2003 Better Newspaper Contest — Page Design

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Division 2, Dailies
Division 3, Dailies
Division 4, Semiweeklies
Division 5, Semiweeklies
Division 6, Weeklies
Division 7, Weeklies
Division 8, Weeklies
Division 9, Weeklies
Division 10, Weeklies

Page Design

Division 2 Dailies 7,000 to 99,999

1st. Odessa American — Good use of color and good color. Could vary point size of headlines more to make the lead story on Page 1 stand out. All stories jump — should consider holding some for convenience of the reader.

2nd. The Galveston County Daily News — Good centerpiece on Page 1 with breakout box that is informative. Bylines are a bit large and all stories jumping is a negative. Sports front is attractive but largest head should have been placed above the photo. Good photo, graphic is informative but could have been a lot more attractively produced.

3rd. Midland Reporter-Telegram — Too many photos with the centerpiece story on Page 1. Like the list of superintendent’s salaries. All stories jump, which is a negative. Type under marine’s mug should have been set ragged right to avoid bad line justification. Sports front was attractive.

4th. New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung — Good to see some stories hold to front. Photos could be bigger; overlay of type in rail is too dark. Clean typography on Editorial Page. Good centerpiece on the Sports page, but maybe eliminate a photo or two and hold a story to the page.

Division 3 Dailies Less Than 7,000

1st. Texas City Sun — Great looking layout. Good photos, great column on front page, lost on the editorial page. Living just jumps out at you. Good way to draw attention to the different teams with the logos.

2nd. Alice Echo News Journal — Great looking paper. Each page is clear and crisp. On the Forum page consider the same theme as Sports and Area news with the “teen of the week or well said.” Maybe a quote with the First Amendment, etc.

3rd. Hereford Brand — Very clean, good use of many photos. Good color.

4th. Taylor Daily Press — Page folios are great. Not sure you need it on the second sports page but still very good.

Division 4 Semiweeklies 4,001 or More

1st. Hood County News — Great use of photos — large! Lifestyles design is excellent. Headlines are easy to read.

2nd. Wise County Messenger — Front page design is very inviting. Like white space used on lifestyles — although photos are a little large.

3rd. Round Rock Leader — Editorial page is exceptional. Front page is typical and left hand column is too busy. Good use of photos throughout.

4th. Williamson County Sun — Photos are excellent and color reproduction is good. One of the better papers in this category, but needs some excitement.

Division 5 Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less

1st. Mansfield News Mirror — Clean design, nice “taking it easy” feature package on front and great sports layout. Nice use of rules.

2nd. The Highlander (Marble Falls) — “Republican Rout” package is nice. Headline and caption typography is nice. Body copy could be a point larger to improve readability. Nice Living page.

3rd. Gatesville Messenger — Excellent photo reproduction! Graph for weather report and “What’s Inside” need improvement.

4th. The Wimberley View — This is a clean design that didn’t need color to win.

Division 6 Large Weeklies

1st. Houston Business Journal — Very nice design. Lots of information in an easy to read package. Not cluttered. Good photography — a treat for the eye.

2nd. Park Cities People — Overall very nice. People and Sports pages really need a dominant photograph or art element. They are a bit busy. Editorial page a bit gray for my tastes.

3rd. The Cameron Herald — A bit busy overall. Need a little white space, allow things to breathe. Makes me feel a bit claustrophobic. Lede pics could be run larger for dominance. Need lower story count.

4th. Duncanville Today — Too many entry points on 1A. Photo page needs a dominant image and some white space, too much stuff crammed into too small an area. Sports page needs a dominant element, especially with colored boxed on page it’s a bit confusing.

Division 7 Medium Large Weeklies

1st. Fort Stockton Pioneer — Nice flow to the paper. Good readability. Great bold headlines.

2nd. Copperas Cove Leader-Press — Nice eye-catching photos on the front page. Sports page has a nice flow. Education page is filled with information. Great job.

3rd. The Free Press (Buda) — Nice job. Good long stories. Very nice flow to page design.

4th. Pittsburg Gazette — A really fun design throughout entire paper.

Division 8 Medium Weeklies

1st. Cedar Hill Today — Nice, clean design. Good use of simple fonts, very readable. Overall, a very good design. Great job.

2nd. DeSoto Today— Also a clean design. Great color on sports page.

3rd. Leader-News (Lytle) — A well designed paper. The photos in sidebar are a bit distracting. The font on “Savvy Senior” section is poor. However, good use of borders and boxes. Nice job!

4th. The Smithville Times — The fonts used in sidebar and posed photos made the paper much less interesting than it could have been. However, the placement of photos and text is eye catching. Good work.

Division 9 Small Medium Weeklies

1st. Lancaster Today — Beautiful color. The photos in this issue are very expressive. Impressive paper.

2nd. Midlothian Today — Design was great as with the first place winner. The sidebar of mug shots was too big, but nice sports pages. Good job.

3rd. The Citizen (Clear Lake) — Nice, bold front page. Good clean design. The Lifestyles page was a bit busy with the bold fonts and arrangement of photos. Overall, nice job.

4th. The Clarendon Enterprise — A very clean, organized layout. Good job.

Division 10 Small Weeklies

1st. Benbrook Star — Proof that a newspaper doesn’t need color to look clean, modern and professional. The subheads set off by a bullet and the bylines add a professional look. Beautiful editorial page, well organized with a clear dominant feature. I like the “on a roll” part of the headline, creative without being tacky or overdone. Great for a sports feature. Good photo feature package. I’m sure readers loved it. The headline and font and graphics seem a little hokey and outdated, although I see what you were trying to do. If you want to do the patriotic theme, stick with something a little more subtle. Readers pick up on graphic clues and themes better than we give them credit for. Overall, great job. Pat yourselves on the back.

2nd. The Brackett News — Good decision to get spot news dominant and above the fold. Good use of pull quotes and mug shots. Edit page has somewhat of a focal point. Try boxing off column, if that’s what you want to play up. On sports page, pick one photo to dominate. Good variety of headline size on Lifestyles. Nice squared off story packages and no “dog legs.” Watch pica margins, though some stories look too close to one another.

3rd. The Eagle Press (Fritch) — Love the banner. Good dominate feature photo on the front. Readers love cut little kids, right? Good color sidebar. Would be nice to have one headline running horizontally for balance, even if it meant shrinking the photo a little. Nice drop shadows on briefs on edit page. Would be good to have staff editorial or wire cartoon to dominate the opinion page. How about a banner that tells us that in no uncertain terms this is the editorial page? Good assertion or dominant story on sports page; good variety of headline font size, too. Would be nice to have photo, but I don’t know what kind of limitations your staff has. I bet readers loved the Howdy Neighbor photo package. Keep the fancy headline type for a main headline — use sparingly! Box your “shop Fritch” house ad so it doesn’t interfere with your feature package.

4th. Alvarado Star — Like the refer boxes, but put subheads smaller or less bold so they don’t fight your banner. Nice sparing use of specialty headline on “Heart and Soul.” Photo packages — always a plus with readers. I appreciate what you tried to do with the Old West/pioneer font, but it’s too much for the whole headline. How about picking one or two key words for the font? “Friday Night Lights” an interesting idea. Good job including band, cheerleaders and others who make Friday night happen. Could use a more dominant photo. Back to school photo package also a “plus” with readers I’m sure. Would be nice to name the kids in cutlines. How about not all upper case on cutline font?