Helping to Put Together Poynter’s Book of Election Front Pages

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

obamaRecently, I helped put together The Poynter Institute’s new election front page book, which features 75 newspaper front pages from around the world.

My editor, Julie Moos, thought of the idea for the book and led the institute’s efforts in putting it together in just two weeks. The goal was to have it published in time for the holidays and the inauguration. Poynter faculty member Sara Quinn co-edited the book and selected which front pages should be used. “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau wrote the book’s introduction. (Definitely worth a read!)

Several Poynter faculty and staff members contributed to the book. I wrote some captions, which required doing a bit of research and, in some cases, talking to design editors at the papers I was assigned to write about. I wasn’t the sole copy editor for the book, but I helped edit it after we received the proofs. I also had the opportunity to speak Spanish with editors of publications in Spain when asking for a PDF of their front pages and permission to reprint them. I love having opportunities to use my Spanish-speaking abilities.

This book is a bit different from other books Poynter has published, such as “Best of Newspaper Writing,” in the sense that it wasn’t text-heavy. Nevertheless, it still required a great deal of editing and it helped me develop a greater appreciation for all the work that goes into putting together a book under a tight deadline. Collaboration in these kinds of projects is key.

The Obama front page book is now available at bookstores and at the Poynter store. It could make for a good holiday gift. I know my family can expect to see a few copies of it under the Christmas tree.