Training new staff

  • I like the idea of showing trainees what to do, deleting the progress, then having them give it a go
    • I feel like I know my way around Indesign/Illustrator pretty well, so I honestly love answering questions whenever people have them, so while people are trying their hand at these things, they can ask me questions along the way.
  • Files of instructions about what to do in certain circumstances like for example:
    • Sometimes text wrapping is weird on the computers in the office, they’re always marked to be ignored in text options. This could be a tip that’s included in said file.
  • I feel like we haven’t had a true style guide for the layout in a while, it’s all sort of been passed down from design editor to design editor. I think something like this could be really helpful for new hires, especially for when me or my design editor aren’t in the office to help with something. It would be nice for them to have something to consult.
  • I start the new hires out with simpler pages like A2 or A4/A5, as they usually don’t have too many stories. Then I have them work their way up to pages like B1/B2 or even A1/A3. It takes time for them to feel confident putting together those puzzles, but it’s so rewarding once they do.
  • Keep in contact with new hires and keep the momentum up. I have quite a few new designers (many of whom are off campus and are just doing graphics for the time being) who are eager to help, which is really nice. I have 2 new ones coming into the office to train this upcoming Sunday (wooo!!!), so I think we can really foster a good learning environment for them.
  • I could create little cheat sheets to hang up around the office with tips for the layout.
  • Figure out some fun ways to become a team, especially when things are pretty hectic
    • Zoom hangouts
    • Design challenges with small prizes

Print vs. Online vs. Social Media

  • Print
    • Enticing layouts, especially for pages like Features. This could also potentially expand to other sections. A1/A3 can probably use a bit of re-vamp as well, considering the repetitive content
    • Better art overall.
      • More of our own photos, I realize the paper can become quite boring when it’s just a bunch of submitted photos. It’s so exciting to get great photos of our own (which I know should be the norm)
    • Simpler, easier to understand, more useful infographics/breakout boxes
    • Don’t fear white space, utilize it!
      • I’d like to explore different ways of going about this
    • Don’t be afraid to not use art, or not have a story attached to art. Let art stand alone, let the story stand alone. Break away from what we know.
  • Online
    • This could also be a good spot for memes, especially when the online articles are shared on socials
    • Good variety of text, photos, and combinations of the two
    • Constantly update these rather than just specific times of the week\
    • Interactive photos/articles
      • The early voting map could have been interactive, but I’m honestly unsure of how to approach this
  • Social Media
    • More interactive content
    • Polls that allow people to give their input
      • People mostly feel like their opinions are important and might want to vote on polls or give feedback when asked
    • Like we discussed in class, memes can be used for social
      • Considering the demographic of Gen Z, this could up our engagement a lot.
    • Photos or graphics specifically formatted for social
      • Get a person who is aware of how this works and who could export or reformat things to fit the square format of Instagram or the rectangular formats of Twitter or Facebook

October 9th Critique

  1. I feel like the stories on A1 in Monday’s paper were more so selected for the topics that they represent. I think the most surprising thing on the page would be the “Test return times down to eight hours” because that is something that affects the day to day lives of students.
  2. For the visuals on the page, I really like the protest photo. It shows people in action, in the streets protesting. As for the rest of the photos, they’re pretty generic, but then again there are only so many ways we can capture COVID testing.
  3. For the primary focal points, I guess I’ve always been told (by previous editors) that each story always has to have art. I can definitely put more effort into creating more of a lead story rather than just big art. Before this class I kind of thought that the biggest art should be with the biggest story, but now I know that that’s not necessarily the case.
  4. For the stories on A2 and A3, I feel like the study abroad story is pretty impactful, because I know I had heard about some people who were optimistic about studying abroad in the spring. This would be big news to someone like them. 
  5. I think the “hidden gem” this week was definitely features. I agree that the clipping of the ballot box could have been closer. I like what you did as an alternative. I think I was just trying to go for a collage-type look. I really liked the Reddit-themed page too. Last week’s class kind of inspired me to be a little more creative with these pages. I want to carry that over to the rest of the paper (maybe not the same as features, but something similar).
  6. Maybe for the Block I story, it could focus on one of the people who’s organizing the event. The halloween COVID story could possibly include interviews from parents or children in the community to create more of people-centered article rather than an information only-centered article.
  7. Although there isn’t a whole lot of action, I think the photo of the pre-packaged meals on A1 could possibly stand on its own. Perhaps a different version of this concept. It’d be cool to get a picture of people grabbing the meals to show what the COVID-era dining room experience is like.
  8. The infographic was admittedly way too small to really understand without having to squint. If it were more visible (apologies for this), I think it would be easy to understand.

Data from campus profile

I thought the most interesting thing that I could find was about assistants (teaching assistants, research assistants, graduate assistants). For teaching assistants (954.42 to 1171.67 from the 2010-11 school year to the 2019-20 school year) and research assistants (86.47 to 151.21 from the 2010-11 school year to the 2019-20 school year), their numbers have gone up dramatically. For graduate assistants, they have gone down considerably in the same time period (101.94 to 48.22). I’m curious about this change. I think that the GEO strike could definitely have affected the change in the graduate assistants.

Monday, September 28 Paper Critique

I’m not going to pretend that this was a spectacular paper because I know it wasn’t It makes me wish I would have chosen Thursday’s paper to edit, but I know that either way, they’re being published, so it might as well be looked at.  

  • A1
  • Older photo for top story 
    • Wasn’t able to get new photos without someone from Student affairs present. Now we’re only allowed in once/week if we tell them a day or two in advance 
  • Another old photo with the wrong photo credit (it’s a file photo) 
    • Flu shot centers weren’t open this past Sunday while we were laying out the paper. We also need someone from student affairs for these photos. 
  • I’m not very happy with the widows and orphans in the subheads 
  • I wish we could have gotten more than a few zoom photos, but I also know it’s difficult to get more than that for some things right now. 
  • A2 
    • The photo of KAM’s isn’t as recent as I would like it to be, but I do think it shows a lot of people gathering in the bars which was what we were trying to do. 
  • A3 
    • I am aware that we don’t usually/are not supposed to include graphics within news, but since it was more of a feature-style story, I think it went with it pretty nicely.  
    • I would prefer the portrait be smaller, but A1/A3 are usually the last ones to be designed, so it was difficult to mess around with different design layouts. The portrait photo was also pretty grainy, but it was the only photo of her that we were provided with and could find. 
  • A4 
    • Another instance of widows in sub heads 
    • I think that, although it’s a zoom photo, the photo used in this article was cool because it showed the whole group, even though they weren’t in person.  
    • For both of these pages, I am aware that the art is massive. I would really prefer that Features has three stories instead of two each paper, but sometimes it just isn’t feasible. 
  • A5 
    • Same things apply here. I wish I could have made the art smaller, but we have a lot of room for some generally small articles.  
    • I think we would benefit from three features stories. 
  • A6 
    • We have a new night editor and he didn’t catch the drop cap error. I also am at fault because I didn’t thoroughly check his work before we sent the pages over. 
    • He also didn’t adjust the size of the headline when he made the adjustment on the page. This was another thing I could have caught before I sent the pages. 
    • I also think the second headline should be a lot smaller. 
    • I don’t like that the second photo is seemingly a lot bigger than the first photo. I think the second article should have gone on top too. 
  • B1 
    • I think B1 generally turned out pretty well. 
    • Decent-sized photos. 
    • The spacing around the Mike Epstein headline was a little wonky. Definitely needed to be adjusted 
  • B2 
    • This page is definitely pretty text-heavy 
  • B3 
    • I don’t like the very horizontal photo at the top. Definitely not the size that a portrait needs to be. We tried placing it elsewhere in the layout, but it messed with the balance of the page. 
    • Headline is touching the chancellor photo 
  • B5 
    • This page doesn’t seem too bad to me. I don’t think the photo needed that much attention and, while it’s pretty horizontal, it fits pretty much everything that we need to see into it. 
  • B6 
    • These photos were huge, I know. 
    • I definitely could have included some elements such as subheads or pull quotes in the story to take away from the size of the photos. I think buzz is also an area where we need more than 2 stories. It’s just not super feasible here either because of the lack of events going on on campus.   

Improving communication within the team

While I think that our team communicates well as people, after our discussion in class last week, I definitely think we can learn to communicate better in our positions as editors. Some of the ways that I can do that as ME for Visuals are:

  • Working closely with Ethan and Sam (or anyone on the team with experience in analyzing statistics) to create the most effective infographics. Infographics and data visualization have never really been my strong suit, so perhaps I can learn a thing or two from them. From a reader’s perspective, I know that good infographics are an important piece of a story, and if it’s the only thing people see, I want them to be good.
  • Connect with different sections. Sit down in meetings with news, sports, features, opinions, and buzz to discuss their visions and how my team and I can help bring it to life.
    • Maybe I could host “office hours” of sorts where people can come to me with questions or ideas. That way I can make note of them and discuss them with my design and photo teams.
  • Be more conscious and involved with the photography. Give more direction on what I would like to see for upcoming stories. I already talk to Ryan Ash, our photo editor quite a bit, so this should be an easy fix.
  • Share story ideas when they come to mind. I feel like as a designer, I sometimes don’t think I have much to contribute when it comes to actually creating the stories. After our discussions in this class, I definitely feel like I have some ideas to share with some of my fellow editors.