This week, I don’t have much to report. Everyone seems settled with this transition — too settled — but I’m still going to be the annoying gnat in your face, reminding you there’s more to be done.
A big thank you to the design class for commenting on my last post. We are full steam ahead with ideas to improve the print product. We have a very smart, insightful class that isn’t willing to settle simply for what works. Right now, the print product is good, but we’re going to keep making changes and coming up with new ideas all throughout the semester because, as our Friday critique sessions tell us, there’s always room for improvement.
A few questions that came up at last week’s TA meeting were remedied this week. There is now a rough system for making corrections online that were found on the print desk. Print will mark the changes on page proofs, and it is up to the night news editor (who could delegate it to a copy editor) to make sure those fixes are reflected in the online version. For corrections made on a page in InDesign, it’s up to the designers to decide whether the changes even need to be made online (adding a comma here and there can probably slide) or whether they want to go online themselves to make the changes or put corrections in notes mode and ask a TA to do it. More often than not, I see the changes in print being too insignificant to merit taking the time to fix them online, but if you’re a designer twiddling your thumbs until your next story comes in, you might as well get into Django and make all our content squeaky clean.
Also, this week on the print desk, we had a case where our centerpiece was suddenly moved off the budget, and we weren’t informed. I was the 1A designer, waiting and waiting for my story that never came. Luckily, everyone in photo was great and helped me put together a photo package for the centerpiece, but I was still pretty peeved that no one even considered how removing a story from the budget at around 8:30 p.m. would affect print. I don’t want to call anyone out; I just want better communication. How is it that we’re excellent at communicating news to our audience, but there’s such a disconnect in our own newsroom? Sometimes, we can experience such tunnel vision in our own work that we have no idea what our colleagues are doing. We have some great minds in our newsroom, and the more they cross into different areas for a chat, the more ideas will actually develop into something.
Interactive Copy Desk, I’m coming for you this week. Please start thinking about your day-to-day tasks, how online updates are going (read Nick’s post if you haven’t already) and what we need to do to better engage the community. I’ll be in touch.