With a new year come new changes. This edition marks the second week of the new look of the Winslow Mail. There have been subtle changes since I arrived last August in the look and the content of the newspaper. I hope most people find the changes have been improvements.
Altering a newspaper, especially one as historic as the Winslow Mail, is always a little risky. Readers rely on their newspapers to be consistent. Most people have a routine with a daily paper and if that routine is jolted, editors will hear about it.
Routines are slightly different with weekly papers. But weeklies are generally referred to as community newspapers. Daily papers can bring readers the world through wire services and bureau offices. But community papers make their community the world and the paper should reflect that world.
We changed the name of the editorial section to Voices of Winslow because those are the voices we want to hear. If you, dear reader, have an opinion about an issue that affects Winslow, write it down and bring it to our office or e-mail it.
Education is an important issue in every town and city from Maine to Hawaii. That’s why we have added the On the Chalkboard section this year. The page will recognize Winslow’s sharp students and high achievers. The plan is to make it a regular section except during the summer and any other long break from classes.
The City/County section has been running for several weeks now. We know the world doesn’t end where Route 66 does, so when there are important issues within Navajo County or other stories from Winslow that don’t make the Front Page, we have what amounts to a second front page.
And of course we can’t forget the Sports page. Winslow is filled with sports fans whether it’s the Diamondbacks, Suns or the hometown Bulldogs.
We also welcome other sports that aren’t played in the school district. We encourage parents and contestants to send us photos of competitions whether it’s school related, youth programs or some other athletic event Winslow residents are involved in. With just two editorial staff members, we can’t be everywhere but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Page one is where most of the improvements have been made. The Newsline adds more color photos and loses the color banner that, quite frankly, never came out the right color.
Another photo, known as a cutout or knockout, will adorn the new masthead. This adds another dimension of color to the page and draws more attention to the Sports banner headline.
The masthead, the technical term for the newspaper’s name, is still a classic “olde” style font. The bold changes on the front mixed with this traditional font symbolize Winslow’s combination of history and modernity.
While many of the changes are cosmetic, they are intended to improve interest in the content of the stories and photos. A headline alone is no longer attractive enough to entice people to pick up the newspaper especially since there are so many other formats these days for people to receive their news.
There will be a little more tweaking of the new style over the next few weeks as we perfect the look. We just want the rest of Winslow to be as proud of its newspaper as we are of it.