Friday, March 12

hello, weekend

the march 13 edition of the roundup is officially sent to press, and that means it's another 24 pages behind us forever.... this is what it looks like this week:

prior editor jennifer wrote the wind development article, while i wrote the update on the sage grouse's new 'warranted but precluded' status under the endangered species act.

the main article is one that dropped in our laps as a tip from assist editor h's dad, and ended up being the main article. nice when that happens. she wrote that one, as well as the sheep paint article in what we call our '4' spot.

the '5' spot has a meeting announcement that wyoming's 2010 national beef ambassador will lead a meeting in lander on how those in the ag industry can get connected online so their voices can be heard alongside everyone else's.

maybe i should explain how putting a paper together works - or rather how we make it work for us.

a few years ago prior editor jennifer and i designed this layout for the cover, and i like it much better. each spot is numbered, with 1 being the very top, 2 the big middle article, which always features photos and/or graphics and 3 being the column running down the right hand side. 4 is the lower left place, while 5 is the lower right. not really logical, but we all know what we mean.

the 5 spot used to wrap to inside pages just like everything else, but since i became editor we've started making it a short blurb, some sort of news feature with a photo on whatever random thing we think is most interesting that week. i decided to make it a shorter one, because, in my informal rancher surveys and in my personal experience, i find people are more likely to read short, quick, to the point things first, then the longer articles if they have time.

the 'quick bits' column that runs down the left side was also new with the redesign, and i really like it. it's a way to draw attention to our cover and, again, a way to provide concise news that busy ranchers will read. i try to pick interesting facts, number, quotes, or whatever to put there. again, whatever i think is most interesting.

and, apparently assist editor h and i have a good sense of what's 'interesting,' as compliments of the paper lately are that we're including very useful information in each issue, with a good variety of topics. even publisher d has said so, so good thing he's happy cause he signs our checks! :-)

i spend a lot of time each week searching for, editing down and compiling the quick bits and what we call our 'news briefs' inside. the quick bits are relatively easy, because there's only a few, and 200 words max, but for the news briefs i have to find a minimum of 2,000 words, and each brief can only be 200 words long at a maximum. a lot of them come through on email press releases, which i file throughout the week. 

running across the bottom of the front page is what we refer to as the 'inside box.' it has short titles and descriptions of articles included on our inside pages. this is the thing i'm most likely to forget to write for layout girl tracy each week! seems like three out of four weeks she has to call or email asking for it, and that's when i go in search of that week's proof to find article summaries and page numbers to send her. most weeks it's pretty easy, but some weeks we don't have as much inside, so i think i've even used the calendar page in there before.... what can i say, i get desperate. you'll know it's bad when i use the classifieds in the inside box.

layout girl tracy is the one who chooses the week's color theme, basing it off the photos we send her for the 2 spot for the week. she generally does a really good job, and it looks great on the computer monitor, but our printing service is somewhat lacking in quality control sometimes, and the colors come out looking really drab and not even close to what it looked like on the computer. there's no tried and true color combination, so it's a crap shoot every week.

but, that's a small slice of what i do each week. it's always very rewarding to see it put together on the computer monitor - and the colors layout girl tracy chose - for the first time when we get our proof on thursday.

and, since we're at this stage in the game, that means the weekend's not far away!!

oh, i'm going to talk to a realtor again today..... he called my cell phone last night, and convinced me i should come in and go over financing. i had every intention of shutting him down, but, i am over my frustration of last summer an am getting that itch again. especially since every week my apt gets smaller. and i'm really tired of keeping carpet clean, esp with all the high-traffic mine gets.

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