The Spokesman-Review : interns

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sarah Slavick: Fresh ideas

Carrie's already touched on our "little" Iraq war page coming out Sunday, but I'll elaborate some. I'm so excited about the prospect of the page. I really feel like it will help readers to better understand such a complex - and important - topic.
When I started designing last year at the Columbia Missourian my professor encouraged me to think of ways to pull out information from articles to provide context and/or make the article easier to read. I had trouble with it at first. As a copy editor, I valued the importance of a story in itself - and, at the time, I had the attitude that people should read articles because they're clearly important, not because a designer made it "easier" for them. But I quickly changed my mind. We should provide as many ways as possible for readers to get information quickly and easily.
And that got me thinking about bigger topics, namely the war in Iraq. We've been in Iraq now for over three years, and the longer we're there, the more of the situation's background and contextual significance fade. There just isn't the space in the stories that run every day to explain why sects of people there are at odds - or what advancements we've made - or the events that led up to us going there. So let me know if the page in Sunday's paper helped you to better understand the war or even one of its aspects. You can e-mail me at
My intern advice for this entry: Come to your internship with ideas. Part of your role as an intern in a newsroom is to provide a fresh perspective.


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