Region 2 update

This year has been the worst the newspaper industry has seen in a long time. In this region alone, roughly 14 weeklies or dailies have shut down (three have shifted to online only), and more than 3,000 jobs were cut. Hardest hit were non-newsroom employees, people who work in circulation, advertising and human resources. Newsroom staff were not spared, of course, as hundreds of reporters, designers, photographers, editors and others took buyouts or were laid off.

But there was also some good news …

An innovator in the San Francisco Bay Area

December’s big buzz was Dave Egger’s Panorama. This experimental paper was a bold reminder of the power of print. Just picking up the paper brings back newspapers’ nostalgic past. Its extra-wide width harkens to the days before the 50-inch (or that trendsetting 46-inch) web.


Image of Panorama in a San Francisco store. (Steve Rhodes via Flickr)

Gorgeous full-page and doubletruck posters of graphics and photos are plentiful. And long-form, in-depth news packages , along with stories by notables like Stephen King and Michael Chabon, make Panorama a visual — as well as intellectual — treat for any reader. So, it is no surprise that despite the $5 newsstand price, this cutting-edge paper sold out on its first day on the streets of San Francisco. (Copies can be ordered online for $16 plus shipping.)

Here are a few more links to press about the project:

Additionally, Frank Mina, longtime SND friend and assistant managing editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, who was involved in developing the paper, will be providing an in-depth review of the paper’s inception and process soon.

New members and member moves

  • Bill Pliske, senior news design manager at The Arizona Republic, became online presentation editor.
  • Jennifer French Knox, news designer at The Arizona Republic, left the paper to become a designer and production artist at American Art Collector magazine.
  • Dan Kempton, multimedia artist at The Arizona Republic, has left the paper to become Western regional multimedia editor for The Associated Press.
  • Elly Oxman is now a picture editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. She was formally a picture editor for the San Jose Mercury News.
  • Nanette Bisher, a past president of SND, retired as a deputy managing editor from the San Francisco Chronicle in July. Frank Mina was promoted to assistant managing editor for design after her departure.

SND outreach for designers in transition

The highly successful Web Design Boot Camp taught by online gurus Tyson Evans of The New York Times and Dave Wright of National Public Radio headed to Vegas on July 10.

And we hosted our first West Coast meetup in San Francisco at Adobe’s offices there. More details here.

Let me know what else we can do in 2010, either by bringing training closer or hosting more meetups. Don’t forget that this fall, the annual SND workshop — check out the official site for all the details — will be in nearby Denver.


About Pai, regional director for the Western U.S.

Hi, my name is Pai, and I’ve been the graphics director for the San Jose Mercury News since 2004 and Region 8 director for SND for almost a year. SND has been an integral part of my career since…OMG…two decades ago when I first started at my college newspaper. Ever since, my skills as a visual journalist have been honed and nurtured by attending countless SND workshops and studying its awe-inspiring annuals. As regional director, my hope is to help your career as much as SND has helped mine. Email me with questions: pai@mercurynews.com