Print vs Online vs Social Media

Print

  • We need to use engaging pictures. If we do not have an interesting photo for an article that will draw readers’ attention, then we should forego the use of a picture for that article.
  • Make more use of infographics. Encourage reporters to get interviews and information early so that designers have a chance to create interesting and appealing infographics.
  • Don’t rely on standard news stories that feel more like obligations to write dominate the front page. Use whatever might be the most appealing to a reader, not just a Covid test site update.

Online

  • This is where much of the breaking news should happen. Updates and very short news should be encouraged here.
  • Illustrations could play a much bigger part here than in print. If there are no photos for a story in print, including an illustration at the top of an article online could add some life.
  • This could be a place for stories in progress because they can be continually updated. Instead of sitting on stories that might take weeks to write, they could be published here in installments or as updates to a story.
  • Online is a great place for interaction. I really like the idea of using sound from interviews, and it is totally feasible as we record all of our interviews anyway.
  • Other ways to engage readers could be through interactive diagrams. Might not be realistic to create an interactive infographic for weekly stories, but stories that take longer to write could be benefitted by this.

Social Media

  • A lot here is the same as online, but might work even better with breaking news.
  • Make use of extremely small window that users look at our posts while scrolling. Very short news updates are great here.
  • This is the worst possible place for a boring photo. Illustrations and infographics should be used here liberally if there is not an interesting photo
  • Could use this as a platform to get people interested in the DI by acting more energetic. A lot of our posts come off to me as a little boring and trying hard to be hyper-professional

New Staff Training

  • Show don’t tell
    • Let the new reporter show you what kind of experience they have: give them a story idea or let them take one of their own and have them go interview sources for the story. Before writing, go through their interview together and provide constructive criticism
    • Then, have them try writing the story with no help. Do the same process, sit down and edit with them and have them rewrite or fix things then submit it for the final edit to be published 
    • Have them sit in on one of your interviews and discuss why you asked the questions you did after the interview
    • Share with them your process of writing a lede/coming up with interview questions/submitting photo or graphic requests
  • Edits, edits, edits
    • Sit down and edit each of their stories with them for the first few weeks/months if needed. 
    • I learned the most freshman year when my editor sat me down and helped me realize what was good and what could’ve used improvement
      • Don’t just tell them what they did wrong, try and guide them into figuring it out themselves
    • Go through alternative ledes or angles to the story: how would you have written the story?
  • Assign them other articles to read from publications like Washington Post, NYT, Sports Illustrated to better understand journalistic structure/different forms of ledes/story structures – visual learning is key 
  • Develop friendships/connections
    • Make them feel comfortable at the DI
    • Host virtual (for now) hangouts/happy hours/game nights (whatever is fun)
    • Talk to them about their lives/school not just edits and stories all the time

Print v. Online v. Social media

Print

  • We need more attention-grabbing photos that ACTUALLY help tell a story, especially on the front page. Or we need to be more comfortable with having no photo/graphic attached to a story.
  • More infographics, especially in sports, that enhance a story or replace a story to tell it in a better way
  • Better-reported stories: Stop rushing stories that aren’t fully done! Obviously, we have to fill space and stories fall through, but rushing what could be a really interesting, new story to fill space is not the answer!
  • Variation in layout design that grabs the reader’s attention: good balance of text and art

Online

  • Updated versions of stories AND breaking news that is published right away. 
  • “Casual” types of art like memes (Spongebob meme) – more relatable student content
  • Photo galleries or photo essays to better tell a story (protests)
    • Or just photo galleries from a newspaper story where we couldn’t add more than one or two photos to
  • Video + audio – provides readers a unique way to consume news through a newspaper – could lead to better page viewership/following

Social media

  • Reader interaction: Twitter/Facebook polls, Instagram stories – let people share their opinion(even if you don’t agree)
  • BREAKING NEWS!!! (cannot stress this enough) 
    • Tweet about the breaking while getting brief up – sometimes it takes a while for breaking news briefs to get published so tweeting it lets your following know you’re on the story
  • Gifs, short videos, memes, interview audio – the younger generations don’t want to read a lot – give them something visual 
  • Infographics (might have to format differently than infographics in the paper)

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