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  • The Patriot Ledger's Chit-Chat Q&A

  • The Patriot Ledger has a nice take on the Q&A ASF template.


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  • Called Chit-Chat, the highly visual feature focuses on entertainers among others, that are performing in the area. Set across 6 columns, it's anchored on the Get Out page.

    Dana Barbuto, features editor at The Patriot Ledger, answered some questions for us:

    Who came up with the chit-chat idea and why?

    Jen brought me a bunch of examples of ASFs from a conference she attended. I had a couple set aside from magazines, etc. So it's not a totally original idea. I'd been looking for a feature to anchor on the bottom of the page. In the past we had two other weekly features that were killed because we don't have the staff or budget to maintain them. Because it's basically a short q-and-a with an artist, entertainer, etc., ChitChat provides me a quick and easy way to get local copy in the paper without getting our hands dirty. It doesn't eat up much staff or design time and we're able to satisfy our local arts/ent folks that want to be covered in the paper.

    How long has this feature been running?

    About 2 months

    What can you tell us about how the content (text and photos) comes together?

    Photos are usually supplied by the subject. We pick the subjects on merit and geography. We try to keep this feature hyper-local.

    Does the anchored package require a lot of editing, and how long does it take to build?

    Minimal editing, usually for space. about a half-hour to build.

    How have readers responded to the feature?

    We haven't had any reader response, but have had folks looking for coverage specifically ask to be a chitchat focus.

    Joe Greco is corporate design director for GateHouse Media.
    Contact him at jgreco@gatehousemedia.com.
    Check out his design blog here.

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