Competition coverage starts soon from Syracuse

We’re about to get started with wall-to-wall coverage of the Society’s Best of Newspaper Design™ Creative Competition, which recognizes work published in 2008. This year’s special categories include the financial crisis, elections around the world (and specifically the U.S. presidential campaign that resulted in the historic rise of Barack Obama), and the Summer Olympics from Beijing.

Watch for updates on the judging from Syracuse University, starting on Friday with two programs about print and online design at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Newspaper redesigns: On Friday afternoon, please join us live starting at 2 p.m. for the first session, which will focus on the explosion of print redesigns in the last year. The program will be moderated by Bill Gaspard of the Las Vegas Sun. Participants are Jonathon Berlin of the Chicago Tribune, Melissa Angle of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Gayle Grin of The National Post (Toronto).

Online news design: The second session starts at about 3 p.m. and will be moderated by yours truly. We’ll talk about interactivity online, the skills students need, and how tools can inform the journalism by creating new ways to tell stories. Participants are Mark Friesen of The Oregonian, Tyson Evans of The New York Times, and possibly my Northwestern colleague Jeremy Gilbert (who used to work for poynter.org) if we can get his flight plans to cooperate.

Opening reception: The Friday evening activities include a dinner for the judges and facilitators at the Newhouse School. That event, organized by Marshall Matlock, the longtime Competition Committee Director and Professor Emeritus at Syracuse, will give everyone a chance to meet each other before the intense three days of judging that will follow.

Judging begins on Saturday: We’ll start at about 9 a.m. by introducing you to this year’s general competition judges. And we will continue all day with updates on the trends we’re seeing as the judging gets officially under way.

Matt Mansfield is president of the Society and an associate professor for the Medill School of Journalism.