Thursday, November 27, 2008

Leave the rooster! That's human interest!

What do you do when that pesky news breaks out on the eve of a holiday? Let's see how three papers in Florida (longtime wheelhoss of American journalism fads) handled the Mumbai attacks.

At left is Fort Lauderdale ("look, honey! Superman has his own newspaper"), which apparently decided to ignore the things altogether.
At center, Orlando put the attacks above the nameplate -- at least, that's a pretty reasonable guess. The hed combines an actual news event with the hints of warnings of speculation about talk of a possible Qaida plot to think about attacking the New York subway, so it's kind of hard to figure out the priorities. But the color levels in the photo leave it looking sort of like a painting, and thus uncomfortably like the First Thanksgiving art in the centerpiece ("Save room for our quiz").
Tampa, at right, plays Short Attention Span Theater with everything in sight. The attacks get a mention next to the nameplate -- in the brave new world, there is no more "above the flag," and the shopping flowchart just sort of envelops everything in its capitalist glow.
Not a stellar performance there, Florida. Shopping doesn't really need context. International political violence, on the other hand, often does.
[Other than that, the central office is now going into holiday* mode. Language Czarina is pruning the adverbs. Woodchuck is enjoying America's Baddest Thanksgiving Parade.** Bernie is sulking because he doesn't have a major thoroughfare named after him. And Santa is getting the keys to the city from a WSU J-grad.]
* International visitors, please join us in some flavorless poultry and sloth!
** Macy's doesn't have the Contours singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Care to review how "Florida's Best Newspaper" did? (Not much better, it appears.)

11:45 PM, November 27, 2008  
Anonymous Andy Bechtel said...

This is when someone in Orlando needs to say, "See, we have news. So let's move the quiz to 3A and put the news on the front page."

10:35 AM, November 28, 2008  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

You know, if you buy a good bird and cook it well, it's plenty tasty.

But that terrorist attack will still be there after Thanksgiving, dadburnit!

4:16 PM, November 28, 2008  
Anonymous Fort Worth Bureau said...

Some papers did it right (shameless self-promotion)

7:08 PM, November 28, 2008  
Blogger fev said...

As a committed antediluvian on the design front, I have to say I like the Fort Worth page. I tend to be wary of the all-signpost format, but FW has been doing it long enough (and with enough weight given to news) that it knows how to use the volume knob to signal a major story. Fort Lauderdale's a long way away from that level. (And we hope everyone in the buro there is well.)

Florida's Best Newspaper managed to get the thing out front two days in a row, which is a start, and the first-day story looked as if it had some attention on the desk (it wasn't a very good rewrite, but at least someone thought a rewrite was worth the time). I'm surprised that nobody thought the story was worth any visual markers bigger than a 1-col hed.

9:19 PM, November 28, 2008  

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