On Tuesday the Wren’s Nest Publishing Co. and I (henceforth: “the gang”) visited the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for a tour and an InDesign tutorial.
We were lucky enough to meet all sorts of important people. Our tour guide was one such important person — Daily Lifestyle Reporter and all-around champion, Jamie Gumbrecht. She’s peeking out below on the left.
While I do not have any more pictures, I can and will regale you with a few stories. Ready? I hope so.
Asking the Tough Questions
Jamie and the gang walked in on a meeting between Julia Wallace, Editor-in-Chief, and James Mallory, Senior Managing Editor. Mallory introduced himself by saying (in essence), “This woman is in charge and currently stomping all over my suggestions.”
Wallace asked the gang if they had any questions. Here’s how it went:
WREN’S NEST EDITOR: So, what do you think of the AJC redesign?
AJC EDITOR: What do you think about it?
WREN’S NEST EDITOR: It reminds me of USA Today.
AJC EDITOR: Is that a good thing?
WREN’S NEST EDITOR: (pregnant pause) No.
It’s a tad surreal to see the Editor of one of the most respected newspapers in the country defending her decisions to a high school junior. Apparently the AJC editors should consult the Wren’s Nest Publishing Company editors before moving forward with anything else.
We settled in to learn all about InDesign from the lovely Melissa Angle, Senior Designer, who was nothing short of amazing. I know this because even I could follow what she was demonstrating. That, my friends, is saying something. She was kind, generous (instructional packets!), funny, and patient.
On our way out we caught Pulitzer Prize winner Mike Luckovich in the midst of satirizing Jon and Kate, pen in hand and everything. Half-finished illustrations are tops!
Here’s the finished product.
Finally, Managing Editor Bert Roughton asked the gang if they had read any good submissions yet. One answered, “No. The one I read was REALLY bad.” I think he offered her a job on the spot.
Can I just take a moment to appreciate the generosity of the (very important) folks who took time to hang out? Good golly. Melissa and Jamie, y’all have a box of cookies coming your way. The rest of you can mooch off of them.
Thank you all again!
Unfortunately, our hosts at the AJC weren’t the only jaw-dropping element of our time there.
I know that my concept of manners and good social graces are different than those of a 16-year-old, and I have to judge appropriately. On the other hand, would you walk into the AJC while eating french fries? Would you think nothing of arriving 20 minutes late? Of picking at your nails while the Editor-in-Chief spoke to you? Sadly, I could go on.
I have no question that each and every one of our editors knows how to behave themselves when it’s called for. So why didn’t they think this was one of those times? It makes me uneasy about cashing in all of our favors for a gang that will appear not only disinterested, but ungrateful.
Sticky as Brer Rabbit Molasses, this situation. Any advice, other than prolonged yelling and/or foot stomping?