Wick Communications

Posts Tagged ‘art’

Add art to the middle

In Online media on September 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm

TownNews product managers talk in terms of “article designing.” It’s the art of enhancing your digital storytelling so that folks make it all the way to the last scroll in hopes that the package stays with them like a good meal.

One of the things that the experts have learned should be obvious to those of us in the print world: If you don’t break up all that gray type, you are apt to lose audience.

So, TownNews has made it ridiculously easy to add art and other storytelling elements in the middle of your story. Simply add art elements as assets, find them as you would any photo or child asset in the system, and then drag and drop where you want it to appear in the story. (For anyone who uploads stories regularly, I’m confident that you can take it from there. TownNews explains it better than I here. But if you need help, please ask me.)

Photos, maps, videos… Think of the possibilities.

Clay

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When photography is ignored

In Photography on October 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm
Some bar band that Charlie Russo shot on assignment for the Bay Guardian

Some bar band that Charlie Russo shot on assignment for the Bay Guardian

I’m about to make a generalization that is not entirely fair:

One among many challenges that forced two good alt-weeklies out of business this week was a lack of good art. I’m not saying it was the primary reason, only that it represented a denial of sorts of the visual nature of the media today. The lack of good photography in many alt-weeklies may be partly due to the lack of available landscape in the tabloid format, but it’s also due to a lack of respect for photos and photojournalists.

That is a vast overstatement and, again, I don’t mean that crummy photos doomed the Metro Pulse in Knoxville, Tenn., and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. These are challenging times for all media for myriad reasons that readers know all too well.

But I do think, precisely because of those challenges, we need to be visual in a time when the media is dominated by Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms that exist primarily as photo-sharing vehicles.

This isn’t my unique observation. In fact, I probably first considered the importance of photos in the alts in conversations with Charlie Russo. Charlie was a photographer for us at the Half Moon Bay Review and did at lot of freelance for the Bay Guardian on the side. He’s one of the best photographers you’ll ever meet. It was Charlie’s observation that alt-weekly editors seemed to value long-form, word-rich journalism above all else. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but if you want anyone to read it, you have to concern yourself with design, photography – even typography. … Read the rest of this entry »

Rethinking ‘Newsthinking’

In Writing on July 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned a book by the name of “Newsthinking: The Secret of Great Newswriting.” But taking down Bob Baker’s book from my dusty shelves has been a revelation.

The book has been in print since the Paleolithic era. I was in college when I bought it for a newswriting class. It’s funny that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The stuff in this book is relevant today even though it was written before Facebook, digital cameras and the Internet.

I wanted to mention something Baker says about writing and how it differs from “newswriting.” Actually, I wanted to just quote from the book. To wit:

Newspaper writing is not “Writing.” No more than shooting a basketball in your front-yard is like playing in a basketball game with nine others. Or strumming a guitar is like playing in a band in front of three thousand people. “Writer” connotes the sun, reflecting on the forces around it. The reality of “newswriter” is the asteroid, being tugged at violently from every angle – bitchy sources, bitchy competitors, bitchy editors, bitchy readers, deadlines, space limitations and the emotional fragility those pressures create.

You may love it, but that’s not enough. You have to consciously define your skills by these pressures. … Read the rest of this entry »