BG News Freshman Edition

Every fall we start with two rather large newspapers. It seems odd that you would put a fresh staff through such torture, but it is when we have the highest readership and therefore the most ad revenue. For the new writers and designers it is a gantlet.

A couple weeks prior we have a crash course in InDesign. I handle that with the graphics and design editors. The editor-in-chief spends much time with the green reporters. I would not want that job.

The first issue put to bed the Thursday before classes start (ever since BGSU switched to starting on Monday and not Wednesday) is always a 30+ page paper. This year it was 36 pages. More then 170 ads and a whopping 50 articles.

We also introduced a new monthly section called In Focus. This used to be a quarterly magazine called Miscillany that we have consolidated into Section B once a month. It is written like a magazine still, with more in depth features. Each month a different topic; this month's topic being Internet at BGSU and in BG.

The second issue of the BG News each year is the Welcome Back issue, and usually equals the size of the Freshmen issue. Luckily for us, both issues have mostly the same content. I don't know why it is done that way, but that's the way the wheel turns.

The Freshman issue went out the door at 1:45 AM, past deadline, but not really bad. We had some 4 color separation, and spot color issues, plus the usual issues that you get on a first edition, so it was not completely done until 3 AM.

Oh, I forgot, the production staff is entirely new as well, which the exception of one. So the entire production staff was learning how to take the InDesign documents and Distill them in the heat of the moment. They get the worst part of the "on the job training" of any of the staff at The BG News.

I thought about penning something at 3:30 AM when I got home. But I had to get up early (hey, 9 AM is early for me) this morning so I just called it a night. That is the longest work day I have had at The BG News in a long, long time.

I got to work this morning and had a huge surprisesitting on my desk. This was a really good day in BG News history. This is one of the best designed papers I have seen at The BG News in a while. I cannot say anything about the editing yet, as I have yet to read a single article.

I always mark the paper up with red ink to point out design issues. I was pleasantly surprisedat how well the BG News staff did. I wish I could give it a once-over before it goes to the printer, but this is a learning experience for these kids.

Design wise the staff started out on strong legs this year. Better then most. I hope they just continue to improve, and not collapse.

After these first two 36 page papers, the normal 12-16 page papers should be a piece of cake. They never are, but its a good dream to have.

I will have the PDF up soon. It took long enough getting 50 articles with photos and info graphics online today. The PDF will be online sometime next week.

Comments (4)

Good luck with them college kids this year. May the editors thrive and "Not News" survive.

Hey Suss, its good to hear from ya. You changed your blog, I updated my blogroll.

You really had a choppy start to Not News, its a shame. It is still there though, so there is hope.

How is your new job?

I had an Opinion page to worry about, too. If I had started that my junior year it would be in better shape today, but Jim will take good care of it.

The job is satisfactory, except for the travel. Right now I am in the middle of a two-week trip to Jasper, IN. My first two trips have been Quark sites.

The NewsEdit I'm installing allows users to view pictures and drag and drop them onto pages.

If you guys ever want to switch to a database, let me know and I'll get you in touch with sales.

Our sales guy is Shawn, Duffy I believe is his last name. He has (thankfully) given up trying to sell us on IQue. The Record-Courier (my hometown paper) and the Sentinel-Tribune both use IQue. I have had a lot of experience with it, but I don't think it would be good for The BG News. The first hurtle is the price. Second is training a very transient student staff to use it here would be hell, in my opinion.

I figured they would have you on the road installing and training NEP. I am sure you are training people on Transporter too. Thats a cool little app, isn't it?

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