Nudity, profanity and Pulp Fiction

Stephanie Hays

The room was jam-packed. People lined the walls and sat in the front, everyone desperate to hear what Michael Koretzky, from the Society of Professional Journalists, had to say in his talk, “Chicken Salad”. And what he had to say was good.

He started with the nudity, continued with profanity, and ended with a typographic design of Samuel L. Jackson’s infamous monologue from Pulp Fiction, including the iconic line, “Does he look like a bitch?!?”

In between was all about revamping poorly designed pages in half-an-hour or less. And he had some pretty solid main points for all of us:

  • Pictures of old people, white people in suits, people looking bored, and people in cubicles are unacceptable.
  • White people in suits shaking hands does not make a photo interesting.
  • Neither does white people in suits in front of graphs.
  • Heirarchy is important, more important stories need to be bigger and bolder.
  • Group related stories by using one dominant headline.
  • If you use clipart, you deserve to be shunned by the journalism community.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut weak pictures and weak stories.
  • And most of all, Koretzky REALLY hates photographers.

In the end, it was a pretty satisfying chicken salad.


One thought on “Nudity, profanity and Pulp Fiction

  1. The most crucial lesson is the summation of all your bullet points: Put more students IN your newspaper. Run their photos, interview them, analyze them. That’s your audience. Not old farts in blue suits.

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