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Jumping backward

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lmcmillan33, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    I am the sports editor of a small daily newspaper. During the week, our papers typically are 8- or 10-page one-section editions. It used to be more and it used to be that we almost always were two sections but we almost never get two separate sections anymore. We simply do not get advertisers to purchase color advertisements often enough to justify two sections. So we have color on the front and on the back page.

    I am often given the back page because I have photos to run nearly every day, whereas for news, there often are only enough photos for front page use. Many days, I'm also given an inside page (usually 5). In an eight-page setup, comics/TV listings are on page 7 and classifieds are usually 6. Sometimes the back is the open page and sometimes 5 is the open page, depending on if we have any color ads at all.

    At first, I avoided jumping from 8 to the inside. I tried to make all stories fit entirely on page 8 and place a note that more sports is available on page 5. After a while, though, it got to the point where that just couldn't happen so I reluctantly began to jump stories from 8 to 5. No one seemed to be bothered by this. I think most people are just happy to see color photos and don't really care where stories start and finish, but we finally received a complaint.

    I know it is obvious that stories shouldn't be jumped backward, but given the situation, is it better to do it anyway in order to take advantage of the color print we have available to us?
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I've seen plenty of papers that jump backward. I've seen some papers put the business section on the back and jump inside.
  3. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    I haven't seen any other papers around here do it but I figured it might be a more common thing now because of the reasons I stated. I just wanted to see what others thought.
  4. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    It's not backward. It's your jump page. No big deal.
  5. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    If the back page is the front of your sports section, it's almost like it's jumping forward because when many people pick up a paper (especially one that small), they look at the front and then flip it over to see the back before opening it up. Plus, if you're readers are accustomed to the back page being the sports cover, they'll know to flip it over and see that page first when they're ready to read sports.

    It'd be different if the sports cover was an inside page and then you jumped backward to another inside page. But I don't think going from a back cover to an inside is all that bad.
  6. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Never seen papers do this, but, yes, definitely take advantage of the color print. I think readers would want color more so than worrying about flipping backward.
  7. My college tabloid used to do this. Never got any complaints. Nor had any as a reader. If you've made the back page your sports "front" already, then jumping inside shouldn't confuse your readers.
  8. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    It's a lot better than jumping from one section to another like a decent-sized weekly does around here.

    They usually have about a 4 or 6 page A section, then about 16-20 pages in the next section.

    It's completely annoying to read a story, then to continue reading, put down that section and open another one.

    I'm not sure why they do it, but my guess it has something to do with the ad on the front. They have a full-page ad on the last page with a flap (for lack of a better word) that folds over onto the front page.
    They also print whatever the flap covers up on A-1 on the front.

    Not sure if I explained that well or not.
  9. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Not sure how long you've been doing it that way, but if that's your first complain, that's a good thing. If you start to question it and change it, I just have a feeling that you'll get many more calls asking to change it back. As my MO goes here, "Can't please everybody all the time."

    That's why they pay me the big bucks.
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    This is also how my college newspaper, which was a tabloid, did it. We never got any complaints about this aspect of it. I think it makes the paper seem like a two-in-one: I would start from the front, read the first half, and then start with the back and read in.
  11. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    It's something we've been doing on and off since September pretty much. This is the first complaint. Sports doesn't always begin on the back page because we do occassionally get color advertising that takes up the back. But my feeling was that it only makes sense to use the color when it's available.
  12. I thought "jumping backward" was going to be a post in response to the suddenly ever-present phrase "moving forward."
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