Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.



Session: Feature Does Not Mean Fluff

From a Designers Point of View Verdict: Basic but motivational and interestingBy Alex Mescher, Assistant Art Director & Michele Boyet, Multimedia Editor

This was a great discussion on collaboration of designers and writers. Although it was pretty basic, it addressed design issues that are often overlooked.

The main elements of this session discussed dominant images, designing on a grid, creatively cropping, good use of white space and the best design for feature stories.

Tan Ly from the Washington Post really knew what he was doing and I was impressed by their knowledge of design. Most importantly, they stressed that the content drives the design.

Another interesting point they addressed was the use of white space to make feature stories look and read better. However for news and harder stories, the design needs to be more critical and the white space should be considered at a different level than the design.

Ly’s motto, “Good design is clear thinking made visible,” really inspired me.

The slideshow at the end of the session showed great examples of good design and use of white space from the Washington Post.

From a Writers Point of View Verdict: Good advice and great examplesBy Mike Yacobellis, News Editor

Two top design editors from the Washington Post who used to work at the Sun-Sentinel explained through PowerPoint an example of the use of communication. The largest and most obvious problem in student publication is the loss of communication between designers and writers. These two graphic designers showed how that link of communication is essential.

One main point that some overlook is that the designers know how to read and they should do so. Not just reading the lead and nut graph will bring meaning to a feature piece, but the dedication of reading the whole feature and the writer being there to add sufficient detail for the designer.

Some examples that would be helpful for students to use, as explained in this session, are the use of typography and tight crops. Using that unique and pivotal picture can make or break the design. The same applies to unique features where pull quotes can be the art – not filler – for those last two inches of white. These designers were on a whole different level and as they explained, they started with a college publication.

Session: Expanding Revenue Through the Web Verdict: Generics make me sleepy at 9 a.m.By Alex Mescher, Assistant Art Director and Dori Zinn, Opinions Editor

Before teaching a session in a specific subject, Kristin Mills should have taken a class on how to teach.

A misleading description lured me in to believing that I would learn something. Instead, I was left with more questions than I entered with. I couldn’t stand it. That was 15 minutes well wasted.

Without specific examples to explain her points, her presentation was meaningless. She told us that we needed banners on our websites to increase traffic. Yeah, I knew that. For the next few minutes, she oversimplified advertising banners… again, with no specifics. As I waited patiently to hear something of merit, I was left in disappointment when nothing new came up.

I was looking forward to hearing how to generate and eventually increase revenue for online advertising. I was upset that I got nothing more than a break from walking. If the College Media Advisers plan on using this session next year, please, get someone who’s actually qualified for the job.

Session: The PVE: Top Notch Front Page Design Verdict: Liar liar pants on fireBy Mike Yacobellis, News Editor People filed out of the room in the first 20 minutes faster than the jet-lagged travelers attacked and emptied the candy dispensers in the convention main hall.

Chip Rouse from Villa Julie College offered no answers for quizzical writers, editors, and designers that filled up three quarters of the Lincoln East conference room. The summary placed in the D.C. convention program book was promising, but a lie. It was supposed to be easy step-by-step examples, but there was no before or after. In fact, there were only before examples.

Ten remained when I left at 3 p.m. I hope they were her friends because they weren’t learning much. “This is how you can make this better” examples are and always will be more helpful than “hey look at this fucked up page… I don’t know how to fix it…do you?”

Session: Remember the Reader Verdict: This was penance for our sinsBy Jordan Blanchett, Managing Editor

For a session about remembering the reader, Randy Stano sure didn’t pay attention to his audience.

You will see dozens of national and Guatemalan newspapers that feature colored arrows, large text and tilted typeface. If that thought made you gasp, you could possibly learn from this session. The same types of examples are used over and over again, making the session monotonous and boring. The phrase “you can’t do that” became Stano’s battle cry as he tried to imitate our supposedly uncreative leaders. Thirty minutes and several rounds of hangman into the session, I left with no new knowledge and a strong desire for coffee — I don’t even like coffee, but I had lost all of my energy. If for some reason you must attend this session, be sure to bring a book or a pillow. Frankly, it was brutal, but now I know that the color lavender is edgy.

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