The times they are a-changin’ for

It was 1963 when Bob Dylan famously wrote, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” and leveraged his fame to spur conversation during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The writing process hadn’t been completed when — according to biographer Clinton Heylin — the iconic folk singer was visited by his friend and fellow musician, Tony Glover. Glover picked up a page of the lyric, looked to Dylan and said, “What is this shit, man?” Dylan replied, “Well, you know, it seems to be what the people want to hear.”

Dylan had an intrinsic understanding of everyday people, and responded with what has become an anthem for societal change in moments both big and small.

Now marks the beginning of change for our Society.

If we’re to be serious about realizing our mission and honoring our craft, we must also be serious about building a relevant community in the digital space. A community where we can encourage and engage, innovate and inspire, tinker and teach.

Last December you may remember receiving a survey inviting the SND community to share what it felt were the biggest priorities for our organization’s digital presence.

That feedback laid the foundation for what I’m calling a re-imagination of

The first phase of that re-imagination will come to life in the form of a responsive redesign set to launch this September. The redesign will boast new navigation and a new job board, content recirculation, social sharing capabilities, and a design system worthy of any professional media organization.

We also recognize the need to assert our rightful place as an organization of thought leaders within our industry. We remain committed to profiling creatives doing great work, speaking to emerging trends and sharing Society news, but we know must do more.

Katie Myrick of The Washington Post has been named editor of, focusing on community engagement strategy.
Katie Myrick of The Washington Post has been named editor of, focusing on community engagement strategy.

With that, I’m pleased to announce that Katie Myrick of The Washington Post will serve as editor of, focusing specifically on community engagement strategies.

“I firmly believe our industry needs discussion, and that is going to produce some seriously interesting conversations. I want to do everything possible to keep people coming back to the website,” said Myrick.

Indeed, the times they are a-changin’, but change can’t happen overnight. As we work on re-imagining our digital presence, we invite you to partner with us in the process. If you missed the chance to offer feedback last December, it’s not too late to have your voice heard!

  • What would you like to see in a re-imagined

  • What types of content do you most enjoy reading on

  • How can we best facilitate honest discussion over industry issues?

  • Are you willing to join the effort as a volunteer?

(Kyle Ellis is a designer for CNN Digital in Atlanta and Digital Director for the Society for News Design.)

About Kyle Ellis

is Director of Strategic Programs for SND, and a consultant for American City Business Journals.


“How can we best facilitate honest discussion over industry issues?”

Start by not misleading people into thinking you care about what’s on the page as much as the page itself. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know the “concern” about changes didn’t start until your precious PFADs got threatened. As long as the “content people” were the ones getting cut, centralized, etc., you were just fine with it.

Also, take a stand against some of the utter crap that keeps getting recycled. Lame blackboard illustrations, stick figures, pointing out every March that the NCAA tournament has 64/65/68 teams and printing all the logos — that stuff is useless. Readers aren’t buying it — start paying attention to the readership numbers for a change. Your beloved Steve Jobs got demoted at Apple because he kept relying on inflated figures for Mac sales projections. If newspapers had any sense, they’d stop listening to people who demonstrate the same type of pattern.

Thanks for your input, Robert. Please keep it up.

I think you and I are in agreement that the Picasso For A Day concept for designers is not good for journalism and it’s not something we should embrace. The designer as journalist working with the content given – as opposed to the concept of what a designer can do to manipulate the content itself – is something I embrace and something I hope SND continues to embrace in the future as well.

I don’t agree with some of what you’ve said above. But I appreciate the debate.

Fair enough. I would add this: If you’re disagreeing with opinions, that’s one thing. But if you’re disagreeing with facts — and the readership issue is a fact, no matter how much designers want to insist it’s not — then this is just another step along the designer path of We Won’t Ever Change, No Matter What; Everyone Else Should Just Give Us What We Want. Newspapers can’t afford to keep going in that direction.

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