Weekly Spread Rotation

Try Ladue Horton Watkins High School’s production schedule. Hear more about the process in adviser Sarah Kirksey’s interview on Mind the Gutter podcast (episode 21). If you have a large enough staff, you should have a different team working on a different step in the process each week. That way, you’re finalizing spreads every week and work doesn’t pile up. Each team should consist of a leader and cross- trained staffers.

Week one: Preplanning

  • Team meets to plan potential coverage for the next week.
  • Team comes up with story ideas and angles, plans for dominant photo package, plans for each mod and what those should look like.
  • Team members all plan which events they will cover.
  • Team discusses ways to make thematic visual-verbal connections on the spread.
  • Designer creates basic layout (story, headline package, dominant photo package, spacing for mods).

Week two: Coverage

  • Collect quotes, photos, cutouts, information and interviews for spread.
  • Collect any information on events that happen that were not planned (surprise fire drills, unexpected moments, cool class activities, club news, etc.).
  • All interviews, photos, cutouts, info, etc. are uploaded to the team folder the day they happen.
  • Check the index for coverage counts BEFORE designing the spread to ensure students are covered fairly.
  • Check club and academic coverage counts to ensure balanced coverage.

Week three: Design

  • Place photos and write captions for each photo.
  • Write story and create subject-verb headline.
  • Create mods and plug in all information collected by the team.
  • Team leader self-grades the spread using the Production Rubrics (found in the Welcome section of the online curriculum) before presenting to the staff the following week.

Week four: Present and edit

  • At the start of the week, team leader presents the spread to the staff. Staff gives feedback concerning design, theme inclusion and coverage.
  • Team leader takes notes during presentation and prints page to give to EIC.
  • EIC will meet with team leader to go over the spread and work out any issues.
  • Team leader will edit spread and work toward finalizing it.

Week five: Finalize

  • Team leader prints two copies of the edited version of the spread for the EIC and adviser.
  • Team leader checks off names, clubs and classes covered in spread on class coverage lists.
  • Once EIC approves of spread, he/she will put it in proof so adviser knows it is “complete.”
  • All spreads in proof will be printed and class will edit two weeks before each deadline to help catch any grammar, spelling or design mistakes.