Sunday editions: Oct. 6

Each week, newspapers put their best foot (and stories) forward in their Sunday editions. This week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier share their most recent projects.

(Click on any page for a larger look.)

Minneapolis Star Tribune

SundayA1   Nurses

Josh Crutchmer, news design director: We are launching an investigative series on lack of discipline for nurses who violate rules of the practice in Minnesota. This has been months in the making from reporter Brandon Stahl, who not only tracked down numerous instances of neglect-gone-unpunished, he caught up with those affected by it, including the man in the lead photo on the cover, whose mother died in a nursing home in 2009 due to neglect. Photographer Jeff Wheeler shot appropriate portraits of those profiled in the Day 1 story. We’ll have some interactive components to this project at startribune.com/nurses. Also that is my hand in the top right skybox promo, holding that beer.

Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier

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David Leonard, designer: Our “Waiting to Exhale” project was a far-reaching look at college drinking at Purdue University and near-campus neighborhoods.

An excerpt from editor Howard Witt’s overview of the project sums it up best:

“College = Drinking. It’s a simple equation, and one that most everyone takes for granted. College students are going to drink and party and get wasted. It’s been going on at every campus, in every college town, since, well, forever. …

But should it really be this way?

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From the night of Thursday, Sept. 26, through the morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 29 — homecoming weekend, when Purdue played host to Northern Illinois — a team of 20 Journal & Courier reporters and photographers fanned out across campus and adjacent West Lafayette neighborhoods to document what a typical drunken weekend looks like.

We rode with police, visited bars, tailgated with alumni. We walked into house parties, fraternities and sororities, stood watch with homeowners, sat down with municipal and university officials. We talked with the family members of students who have died in alcohol-related tragedies.

What we found was a community grappling with a culture of drinking that feels like everyone’s responsibility but lies beyond anyone’s control.”

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We cleared the entire 14-page Sunday A section — except for a fews ads — to give our report plenty of room to breathe.

For the front page, I wanted to strip down to the bare essentials and get right to the point. Two photos from “Breakfast Club,” a morning binge-fest, set the scene. Big type and the opening of our overview column hit hard right away.

For the inside pages, I tried to institute a strong, flexible structure to keep everything flowing nicely. Large overline heads paired with explainer decks frame major pages. Lead photos bannered over the content offer a look into the sometimes bizarre rituals of drinking at Purdue.

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There also are some nice little touches throughout, including explainer graphics and a rail of tweets from our reporters, who captured moments that weaved into our stories.

The reporters and photographers tackled almost every angle of the story. We worked with the tireless Lafayette copy desk and editing staff to ensure all the stories were played at the right volume.

Have an interesting Sunday project to share? Email the PDFs and information to katherine.myrick@gmail.com.