Thursday, August 24, 2006
Put the message in the box
Textboxes — timelimes, glossaries, checklists, mini-biographies, etc. — are being used more and more by newspapers and magazines. Done well, these bite-size packages of information can give background or context to a story. They are especially handy when a "teachable moment" comes along.

That thought brings us to a Daily Tar Heel story about new professors on campus. These newbies are finding their way just like freshmen. Near the end of the story come these paragraphs on the tenure process:

Tenure-track faculty have a total of six years to earn tenure.

Assistant faculty members are reviewed internally by their individual departments after three years. If reappointed, a more encompassing review is conducted during their sixth year.

Those who earn tenure are promoted to the post of associate professor.

Yes, some editing is necessary. But the point here is this: Rather than bury this bit of information, why not pull it out of the story and reshape it into a textbox accompanying it? Many undergraduates are probably aware of tenure but aren't sure how it works. Here's a chance to explain that.
posted by Andy Bechtel at 8:19 PM | Permalink |