I know, I know. It has been almost a month since I last updated this blog. But, believe me, I have a very good reason for being tardy. Not long after my last post, I applied for a web copywriting internship at a marketing company near my hometown. And guess what! That’s what I have been up to for the past few weeks. I couldn’t be happier, too. This internship has been an incredible opportunity to learn more about corporate writing and develop my writing skills through constant practice.
Because I end up spending almost eight hours a day writing, I’ve found it very difficult to come home and find more time to write. It has also been difficult to find time to work on the Collegian redesign, but that’s also been combined with technical difficulties. So here I am, enjoying the summer by doing what I have come to truly enjoy, writing. Don’t think the redesign won’t happen, because it will. We may just have to be a little creative in accomplishing it.
Why your college or university newspaper should be redesigned
And I would encourage you to consider redesigning your newspaper too. Perhaps you’ve noticed, but the world changes very quickly; design does too. There will always be new trends, new styles and new perspectives. In everything else in life beside newspapers, dictionaries and obituaries, it seems the design is updated regularly. Even cookbooks and the Wal-Mart brand go through redesigns.
Resist change, get left behind
For some reason, journalists tend to resist change when it comes to their occupation; but I think we’ve seen enough in the past nine years to know that unless you are willing to be flexible, you will get left behind. That doesn’t mean I advocate taking on a new set of values; on the contrary, hold tight to the truth and to your determination to serve the people, but consider being flexible in your presentation. So many newspapers are still so very far behind when it comes to design and technology. As a result, the entire field of journalism has suffered.
Newspaper design says a lot about your newspaper’s identity
If you believe that actions speak louder than words, then consider this: the way you present the news may speak louder about your newspaper than the very articles you write. Your newspaper front page design does matter. And so do the inside pages and every last detail. The way you present your content also says a lot about your newspaper’s identity. And maybe it’s time you created a new identity for your newspaper that matches your audience. Redesigning your newspaper can help you accomplish this.
If you’re a journalist and you still disagree, consider this:
If you’re a college student studying traditional journalism, research graphic design and learn more about page layouts. Believe it or not, this will help you develop better content. When you have a better idea of how your content can be presented, your mind will be broadened to greater possibilities. Give it a shot. You might actually find you enjoy page layout.
If you’re a graphic designer, you already agree…BUT!
If you’re a graphic designer, try to understand journalists and the world they come from. Write a story or two so you can see what it takes to put together the content you so often wish you had. When designing a page, it’s easy to see the content and visual opportunities a journalist missed. With writing experience, though, you will be better able to offer advice to journalists when they are working on a story, and they might even listen.
Just do it
And now that I’ve ranted to you about redesigning your college newspaper, it’s time I check out for the night and brainstorm some more ideas for my student newspaper.
Live long and prosper!