Monday, March 28, 2005

Editor's daily (or almost daily) critique

Thought you might be interested in seeing the daily critique I do of the
paper. I don't "proof" the paper, per se, so I'm sure there are errors
that are missed, but the point is to give the staff overall feedback on
that day's edition. What do you think?

1A: That CommUnity logo really looks nice, doesn't it? Good to update,
Joy, with list of donors. Nice Home and Garden promo -- sometimes type
works best. Four jumps today --- yuck! How could we have avoided that?
Head Start jump was short. Bet we could have trimmed it. On the Glover
story, I don't see any support in the story for the phrase "All cases
solved ..." I know what we were trying to say, but especially in a town
with the three women case hanging over us, I don't think that hit the
mark. Very, very nice writing on the care story lead -- I can really
picture the guy twirling his finger. Well done. CUTLINES: Pretty mediocre
today. "Firefighters ... get crane training" falls short of the mark.

3A: Not our strongest page here. Mainly, it suffers from a too-small
headline on 3A. The page never really recovers from that and ends up
looking gray and static, despite the breakout and graphic.

5A: This page, on the other hand, is better. The Schiavo hed in four
columns is bigger than the 3A hed in 6 columns. With a nice strong
vertical picture, the page is more compelling.

6A: That was neat the way we ran the Flashback picture really big. I
studied it and I bet readers did too.

1B: WINNING HEADLINE: Meet me in St. Louis. Randy -- we need to track down
Carolina fans going to St. Louie -- can you give Margarita some

1A: Nice lead on the McHenry piece. Nice little story on the Farmer's
Market. Don't forget to look for breakout ideas (one might have been, a
short list of what was for sale and how much it cost, etc.).

3A: I'm really glad we got these dueling columns by local folks, but the
execution fell a little short. First of all, any time you have copy
stretching over four columns, that should send up a red flag. It's VERY
hard to read. Also, we should have had mugs of the columnists and used the
column logo format (note to reporters putting together these kinds of
packages -- please request a mug). Still, I appreciate Alan's
resourcefulness on coming up with this idea and carrying it out.

5A: I like the idea of the news digest -- Lindsay will get us a cool
design for September on that.

6A: A couple of problems on this page. First, I don't understand the drop
hed: "Stalwart stance prompts church action." I thought stalwart meant
"good" or "supportive" -- makes it sound like we agree with his stance.
Second, the lead headline is too small. See how the drops compete with the
main hed for your eye. "Schiavo judge in spotlight" could have run nice
and big, with the drops below. Still, good story choice here and good to
refer from the 3A package as well.

1B: Love the fantasy primer, Randy (big shock, huh). Hey -- how 'bout that
Tourney Notes logo!

2, 5B: Impressive array of local results, information, given that you are
flying solo. Nice job.

1D: Great job on "Get Real," Jackie and Allison. I hope it's a big hit.
Layout looks terrific.

1A: Very impressive front page today. Margarita, the Holy Week primers
have been terrific. Had two comments about them at church Sunday. People
learned something and were reminded of some things. Nice job. The Gas
centerpiece is EXCELLENT! Terrific idea, well executed. Only thing I'd
change -- instead of having that tiny jump line under the School item, I'd
have made a more prominent refer box. Good job to get the Hamfest story in
the paper.

2A-3A: Look how appealing these two pages are -- not much traditional
copy, but lots of good information (columns, graphics, breakouts, capital
correspondence, etc.). Very nice job.

6A: Very nice photo package Saturday, Jeff. Good job.

7A: Another strong inside page. Good use of headline sizes. At a glance
box is good.

8A: Yet another strong page. Good use of powerful color image. Graphic
helps as does breakout. Briefs rail helps the page stay active.

No comments: