Stu had the better story on the front page, but for some bemusing reason drowned it out with a local-press-style picture of someone enjoying themselves. As Lord Northcliffe said, "News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising." More space was given to what is effectively an ad than to a decent bit of FoI’ing. And the copy was strong, too, at least until the "unacceptably dirty" tin opener was brought into the equation.
Congratulations nonetheless to Miss Buky-Webster: the copy was strong through pages 6-7 too (use of "invite" as a noun aside). One thing stops this from being a home run: the pisspoor design of the focus pages. Just kill that template, now. Inset boxes are meant to hook people into the main copy, but aren’t very good if they’re drowning amongst other copy – colour signposting would be good. The picture was mediocre – maybe push the boat out with a diagram? And a key element of an infobox is good info. Corpus Christ? Harris? Manchester?
Obviously, the journalism is the most important part and is a resounding success in this case. But a newspaper is a product and it’s about time the Stu realised that design is as much part of the journalistic process (getting the message across) as writing headlines.
2 – yep
3 – a tragic incident, but 3?
4 – yep
5 – Yawnion filler, interesting figures though. Cherwell chose to Evelyn this, so dull is debating society politics. Slightly overegging a 15 minute incident at the SSL.
7 – yep
8 – woah, what do you mean there’s no more news?
13-15 – really strong feature
Sport – p34 just looks like The Times 100 years ago. Stop centring headlines; they look ridiculous.
Oh, and what’s more embarrassing:
a) Printing OxFood twice?
b) Printing OxFood twice, having puffed a (strong-looking) feature that should have gone on one of those pages on the arts FP?
c) Printing OxFood twice within pages of an advert about eating disorders?
d) All of the above?
Well there’s a tricolon you can’t turn down. Drugs, clubs and sex on the beach. You might cringe at the Victorianesque indignation, but as is made clear in the standfirst, these are educational travel grants – money that could be spent, for example, on bursaries or scholarships.
Anonymous quotes seem a bit weak next to council figures, but the story seems to have elicited plenty of lunch table interest ("I’m so getting a travel grant" and other predictable banter).
The FP also marked a welcome departure from normal front page design, while avoiding Independent-style guff. That said, Aldate implores the editors not to make a habit of this technique. Nor, indeed, of putting fat people on p1.
Incidentally, guess which Cherwell editor submitted his (honest and sincere) application for a travel grant on the day the paper came out?
Infested kitchens aside, Cherwell had a strong(er?) news week, full of sex pests, JCR betting banter, Wadham allegations and a transparent graph that looks like a college’s annual report.
Oona King vs Widdecombe – who’s the leftie paper now?
20 – A strong fashion piece of fashion writing. Don’t see that often.
Sport – really strong week.
Your verdict needed on:
– the above
– same centerspread, different executions