Friday, April 10, 2009

What's changed this year

Feeling a little retrospective today. One of our goals at TNH this year has been to provide the paper with a more consistent and professional look. Obviously, our front page had a significant makeover, but we also overhauled the inside of the paper. Today, I went and grabbed a couple pages from papers this year, as well as the corresponding pages from the equivalent editions from the '07/'08 school year.

What I'm stressing today isn't the content, but the look of the pages.

Here are pages 2 and 3 from the March 6, 2009 edition

And here are the same two pages from the March 4, 2008 edition

Bullet points on the changes that were made, since I've been told my posts are too long.
  • Index w/ page numbers and summaries moved from front to Page 2. Leaving more room for design on the front, and quick bites on the inside. Cons: Depending on who writes the index summaries, they can be more comedic than most editors prefer.
  • Corrections moved from Opinion to A2 and staying there every week. It shows we're not trying to hide our mistakes.
  • "Seen around Durham" adds at least one more picture to the paper. However, we still need to find the photogs to take good and consistent standalone art.
  • The extra space underneath the photo was meant for rotating "fun" content, community announcements, and selected calendar events.
  • On the third page, we decided to anchor it and make the "World" page on Tuesdays and the "Nation" page on Fridays. There are definitely influences from the Boston Globe, the paper I grew up reading, and I think it's good to have a "zoomed out" page to provide some historical context to what's going on in the world. Cons: Some people don't like having AP stories so high up in the paper
  • As for what we took out. There's no more calendar anywhere in the physical paper. This is mostly because it was a pain in the ass to fill out every week and was mostly filled with the same exact things every issue. It'd be one thing if we had a reporter that took the time to develop an interesting calendar, it's another to just take the things that are on the UNH site and paste them in without any thought.
  • Finally, because of the anchor section that we placed on Page 3, the opinion section can no longer ever appear in that spot. I believe that's a good thing and that at least some sort of news should always appear before the opinion section. Today, depending on the number of pages we are producing the opinion section will be on Pages 4 and 5 or, more often, Pages 6 and 7.
  • One other thing that we were able to kill this year were those big-ass house ads that used to take up so much space in the our paper. Some people complain about the amount of wire content we run. What they often fail to realize is that, in the past, the space that the wire content fills would have been taken up by a house ad. I'd take news, even wire news, over a house ad any day, so that's why we do it.
There will be more comparisons coming soon, since I think this is going to be very similar to what my portfolio looks like.

Thanks for reading,


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