Monday, July 14, 2008

Observe, I will turn your editorial page into a cartoon

*From a post by Lee Abrams, on the internal Tribune blog

(Lee Abrams, victim of verbal diarrhea and Chief Officer of Innovation for the Tribune Company)


I wonder if you need them in their current form. They take up a lot of space and they tend to be cumbersome in an era where there's so much of it on TV and the Web. But let’s assume that they do serve a purpose. Some thoughts;

There are no examples that a REALLY dead on the money. Even Overseas, they are either non existent or more of the same.


*Re-brand it as "OBSERVATIONS" instead of "editorials". A wider spanning forum for opinion.

*Turn the format over to design team for a re-think on the look.

*Here's how I’d envision the page;

--A photo that capsulate the topic at hand to draw people in. Could be a cartoon. But front and center. Big.

--Then in very eye friendly manner, headings: ((Jackson Obama as example)


POINT: A "Jessie is Right" opinion

COUNTERPOINT: A Jessie is nuts" opinion

THE LOCAL OPINION: A web based survey ILLUSTRATING what YOUR community thinks. GRAPHICS!!!

THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Headlines from newspapers around the globe, nation or region.

WHAT WE THINK: A SHORT overview of the newspapers' opinion.

If you do this EVERY DAY, you’ll see far greater interest in the easy to read, but smart page, a page that is truly a centerpiece of opinion from all corners...a more compelling read that includes ALL key viewpoints that will alleviate your "bias" perception

....and of course a blatantly obvious drive to the web for more discussion.

...and keeping everything in that zone between eletist and in your face. If Newspapers were radio you'd want to be in a smart place between CSPAN/NPR (Smart but very limited) and some Goofy Top 40 station that is annoying to anyone over 13. If it were music, a place between a hard core classical piece and a fleeting junk culture hit. This "intellectual positioning can keep you MASS APPEAL...but also smart.


Anonymous said...

The Zellots are well on their way to destroying the sentinel editorial page. Expect to see a half-page ad on the op-ed page as the standard soon.

And the board is losing 3 staffers in the current slash and burn -- that's not counting jane healy.

Anonymous said...

and can the guy please learn to spell?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how the orlando sentinel top management can claim with a straight face that no one has canceled a subscription since this whole slash/burn mess began.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Lee -- the radio-style positioning he's describing for the revamped editorial pages doesn't even work for radio anymore. Hasn't for decades.

This is the first time reading one of his missives that my initial take wasn't "Geez, what a nutburger," but, instead, depression.

Anonymous said...

someone give this guy a journalism 101 book: papers have been running "headlines from around the world" for decades if not centuries. and, uh, isn't the web far more efficient for doing this these days? and don't readers know it?

as for changing the name of the editorial page or section, well, look across the street from The Tower to the Sun-Times, where the change of Opinion or Perspective or whatever it was to the oh-so-hip CONTROVERSY section on Sunday went over like a lead balloon, with advertisers, as could have been predicted (do they ever want in with editorial matter in a newspaper?), and judging by nose-diving circulation, readers as well. maybe since this happened before the radio guys seized control of The Tower it wasn't on their radar, i don't know.

these suggestions would be laughable if so many good people's livelihood and passions weren't at stake.

rknil said...

He's still a nutburger.