Friday, April 18, 2008

From head to page

The big question in everyone's head is not what's going to happen to the economy or the war or your mortgage, since those are irrelevant topics.

The big question is, how does the Freeman produce a page?

I'm glad you asked.

Here's how it happens in the Life section:

Story meeting

The Lifers -- Bonnie Langston, Blaise Schweitzer and the alleged animal-hating Life Editor -- hold a meeting in which they discuss ideas for upcoming stories.

The meeting goes something like this:

Editor: "Do you have a quarter? The soda machine ate mine."
Reporter: "I don't have time for this. I have an interview in five minutes."

Somehow, a story assignment comes out of that meeting. The reporters then do something called reporting and the editor goes back to sleep.

The reporter then proceeds to spend his and her entire day chasing sources, talking to people, taking notes, writing stories and waking the editor up.

Once the story begins to take shape, the reporter and the editor talk about what images can work for the story. For our Earth Day story on Sunday, for instance, Blaise imagined a guy holding the Earth, an idea he then passed on to photographer Tania Barricklo while the editor was sleeping.

Here is the end result:


Here's how Tania was able to set that shot:

Once the story and the photos are in, the editor gets a "dummy page" (newspaper-speak for "page were dummie draws things"), which looks like this:


Then the editor is supposed to actually do the page, but more times than not, he's too busy writing blogs about how much works he does, so he delegates his work to somebody else, adds a typo, takes credit for the whole thing and goes back to sleep.

The end result is this:

Life front April 20,2 008


Because I'm nice, I made sure you won't be able to read the text in that image.

Grab a copy of the paper Sunday.

I'm going back to sleep.