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The National Intelligence Daily

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The NID

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through a screen that breaks the gray tones into patterns of black dots. The image thus produced, which in the process is reduced to one- or two-column size, can be pasted on the layout sheet along with the type. The camera catches it all, the type and the clusters of black dots that represent the pictures, in one exposure. To the camera eye the screened pictures appear as black dots; to the human eye the black dots appear as pictures, in tones of gray. The photo-mechanical transfer takes less time than conventional photography, and the work is performed before the layout deadline. This and other production innovations would help the Daily achieve one of its principal goals: currency.
Headlines: Hazardous Journalistic Art
If the consumers were to take the intelligence newspaper seriously, the newspaper had to present a serious appearance. This is more difficult to achieve in a tabloid than in a newspaper of standard dimensions. In a tabloid, headlines do not have to get very large and bold before they convey an image of sensationalism; yet headlines too small and too light tend to resemble those in a mimeographed house organ.
When an over-simplification or a misleading term has slipped into the text of an article, the discriminating reader often can make a quick interpretive adjustment that corrects the error, so far as his own understanding is concerned. He finds, within the balance of the article, information that keeps the message straight. He may pass over a small deviation in the message, just as he may not notice a typographical error. But when an over-simplification or a misleading term appears in a headline, even the most discriminating reader may get the wrong message. If he reads only the headline, he will retain only the misconception. If he reads the article, the errant headline still may have left an impression so strong that it clouds the reader's perception of the message conveyed in the text.
Distorted headlines, a problem in the commercial press, are a far more serious problem when they affect the substance of national intelligence. Daily editors, therefore, would have to pay particular attention to headline accuracy. It is difficult under any circumstances to capture, in eight words, the essence of an 800-word article. It is more difficult to write such a headline when the words must fit within a given number of character spaces, and when various letters of the alphabet take up various amounts of space. It is still more difficult to compose headlines of precision, both in content and in length, when time is running out. Headline writing was one of the more challenging journalistic arts the Daily editors would have to master.
More Resources Committed
From the first four experimental newspapers, OCI selected the elements that would determine the appearance of a fifth sample. This one came close enough to the mark so that OCI prepared a sixth, seventh, and eighth to be tried out on a few picked consumers. The early indications of demand for the proposed new product were positive enough to warrant committing more resources to the project.
In September, OCI assigned four pairs of editors to newspaper drills. The editors would paw through the day's output of finished intelligence for regular publications, reshape the drafts into newspaper articles, write headlines, design page layouts, and rush the material into production. The trainees often discovered that a normal day's output of finished intelligence did not quite fill a newspaper. Then they would scratch up more. The editors had a word for their drills: frenzy.
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:46 AM
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2011 02:29 PM