Thursday, March 09, 2006

Tricks of the trade

Wonder of wonders, my FCS story finally saw the light of day -- but not before several "talking points" were inserted into the original copy. As a side note, it's funny that the contact referred to them as talking points, since no human being ever has uttered those nightmarish combinations of jargon and dependent clauses. It's English, yeah, but just barely.

But regardless, I was happy with how the paper turned out this week. The front page looks pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. And I do. It helped to have a lot of art to work with, including some great verticals of members of the 233rd Transportation Company returning home from Iraq (fourth deployment) and kissing their wives. You can't go wrong with shots like that -- they've been money since 1942. At least.

Plagiarism is bad. But co-opting good ideas is A-OK. That's why I check out the Newseum before I start any Page One layouts -- it's got pictures of hundreds of newspaper front pages from the current day, and it helps out a lot. Have a severly horizontal photo with action heading to the left? Snoop around Newseum until you find a page layout that works with the same thing.

Out of copy and need some filler, but you don't have a subscription to the Associated Press wire? No problem -- grab some ARNEWS. They've got stories, photos, anything you need... and it's all publishable, since everything the Army runs in its newspapers or news outlets technically is a press release.

Stay tuned for my geek-speak-filled Future Combat System story, an examination of the Army's new(ish) sexual assault reporting policy, and a nice little piece on some new vehicles they demonstrated here last week.