I'm nearly 10 days into my "internship" at the Los Angeles Times. So far, so good.
I'm splitting my time between the morning copy desk (editing blog posts, photo galleries and stories) and the Web site itself (moderating reader comments and putting together information for the site's topics pages, among other duties). I'm already learning a lot about editing for the Web, and I am eager to take that knowledge and experience back to the classroom this fall.
I am also learning a lot about the history of the Los Angeles Times. That history greets visitors in its Globe Lobby, a stately room that, as the name indicates, has a huge globe in the center as well as artifacts, murals and photos. (Note: The globe labels the cyclone-stricken country in Southeast Asia as Myanmar, not Burma.)
Throughout the L.A. Times complex, framed newspaper front pages line the walls, showing how the paper covered the big events of the past. They are mere decoration to most of the busy employees, but as a new person, I have found myself stopping and looking at these pages closely as I go from the newsroom to the cafeteria and back again.
One thing that pops out from these front pages is the paper's use of exclamation marks in headlines from the 1940s through the 1960s, many in ALLCAPS. Here are some examples:
ON THE MOON!
When it comes to displaying history, print is still the standard. A framed homepage from latimes.com has not yet made it onto the main corridors of the L.A. Times. Perhaps that time will come sooner rather than later, as the paper is making a major push in that direction as the Web site takes center stage. Then, the interns of the future will stop and look at the famous homepages of the 21st century.