Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A little love to, and from, the White House

One of the cool things about editing a newspaper is that when you see a beautiful new portrait of your country's beautiful First Family, you can display it loud and proud on the front page in full color.

So long as the publisher agrees. And I knew our publisher, Doc, would agree. Here is a pdf of our front page tomorrow for The St. Louis American:

Page A1, Oct. 29, 2009

I don't usually have a pdf of the front page the night we go to press; usually, I'm there with the rest of our little newsroom and the publisher, proofing black & white printouts as they roll out of our ancient printer.

But today, I am home with a sick kid, and stayed away even when my wife came home to relieve me, since the girl has H1N1. She is doing fine, and her parents don't seem to be getting sick, but I have been exposed and don't want to communicate the virus to anyone else while I may be contagious.

Having proofed the front-page design by pdf (and corrected a few errors on this version that won't appear in tomorrow's paper, multiplied by 70,000), I had the idea of sending it to our contact at the White House.

Barack Obama set a new standard for outreach to the minority press; I've actually had a far easier time communicating with the Obama campaign and administration than the Slay for Mayor campaign or administration.

Anyway, I emailed this front page to our man in Washington, with the note, "Thought you'd appreciate how we played your peeps."

And he wrote right back in moments:

Chris, you guys are too good for your own good. That made my day.
Hope the kid feel better. Thanks much.
Well, hell. Approval from the White House, and the paper isn't even at the printer? I think I deserve a beer. I think I'm going to go get one now.

p.s. If you want to continue reading the stories that start on 1A, here are the jump pages:

Page A6, Oct. 29, 2009

Page A7, Oct. 29, 2009

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