Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stop Playing With The Thingy

The Charlotte Sun's page makeup kids recently found that little WordArt thingy on their computer's font-formatting bar. They have been giving all front page local lead headlines this month the WordArt thingy treatment: see-through, 3-D, drop-shadowed glow floaters. We're not crazy that the newspaper looks like a seventh-grade PowerPoint presentation, but we'll get used to it.

Now, the cutline -- this is another problem. The story about tourists returning to once-oil soaked beaches is ripe with photo-journalism opportunities. The cutlines could sing. So what do the WordArt maestros send to the printer? "In a March 23 photo, Pensacola Beach is seen."

Today's lesson is to stop playing with your thingy. Stop with the WordArt button and read the story to see if your two-month-old aerial of condo row and an empty road and an empty beach tells the story of tourists flocking to Pensacola. If after massaging the display type you find no time to write your own stuff, at least check to see if the wire-service cutline (assuming you didn't actually write it) that you are about to pour actually makes sense.

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