Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ghastly Redesign

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to comment on the Orlando Sentinel's new look. It's ... you know .... kind of like ..... well, maybe more like .... on the other hand, not so .... but very .... it's got ... however, not enough ... a tad of ... and too much of ... How shall I say? The words escape me.

Howard Kurtz, media critic of the Washington Post, was more articulate. This is what he had to say in a column published last week:

(T)he Orlando Sentinel, launched a redesign last week that makes USA Today look like the Financial Times. The front page is dominated by big photos, big graphics and a strip across the top with blurbs about inside stories, often featuring some celebrity. Each day there are three stories -- some as short as three paragraphs -- and sometimes one of them is an opinion column, complete with the writer's picture. Rather than run a full news story on an agreement for the state of Florida to buy a huge chunk of Everglades land from U.S. Sugar Corp., the Sentinel's front page carried a Mike Thomas column praising the deal. And there are info-tidbits: A story on lightning season ran next to bullet points on staying safe.The approach jazzes things up, but also makes the Sentinel look like a magazine that swoons over eye-catching art and brevity. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if newspapers merely imitate online sites, the Web already does it better.

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