profanity and retweeting it.

The page image is from the Newseum. Of course.

You know who else needs a copy editor?

Local TV news operations. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in particular. And Harrisburg’s Fox43 TV news. And Local 15 News in Mobile, Ala. And other local TV news operations. And CNN and CNN Money and Fox News (and Fox News again) and German news channel N24. And Martha Stewart’s TV operation. And the Disney Channel. And creators of mobile apps. And Google News’ ‘bots. And Baseball jersey manufacturers. And T-shirt designers. And more T-shirt designers. And Georgetown University. And Kansas State University. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals (boy, do they need a copy editor). And the National Hockey League. And Fox Sports. And college athletic department ticket offices. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And the makers of Sudafed. And Borders bookstore. And the U.S. Postal Service. And government agencies and political candidates. And Tea Party candidates. And city and county Boards of Elections. And the state of Pennsylvania. And road paving contractors. And the city of Norfolk, Va. And the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. And South African traffic cops. And billboard companies. And sign painters. And Home Depot and manufacturers of “hoodies.” And rubber stamp designers. And glass etchers. And Starbucks. And restaurants, breakfast joints, Chinese restaurants and cake decorators. And more cake decorators. And drive-in movie theater managers. And South Africa’s New Age and Sunday Independent newspapers. And Dublin’s Sunday Business Post. And newspapers in the U.K. And the Washington Post (Hey! A repeat offender!), the New York Times (Hey! Another repeat offender!), the New York Post, Newsday, the Chicago Sun-Times (Yet another repeat offender!), the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, the Seattle Times, the Missoula, Mont., Missoulian, the Times-Record of Denton, Md., the Amarillo (Texas) Globe News, the Waynesboro News Virginian, the Virginian-Pilot, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian. And the Associated Press. And Mann’s Jeweler’s Accent magazine. And Investment News magazine. And Time magazine.

I like sti-i-i-i-i-ple, Wilbur-r-r-r-r…

So this is what it’s come to for the proud “headcut” stipple drawings in the Wall Street Journal.

Back in March of last year, I wrote in my old blog:

I wonder if the subject matter of stipple headcuts has shifted a bit over the past few years.

And then this ran on page one today.

A headcut. Of a horse.

Of course.

Once upon a time, the subjects of Wall Street Journal headcuts were all serious folks. Financial leaders. Politicians. Rich old white guys, y’know?

But when I asked the question last year, I had spotted what seemed to be a flurry of, um, not-so-serious headcut subjects.

Like an eight-track tape. And medical marijuana.

 

In October, the Journal ran a page-one story about the (temporary) return of McDonald’s McRib sandwich. And illustrated that with, yes, a stipple McRib.

So I dunno. Perhaps the drawing of the horse today isn’t so surprising after all. (And insert your own wisecrack here, please, about horses vs. McRibs.)

I showed it to you earlier today — because of the unusual treatment of the space shuttle photo. But for the record, here is today’s Wall Street Journal front. You’ll find the horse at the bottom of the page.

If you’re interested in how the Journal produces these stipple headcuts, you’re in luck. Here’s a video that explains the process.

Find the McRib headcut here.

Find my post from last March about the headcuts here.

See how Michael Jackson‘s stipple portrait changed over the years here.

Find an interesting Monty Python reference on the front of the Wall Street Journal here.

This isn’t from the WSJ — instead, it’s from the Los Angeles Times, but the freelance artist is the same — see how one columnist fought to have her column sig redrawn here.

Space shuttle media gaffes… and more wonderful shuttle graphics

We’ve seen the last launch of the U.S. space shuttle program. As you can see from this photo posted today by Tom Burton of the Orlando Sentinel.

Read more about the launch in the Sentinel.

Despite the iffy weather, the launch went off pretty smoothly except for a one brief, nerve-wracking moment. With just over 30 seconds to go, there was a report that one of the umbilical arms hadn’t retracted properly. The countdown was frozen until launch pad surveillance cameras could verify the arm was in the correct position.

THREE MEDIA LAUNCH DAY GAFFES

1) CNN: So it was with disgust that I watched CNN turn from its panel of experts and start to interview people on the beach. This one gentleman complained mightily that they had nearly canceled the launch because of a TV camera.

Hey, I understand the importance of “man on the street” interviews. But I don’t like having my time wasted with folks who happen to be underinformed at the the moment. Anderson Cooper had two experts sitting right there with him. I’d rather hear what they have to say, not what some yokel on the beach — who has misheard the call on a NASA squawk box — is pontificating about.

2) AP: The next glitch was by the Associated Press. I admittedly don’t have my hands on the actual bulletin, but a number of folks I follow on Twitter pointed out that the AP reported:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Bad weather forces to NASA call off Friday’s launch of Atlantis on the final shuttle flight

And clearly, that wasn’t the case. I can only assume that the AP had that bulletin ready to go and then someone punched the wrong button.

3) Philadelphia Inquirer: The third glitch happened in Philadelphia, of all places. The Inquirer announced via its Twitter feed:

The Challenger has lifted off for the last mission by an U.S. space shuttle

Ahem. Wrong. The Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff, more than a quarter-century ago. Thanks for playing, though. Johnny, please tell the Inky what consolation gifts they’ve won.

Everybody can make typos and mistakes. But at a time when we’re trimming staff and reducing coverage, it’s more important than ever before to maintain our credibility. By being a little more careful. Especially when we don’t have a copy desk to back us up.

Which is pretty much always the case on Twitter.

Now, let’s move on to a couple more cool space shuttle presentations…

EXPRESS

Washington, D.C.

Average daily distribution: 183,916 copies

A bunch of papers put the shuttle on page one today. Most used pictures of Atlantis on the pad, preparing for launch. A few used file shots of other shuttle launches over the years.

Perhaps the most interesting — from a pure design point of view — was this one by Express, the Washington Post‘s free commuter tab:

Note how the countdown — reversed out of the photo in white type — fades into the bright spot caused by the shuttle’s engine plume.

Gorgeous design. Just gorgeous.

Normally, I’d question using a launch photo — in this case, a nine-year-old file shot of Columbia from Getty Images — the day of a launch. But Express doesn’t print on Saturday. So they won’t have the problem most papers would have, of tomorrow’s front page looking a lot like today’s.

PLAIN DEALER

Cleveland, Ohio

Circulation: 254,372

Master graphics geek Bill Neff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer built a giant space shuttle graphic that is yet another wonderful addition to the cool pieces we’ve seen this week.

Click for a larger view:

This is a great overview of the shuttle and its various pieces. The rail down the right side shows what vehicles will be used next to ferry astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station — the Russian vehicles, top, and the new U.S. ships under development.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 2,117,796

And then there is an interesting interactive presentation posted this week by the Wall Street Journal that recaps the entire shuttle program. Every mission.

You know you’re in for an interesting ride when you have to stop to read a primer before you can understand the graphic.

The graphic consists of a giant grid of 135 symbols. Here’s just a portion.

Each block shows one shuttle mission.

  • The circles are color-coded to the five shuttles in the fleet (five total; three have survived the program, as you know).
  • The symbol inside the circle denotes what type of mission it was: Satellite delivery, International Space Station or Mir service, military mission and so on.
  • The width of the circle shows the number of orbits. The thicker the circle, the longer the shuttle stayed in orbit.
  • The actual diameter of the circle shows the altitude the shuttle flew. For example, missions to Hubble had to fly to a much higher Earth orbit than did missions to the space station.

As if all that wasn’t enough, click on any mission to pull up details of that flight, including the official mission patch.

 

The squares themselves are arranged in chronological order. But you can rearrange them any way you like. Or filter them to show just one shuttle.

It’s not a quick read. But if you have a higher-than-average interest in the U.S. shuttle program, then you’ll find yourself spending way too much time with this piece.

The presentation was built by Journal staffers Andrew Garcia Phillips, Madeline Farbman, Nagasree Ketineni, Erik Brynildsen and Robert Lee Hotz.

Go here to see a shuttle graphic by Alberto Cuadra of the Washington Post and a local-driven shuttle multimedia presentation by the York (Pa.) Daily Record.

Go here to see a shuttle graphic by Jennifer Borresen of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Go here to see my own space shuttle history graphic that ran in a South African newspaper back in March.

Go here to see the stunning shuttle special section in Wednesday’s Orlando Sentinel.

Go here to see a collection of space shuttle pages from Sunday.

Go here to find a collection of pages from last May’s final flight of the shuttle Endeavour.

Close, but not quite there for Monday’s flooding front pages

The big Midwestern flooding story today is the situation around the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, less than 20 miles upsteam of Omaha.

A dam protecting the plant from the Missouri River failed Sunday, resulting in two feet of water surrounding the nuclear plant buildings themselves. The plant itself has been offline since April, for refueling anyway. Needless to say, officials are keeping a close eye on the situation.

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Omaha, Neb.

Circulation: 142,283

The best-of-three championship series finale of the College World Series begins tonight between the universities of Florida and South Carolina. But despite all the folks in town for that series, that story is forced into the skybox and a left-side rail today because of the huge local story.

Note the calming tone the headline attempts to set here. Rumors have been swirling around this plant for a week, now. The last thing the World-Herald wants to do is add to the mystery.

However — probably not intentionally; perhaps because of a lack of official information — that’s what the World-Herald did anyway. Because today’s report seems a bit incomplete.

The lead photo — by staffer Kent Sievers — shows the Missouri River overrunning its banks behind the plant.

But we can’t see the water lapping up to the side of the building as described in the story. So I wonder how helpful this photo really is today.

Meanwhile, the downpage graphic by staffer Dave Croy does help identify the parts of the plant…

…but it, too, has a bit of a problem: I wonder if it’s clear enough what actually failed early Sunday and to what extent water has encroached into the facility itself.

From what I can tell from the story, the part that failed is labeled here as an “aqua dam.” It’s described in the story as a water-filled earthen dam. This would mean that water has now entered the sandy-colored area you see between the “aqua dam” and the buildings themselves.

But that’s only a guess, based on the description in the story. As a reader, I’m having to work awfully hard to read between the lines here.

Therefore, I might suggest the “aqua dam” label be beefed up a bit here. Make it a black reverse pointer box, perhaps, and a little larger. Have it say “Aqua dam failed early Sunday” or somesuch.

In addition, perhaps the World-Herald might have turned that sandy area blue or highlighted it in some way. An additional pointer could have repeated the info from the lede of the story — this area is now covered in two feet of water, says a power company spokesman.

Something like this, perhaps:

Assuming that’s correct. Even after poring over this for a while this afternoon, I’m still unclear on just what, exactly, happened there Sunday. Which is my point.

So kudos to the World-Herald team for taking readers 80 percent of the way there, with a fine story and a good mix of visuals. But it’s a shame they left readers 20 percent away from a good — or perhaps even an acceptable — understanding of the story.

It’s going to be important that the paper bridge that last 20 percent today.

Find the World-Herald‘s nuke plant story here.

Find the World-Herald‘s College World Series coverage here.

SIOUX CITY JOURNAL

Sioux City, Iowa

Circulation: 35,335

Upstream in Sioux City, the Journal played up an AP story about the plant and used a wonderful aerial of the facility.

The problem I have with this photo: It’s nearly two weeks old.

Again, the levee failed in the wee hours Sunday morning. Is there no one out there with fresh aerials taken on Sunday? Is there no one out there showing water even higher or closer to the plant?

ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS

St. Joseph, Mo.

Circulation: 27,228

If you forget the nuclear plant angle, this front-page photo might be one of the best of the day. Or, at least, the most amusing.

The problem I have with it is the disconnect between the picture and the headline. The headline tells us the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is touring the nuke plant, where a “flood berm” collapsed. So immediately, I wonder:

  • Why is the NRC chairman wielding a hammer?
  • Why is the NRC chairman a statue? Did he see a woman with hair made of snakes?
  • Is the plant that far underwater?
  • Does the NRC pay its chairman hazard pay for work like this?

Clearly, none of those are the case here. But we have to be mindful of our headline and our lead visual. They don’t always have to match up exactly. But they do need to be closely connected. And the hed and pic here are only tangentially connected.

The photo — by Nati Harnik of the Associated Press and wonderfully played beneath the paper’s nameplate — is of a statue by the shore of the river in downtown Omaha.

NEW YORK TIMES Circulation: 916,911

WALL STREET JOURNAL Circulation: 2,117,796

And, not surprisingly, flooding is front-page news in both today’s New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

However, neither paper put a picture of the Missouri River near or in Omaha on page one today. They both used aerial photos by Scott Olson of Getty Images, taken of the out-of-control Souris River in Minot, N.D.

The Times led with this picture of a gas station and convenience store (note the Burger King in the background)…

…while the WSJ focused on what looks like a residential cul-de-sac.

Both papers used their pictures as wild-art promos to stories inside.

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

Feel free to text someone about this graphic

Here’s a cool — and fun — little graphic from today’s Wall Street Journal:

The story itself — by the Journal‘s Anton Troianovskiis here.

My take on the data: Verrrry interesting. A real game-changer for the mobile-first crowd. And perhaps not unexpected at all.

My take on the graphic: Y’know, it’s funny. Seems like the Wall Street Journal becomes more and more like USA Today every day. As a huge fan of USA Today, I mean that in the best way possible.

Thanks to Chris Krewson of Variety.com for retweeting this today.

Wednesday’s tornado aftermath pages

The list of this year’s killer tornadoes just keeps getting longer. And the stories just keep getting sadder.

But area newspapers continue to do a fabulous job keeping their readers up to date on search missions, relief efforts and prospects of recovery.

JOPLIN GLOBE

Joplin, Mo.

Circulation: 24,642

Once again, I have a number of pages from today’s Joplin Globe, a paper that does not post pages to the Newseum. As always, click on any image today for a larger look.

The death toll in Joplin is now up to 122, today’s page one reports.

Lead art by staffer Roger Nomer is of search-and-rescue man Parrish Evans and his rescue dog Jody. They’re searching for bodies at a retirement home.

Interestingly, the man in the photo logged into the Globe‘s web site this morning and commented on the story and the photo.

Evans writes:

I am not the story here. What the picture doesn’t show is the Fireman Derek I was assigned to that refused to go home for two days because he was there to work. He kept going till he passed out. The two deputies from Texas Co. that stayed with us the whole time standing guard. Tara and Chel from PAWS that just keep going. The SAR guy I met that drove all night from South Dakota to get there and went straight to work. The rescue worker I saw wrap up his bleeding feet with a paper towel and put his boots on and stagger back out to the field or the Marine Major that took over the control headquarters. I’m the picture here but I’m not the story.

You have to love that.

Page ten contains a number of other photos of search efforts. The big picture at upper left is also by Roger Nomer.

Most of the other inside pages are pretty tight. Here are pages three and four…

…pages five and six…

…and pages seven and 12.

Follow the Globe‘s online coverage here.

NEWS-LEADER

Springfield, Mo.

Circulation: 38,185

By far the most remarkable front page today is this gorgeous wrap-around cover by the News-Leader of nearby Springfield.

Executive editor David Stoeffler writes in his blog today:

We did something extra special today, running a photo from the back page of the section all the way across the front page: a total of 21 inches. The aerial photo, shot Tuesday morning by our Valerie Mosley, captures the total devastation left in the wake of the tornado — yet provides you with enough close-up detail for you to try to grasp the impact on individual lives, with people caught in the act of salvaging what they can from the wreckage.

In addition, artist Amy Olding has built a really cool interactive map of Joplin.

She writes:

I have been trying to compile pictures of the damage and plot them on the map. Haven’t had the chance to get out there and trying to get addresses is just impossible.

Find the map here.

The paper’s web site registered nearly four million page views, David says. And that wast just on Monday.

Find the News-Leader‘s online coverage here.

OTHER REGIONAL PAPERS

You may recall yesterday the big story that was followed by photographer Robert Cohen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A family that was frantically searching for a toddler who was lost in the storm. His parents were injured and taken to area hospitals.

The story — presented in the form of a photo essay Tuesday on the paper’s web site — was page-one news today in several papers, including the Post-Dispatch itself.

As of now — after 4 p.m. Wednesday — he’s still unaccounted for. The longer this goes, I’m afraid, the more grim the story becomes.

Average daily circulation for the Post-Dispatch is 196,232.

The same story was the centerpiece off-lead today for the Kansas City Star, circulation 209,258.

The lead search art is by staffer Dave Eulitt. The aerial across the top of the page is by Keith Myers.

And on page one of the Wichita Eagle: The same story. And yet more search-party photos — in this case, by the Associated Press.

Average daily circulation for the Eagle is 70,953.

And lead art on the front of today’s World of Tulsa, Okla. — circulation 90,499 — is of the owner of a destroyed home, getting a sympathy hug from a friend.

The picture is by staffer Mike Simons.

AROUND THE COUNTRY

Speaking of sympathy hugs, I’ve seen so many of these on front pagesover the past few weeks and days that I wonder of they’re in danger of becoming a cliché.

Take these three, for example.

Those are all lead art today for three of the nation’s largest newspapers. Seriously.

And I don’t mean to belittle the photos or the people in the photos. The man on the front of the L.A. Times, in fact — the one wearing the white hat — lost both his wife and his 13-month-old son in the tornado.

But still. The coincidence here is kind of stunning.

From left to right:

Los Angeles Times

Circulation: 605,243

Photo: Ed Zurga, Reuters

New York Times

Circulation: 916,911

Photo: Eric Thayer, Reuters

Wall Street Journal

Circulation: 2.1 million

Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

Good news for the folks in Joplin: Relief is on the way. From all over the country, I’m sure. But especially from Champaign, Ill., where the News-Gazette built page one around a picture of a huge amount of supplies meant for the stricken town.

More than three tractor-trailers were filled by a relief drive sponsored by an area church, the paper reports.

The picture is by staffer Heather Coit. Average daily circulation for the News-Gazette is 42,018.

And just when you’re thinking that luck for folks in Missouri might possibly be taking a turn for the good…

Yep. High water is headed down the Missouri River.

Well, at least that won’t affect the folks in Joplin. The Missouri turns east long before Joplin. But still.

That’s the World-Herald of Omaha, upsteam along the Missouri River. The photo is by staffer Rebecca S. Gratz and the map is by Dave Croy. Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 142,283.

Also, let’s not forget folks in north Minneapolis who lost their homes Sunday night, also in a twister. Here is today’s Star Tribune of Minneapolis, circulation 296,605.

Lead art there is by staffer Jim Gehrz.

TUESDAY’S STORMS

Yet another band of storms swept through the country Tuesday, leaving at least 14 dead. Hardest hit were the suburbs of Oklahoma City, where at least eight people died and 70 were left injured, reports the Associated Press.

The Oklahoman led today with a huge picture of the storm by staffer Paul B. Southerland.

I think today might have been a good day to kill the skybox refers. Or, at least, move them down to the bottom of the page.

Average daily circulation for the Oklahoman is 143,803.

In Norman — the home of the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center — lead art is of a man picking through debris from his home.

The picture is by staffer Kendall Brown. Average daily circulation for the Norman Transcript is 11,296.

Two were killed in Kansas Tuesday. Lead art afront the 31,019-circulation Hutchinson News was of a man standing in front of a house with no roof.

The two local photos were shot by staffer Travis Morisse.

The AP reports there was one fatality in Texas — possibly. A man was apparently burned to death by power lines downed by winds. So the tally depends on the medical examiner’s report.

While there was some damage in Texas, it simply wasn’t widespread. The tornado you see on the front of today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram didn’t even touch down, reportedly.

Which explains, perhaps, why the Dallas Morning News didn’t give similar play to that same photo. Which was, after all, shot by DMN staffer Randall N. Lantz.

Average daily circulation for the Star-Telegram is 151,753.

In Denton, Texas, the Record-Chronicle also made storm clouds overhead lead art today.

The top photo by staffer Al Key — of what appears to be a funnel cloud — is actually a little amusing.

Can you see the guy who stopped his truck to gape at the formation? Here’s a closer look.

Average daily circulation for the Record-Chronicle is 13,209.

And even here in Hampton Roads, Va., we had an extremely violent, fast-moving windstorm move through Tuesday afternoon. Five spectators at a baseball playoff game where injured at a high school just a couple of miles from my home in Virginia Beach when wind picked up track-and-field equipment — a landing mat for pole vaulters — and smacked them with it.

Lead art for the top of today’s Virginian-Pilot by staffer Hyunsoo Leo Kim shows sparks flying from power lines in downtown Norfolk.

Average daily circulation for the Pilot is 156,968.

The storm only lasted a few minutes. But man, what a ride. After the past couple of months of reading story after story of tornado damage, injured and dead victims and missing children, I did not need excitement like that. Not at all.

THE BIG PICTURE

A number of papers pulled back and tried to look at the bigger picture of all the high-profile tornadoes which seem to be a) more numerous, b) stronger and c) deadlier than in recent years. Or decades, even.

The West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minn. — circulation only 16,825 — created a very attractive, magazine-like visual approach to this story.

The lead photo from Joplin is from the Associated Press.

And the Morning Telegraph of Tyler, Texas — circulation 28,911 — built a rogue’s gallery of recent tornadoes across the top of today’s page-one package.

Here’s a closer look at each…

That last one was yesterday’s storm near Oklahoma City. Nicely done.

Oh, and the lead art? That is by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press, showing clouds gathering on the horizon over Joplin yesterday afternoon, even as rescue workers scrambled to find victims of Sunday’s storms.

And it’s “only” a wire graphic, I was grateful to the Indianapolis Star for running the graphic I wanted to see on Tuesday front pages around the country…

…something showing the number of tornado fatalities over the past 61 years.

The chart itself is from MCT graphics. Average daily circulation for the Star is 176,232.

Now, the New York Times has built an interactive version of this same data, all keyed to a map. The folks there updated the map after the Joplin storm.

That’s this year’s data. You can mouse over any yellow circle to see info for that particular incident. Or you can move the slider to a specific year.

I’ve mentioned a tornado hit our house when I was 11 years old. Sure enough, because there were fatalities involved with that particular storm, you can find it in the NYT graphic.

Check it out for yourself here.

With the exception of the Joplin and Springfield pages and, of course, the New York Times graphic, all of these images are from the Newseum. Of course.

Tuesday tornado aftermath pages from Joplin; Midwest

Again, today, I’ve managed to score just a bit of a scoop for you: A number of pages not posted at the Newseum.

Meaning you possibly haven’t seen them yet…

JOPLIN GLOBE

Joplin, Mo.

Circulation: 24,642

In the friendly little city of Joplin, Mo. — so cruelly hammered by nature Sunday night — the hometown Globe continued its heroic coverage of the aftermath.

The lead photo here is by staffer B.W. Shepherd (click any image here today for a larger look).

The Globe published a nice doubletruck today on pages six and seven.

The centerpiece graphic was drawn by staffer Fran Landry using info compiled by staffer Bill Kirk.

The Globe devoted its entire opinion page to an inspiring editorial and letters about the tornado. On the right is the jump page, page 10.

The photo on that editorial page — by B.W. Shephard — is one of the most outstanding of the day. You’re seeing a mattress impaled on what’s left of a tree. The entire scene is lit by emergency vehicles, against Sunday evening’s sunset.

Wow. Amazing work these little papers are doing this year in the wake of these storms. And this is despite the fact that some staffers themselves have suffered through tremendous losses.

Find the paper’s online coverage here.

NEWS-LEADER

Springfield, Mo.

Circulation: 38,185

Although the News-Leader had shooters on site today, the editors wisely chose a wonderful picture by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press to lead page one so prominently.

The News-Leader‘s Daudi Msseemmaa sent us a batch of inside pages. He writes:

I wish I had another four pages for all the great content. As long as I’m wishing, I wish there were no fatalities.

No argument there.

Here are pages two and three…

…pages four and five…

…and page eight.

Find the News-Leader‘s online coverage here.

OTHER REGIONAL PAPERS

The Kansas City Star — circulation 209,258 — wisely pulled everything but Joplin off of page one today, resulting in one of the post powerful pages of the day.

Very nice. And, wow — isn’t that lead photo incredible?

The picture is by staffer David Eulitt.

Likewise, the Post-Dispatch of St. Louis — circulation 196,232 — produced a stunning front today.

The firefighters in today’s lead photo by staffer J.B. Forbes are waiting for a body to be collected. Note the sheet-covered figure on the ground at their feet.

You hear about these guys — highly-trained and highly-motivated — diving into debris fields to rescue survivors. But you really don’t think much about how often they get there too late.

Not any fault of theirs, of course. But I’m sure it happens all too often.

Also, while we’re on the subject of the Post-Dispatch, don’t miss this story of a family searching frantically for a little boy who disappeared in the storm Sunday night.

His parents were injured and taken to a nearby hospital. But no one has seen 16-month-old Skyular Logsdon. The photo story is by staffer Robert Cohen. Again, find it here.

The Eagle of Wichita, Kan., ran a nice montage of images across the top of the page. The lead picture by staffer Jaime Green shows a child collecting what she can from the ruins of her home.

Average daily circulation for the Eagle is 70,953.

The Herald of Ottawa, Kan., showed local damage but focused on how relieved residents are that it wasn’t their town that was hit as hard as Joplin.

The big issue there: A tornado did strike nearby. But sirens didn’t sound. Folks there have work to do.

Lead photo is by staffer David Flores. Average daily circulation for the Herald is 4,500.

In Lawrence, Kan., the story is about local folks headed east to help with relief efforts in Joplin.

The lead photo is by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press — the same guy who shot the picture on the front of Sprinfield, Mo. Average daily circulation for the Journal-World is 20,508.

And the World of Tulsa, Okla. — circulation 90,499 — produced one of the day’s best fronts…

…featuring this awesome shot by staffer Adam Wisneski.

Jaw-dropping stuff.

MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN

With the stunning news out of Joplin, it’s easy to forget that tornadoes caused an awful lot of damage Sunday in other cities around the country as well.

The Star Tribune of Minneapolis focused on cleanup efforts on the north side of town.

The lead photo is by staffer Jerry Holt. Average daily circulation for the Star Tribune is 296,605.

The Pioneer Press of St. Paul also split the difference today, giving visual emphasis to reaction to the local storm but touching on Joplin as a sidebar.

The picture is by staffer Scott Takushi. Average daily circulation for the Pioneer Press is 193,549.

The Tribune of La Crosse, Wis. — circulation 26,581 — led today’s page one of an aerial by staffer Erik Daily of a stricken neighborhood.

And the Telegraph of Alton, Ill., gave large play to photos of downed trees.

The photos are by staffer John Badman. Average daily circulation for the Telegraph is 20,441.

AROUND THE COUNTRY

The Joplin tragedy was front-page news around the country and the world, of course.

The Telegraph Herald of Dubuque, Iowa — circulation 27,546 — created one of the more attractive front page presentations today. The TH also had a bit of a local angle, with a former reporter who happened to be visiting relatives in Joplin Sunday.

The lead photo is by Charlie Riedel of the AP.

The 28,300-circulation Advocate of Victoria, Texas, also, had a local angle and a strong, strong A1 presentation today.

The lead photo is from the Associated Press. The base map is from MCT, but Advocate designers overlaid info about the man with local ties into the map.

And in Fayetteville, N.C. — hard-hit by tornadoes last month — the Observer gave tremendous play to what looks like yet another Charlie Riedel photo.

Average daily circulation for the Fayetteville Observer is 52,698.

Some of the nation’s most-respected papers gave enormous play to the pictures of the flattened town of Joplin.

Left to right:

Los Angeles Times, circulation 605,243

Lead photo: Larry W. Smith, European Pressphoto Agency

Washington Post, circulation 550,821

Lead photo: Julie Denesha, Getty Images

Wall Street Journal, circulation 2.1 million

Lead photo: Julie Denesha, Getty Images

New York Times, circulation 916,911

Lead photo: Julie Denesha, Getty Images

Indeed, that Julie Denesha picture is just amazing. If you look closely, you can see the hospital that was hit so hard in the background.

Possibly the most unusual tornado treatment of the day, however, was by the Virginian-Pilot. Rather than focus on the images of destruction — powerful pictures, but man, we’ve seen so many of them this year — the Pilot focused instead on the stunning numbers of tornado fatalities this year.

The huge number, of course, is the number of tornado fatalities in the U.S. this year. The horizontal bar chart in the center of the page puts that into historical perspective — it’s the eighth deadliest year since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1875.

The vertical bar chart on the right shows fatalities this year, with notable storms pulled out.

I’ve re-edited one into a form that will be readable here in the blog.

But don’t misunderstand. As data visualization, this works better in the single vertical format in which the Pilot used it today.

Great work, as usual, by the Pilot. Average daily circulation for the Virginian-Pilot is 156,968.

Earlier, we reviewed Monday’s tornado front pages. Find those here.

With the exception of the Joplin and Springfield pages, everything you’re seeing here came from the Newseum. Of course.