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$$$ > product

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rhody31, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    So our all-area section is going out this week, which is all well and good, except for one thing.
    Schieza has left our sports department to handle news, so the bulk of the section was put together - and when I say put together, I mean placing all the photos and retyping the names; Schieza and I put together a good-looking section and we've used it the last two years - by our new guy.
    We - new guy, myself, Schieza - got together Saturday to tidy it up and I came in Monday to put on the finishing touches, including some last minute-head shots I had to take that morning. I get everything done, run through it, check for stupid mistakes and everything looked good. I tell the production guys that it's all set, but I'll be here for an hour until my game so if there's a problem when they send it, I can handle it. Hour goes by, nothing, all is well.
    Then Tuesday comes. New guy texts me that something happened. Sports guy at our sister paper was looking it over and someone, new guy's cutouts got screwed up because he changed the file names on the formatted photos after he put them on the page, so when the paper was changed from a Quark document to a PDF, so there are headshots in the place of the cutouts. I tell him to call production. Production calls me. We figure out what happened, everything gets changed, we have to replate and print the papers again.
    Then today comes. I walk in and the production manager says they're not reprinting and instead are going to let it run looking like a ball of ass because if they don't, they won't make a profit.
    I'm beside myself. I get it. We were going to lose money and that sucks. But when I came up with the idea to get this section going, one of the big selling points was it was easy profit. This is our fourth year of doing it so we've made the company money on each one; you're telling me we can't eat it once for the sake of making it not look like ass.
    I'm annoyed. Very, very annoyed.
     
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to newspapers, 1996.

    But feel your pain.
     
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    My only response to the title of this thread: Duh.

    I've become VERY jaded. I don't like it.
     
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Right there with you.
     
  5. dirtybird

    dirtybird Active Member

    There's a kind of journalism that doesn't jade you?
     
  6. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Maybe it's age. Maybe it's seeing too many places now being run by business people instead of journalists. Maybe it's seeing too much content affected by ad sales. Maybe it's going online, where the line between ads and editorial is more blurred. I don't know.

    All I know is I don't like how I feel about things any more.
     
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    So the newspaper should take a loss of a few thousand on this?
     
  8. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    I hears ya. I let dayside handle the tweeting of our stories. One day last week someone thought it would be a great idea to use "Go Podunk" as a twitter headline. Of course I sent an email of protest, asking if we'd think of using "all right, City Council" as a twitter head. I was told it doesn't matter since social media is supposed to be light and breezy, plus Podunk was not playing a team in our area. One fit later, though, I think they stopped it ... but it never should have started.
     
  9. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    HanSen, when I was a child in the late 1950s, one fine fall day my hometown paper, the Wilmington, Delaware "Journal-Every Evening," had "Beat Rutgers" printed in tiny agate type at the bottom of every column on the front page of the sports section to encourage the U of Delaware football team. So that kind of boosterism has nothing to do with technology. It's as old as moveable type.
     
  10. azom

    azom Member

    Risk vs. reward. This time, apparently, risk of a section that looks like ass outweighs the cost of printing it again. A business decision, not a content decision. Business decisions generally win in these situations -- and when in doubt, higher-ups will almost always choose to save the money. Took me a long time to face that reality, but that is the reality.
     
  11. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    I'm torn on this one. I totally understand wanting it to look good, but for something this big, you should be checking the PDFs yourself. Never trust a production person to know what the page should look like. Even if it looks bad, sometimes they just shrug and thing it's a stupid design thing they don't get. Someone who worked on the pages should be checking every page after it's been sent, and if they're printed on site, someone should be there when it's printed to check the first few papers to make sure it looks like it should. If you aren't there for it, this kind of stuff can happen. It sucks, but it's reality. We're journalists, but we work in a business as well. I can see where you want to put out a quality product, but I don't fault the higher-ups for the decision here. Once it's printed, the cost for re-printing the whole run for design reasons far outweighs the benefit.
     
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I'm a little unclear. Was this a matter of plates already being burned or an entire run already being printed?
     
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