Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not To Be Used for Navigation

The newspaper has fewer people to do more work. So it's logical to inject a "labor intensive" page, right?

That's exactly how the publisher describes "Florida Report" in his June 29 column: "a very labor-intensive process." He never gets around to telling readers what makes it so, but it's evident those arrows darting across the page may be part of the intensity. If nothing else, they create so many more ways for the Sun to screw up.

Take today's page, for example. The headline says, "Tiffany art to be shown in Winter Park." The dateline clearly says WINTER PARK. And yet the arrow boldly aims at the eastern reaches of Interstate 75, near Miramar. Winter Park and the museum of the story are accessed from Interstate 4, a bit southwest of Orlando. It was too labor intensive to look it up.

The Lehigh Acres story arrow points to a large blank spot on the map north of Naples -- no city listed there. It was too labor intensive to set a bit of extra type to overlay the map.

The Oldsmar story is from a cute little village perched on the north shore of Tampa Bay, across the water from Safety Harbor. The arrow directs readers to an unidentified inland spot 40 miles north of Tampa. It was too labor intensive to be accurate.

Back when we sailed around the Caribbean, Old Word Wolf and her mate occasionally stumbled on cartoon maps -- the kind touristy restaurants print on paper placemats. A good many of them warned "Not To Be Used for Navigation." That always gave us a giggle. (We're approaching a new harbor just after sunset and coral heads dot the entrance; the captain barks, "Hand me the fricking placemat!")

The Sun should give a similar fair warning. But that would be labor intensive.

Let's not overlook yesterday's front-page giggle ...

The overline says:
Show horses staying home more,
others are forced to sell or give up their pets

The statement rides over a picture of a horse that is presumeably telling his pet that the time has come to sell her.

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