When you picked up your copy of the News-Press this morning, one of
your first thoughts probably was one of the same ones I had:
Boy, does this thing look different.
It sure does. And looks aren’t the half of it.
Starting today, the News-Press takes on a new look and a new way of
presenting the news. In addition to gazing at a different design -- new
fonts, new standing features, streamlined presentation of photos and text
on the page -- you’ll discover our editorial content is organized
differently. Gone is the sometimes haphazard (though interesting and
vital) page-to-page collection of community stories, briefs, calendars
and logs. In its place you’ll find clearly delineated sections -- local
news, education, police and courts, entertainment, and so on.
We’ve moved some key pages around, too. The most obvious one is
Community Forum, which traditionally has been toward the back of the
newspaper’s A section each day. It’s now on Page 2, and always will be,
along with an expanded News-Press staff box that offers the titles,
direct phone numbers and e-mail addresses of everyone in the editorial
If that seems like a lot to absorb in one fell swoop, consider this:
In conjunction with the redesign of the paper’s look, we are undergoing a
wholesale changeover in our computer composition, design and layout
system. Our present system, which uses a news-writing and editing program
known as Decade and the popular layout and design program Quark Xpress,
is being replaced by a system designed by Denmark-based Computer
Composition International, something known as CCI around these parts. In
fact, the paper you hold in your hands was the very first one we’ve
produced using CCI. (Don’t ask me to explain too much about CCI’s
details; I’m pretty new at it myself.)
The reasons for these changes in design and computer production are
myriad, but two rise above the rest:
* CCI allows the News-Press’ writing, editing, layout, design and
production process to mirror that of the Los Angeles Times, of which
Times Community News -- the News-Press’ company -- as a unit. The Times
and its parent, Tribune Co., have invested enormous amounts of time,
professional expertise, money and, most of all, faith in the News-Press
and in Times Community News through the implementation of CCI, a process
that will be followed at TCN’s five other papers as the summer rolls
along. (Our sister paper, the Burbank Leader, rolls out its new look
Wednesday). It is an enormous vote of confidence in our viability as an
organization, our importance to the community and the company, and the
emphasis The Times and Tribune Co. place on giving their publications the
best equipment and expertise possible.
* One of Times Community News’ goals is to publish newspapers that are
readily identifiable as TCN publications, and include all of the
community-oriented news and features we consider our mission to bring
you. That goal is more easily achieved with design elements and
organization that, while not perfectly identical from paper to paper, let
our thousands of readers know we’re part of one family.
That’s not to say this whole deal has gone down without a hitch. Oh,
no. We’ve lost count of the meetings, trial runs, false starts and
electronic snafus it’s taken to get us here. And we expect to make some
mistakes going forward, at least for a while. So if you see or read
something that doesn’t look quite right, chances are we’ve seen it and
read it and already are doing what we can to correct it. We beg your
patience, indulgence and understanding.
Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the new look of the News-Press and the
new way the paper’s put together. We think it’s quite a step forward, and
are happy you’re along for the journey.
* Jeff Keating is editor of the News-Press and Burbank Leader. He can
be reached at 637-3234 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.