Sunday, March 15, 2009

Editor as Floral Arranger

If you've read one entry you know my bias: I think journalism is here to stay, it's a worthy, beautiful profession, and it's absolutely necessary to a civilized society.

Biased as I am, I think (good) editors are artists; I see an Op-Ed spread, or just about any section of the paper, as a carefully constructed work of art. Balanced, and if not lovely, at least interesting to a variety of viewers. It's not always a floral arrangement; sometimes it's just a collage. But it's art, baby. Art. (A good page designer sure helps, but the editors and writers collect the material.)

Consider a recent two-page book section in The Plain Dealer. Of course, you won't see it online, so try to imagine...
Two equal but very different three-column reviews sit front and center: one on the weighty Cheever, a biography by Blake Bailey, is balanced by a look inside the lighter Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee. The "grownups" hover over reports on two tales for teens - it's as if the arranger knows that the kids are growing up fast. Fiction and nonfiction reviews hold up the edges of the spread.

It's big-headed hydrangeas and graceful young buds, a bright spray here and bit of greenery there. A fresh look at a new-in-paperback book and a glance at the NYT Best Sellers list poke up from the bottom of the page like baby's breath.

There's something for everyone.
Keep reading.

- - - This post also appears on my reading blog - - -

No comments: