"This morning about 0500 the convoy realized its destination and the first wave was formed and started for the beach. Our job was to sweep for floating mines and air protection. When we were about 1800 yards from the beach we threw our mine sweeping gear over and that is where the fun started. They begin to fire at us from the shore as we went in LCF 31 on our port side was hit and went down. And on our starboard side I saw P.C. 1261 going down. After we saw this we were all so damn scared. We wish we had never seen that many but we had to keep going.
"After the first troops and rockets hit the beach things begin to quiet down. All day and night troops were sent to the beach."
P.C. 1621 was the first ship sunk on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
William Lunsford was a Navy Gunfire Support Craft specialist on USS LCF-27 (or Landing Craft Flak), part of the invasion force at Utah Beach in Normandy. Lunsford is the father of Margie Bennett, a sales support employee at the Aiken Standard in South Carolina. He kept a diary, and excerpts from it made up part of a package of stories commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day last week.
"They're all in their 90s now," said Managing Editor Michael Harris. "Time is killing them more than the Germans did, as I pointed out in the editorial. We're losing them. So I wanted to go into it with something different."
The Standard asked readers for their memories, stories, photos and other contributions, knowing that the dwindling number of World War II veterans meant that direct interviews would be limited. The plan was flexible based on what was submitted.More
Over the next few months, I'm offering some of my best columns from the past few years.
This one focuses on things designers hear that drive them nuts.MORE
Newsrooms need plans for covering natural disasters, and coming up with them before the next fire or storm will make a stressful situation simpler.
As part of their capstone project, three convergence journalism students studied disaster plans at The Associated Press and other newsrooms across the country.MORE
Studies from the Media Insight Project, Trusting News and others show that audiences put their trust in the news depending on certain factors that are present within the organization. In order to uncover where news outlets are on target or lacking in these factors, Discovery Fellow Taylor Gion from the University of Missouri did some research with new sites across the country.MORE
COME JUNE 1, I will have spent 30 years as a newspaper consultant. That's a long time. I'll be retiring at the end of this year ... perhaps sooner.
It's time for me to turn my attention more toward Julia and my family ... and the pursuits that bring me joy.
Over for the next few months, I'm offering some of my best columns from the past few years.
Here's one that focuses on designers.MORE
Read what one student learned from a failed newsletter at a newspaper he interned at this semester. “I may have learned far more about audience engagement through the struggles than I would have if the newsletter succeeded,” he said. “I was forced to be creative, to do whatever I had to lure and keep the audience engaged and coming back for more. In some ways, we did just that, even though we ran out of time.”MORE
Six publications owned by Brehm Communications have deployed Presteligence's My News 360 platform for their editorial front-end system, website, e-edition and mobile apps.MORE
Getting rid of the bad stuff isn't easy. Going through 1,000 or 10,000 "outtakes" of photos requires people and time. Can we create a system that automatically disposes of lower quality images while keeping enough so that an editor has flexibility in future publishing?MORE
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already transforming news operations in ways unimaginable even several months ago, much of it transformative and positive. Among the changes AI is helping implement: Customized content, improved reader/viewer/listener/user relationships, moderating and policing comment sections, and creating more efficient workflows.MORE
So ... how does design affect readability? And how does writing affect design?
Take a look at the two stories in the illustration with this column. Which do you think will be read by more readers?
Well, the one on the right, of course!
The short paragraphs make that story more appealing because readers understand a simple truth about writing: Shorter is better.MORE
The Associated Press is expanding its robust efforts to debunk false and misleading information, including in video and Spanish-language content appearing on Facebook.
With a focus on Spanish-language text, photos and video seen by a U.S. audience, AP will debunk misinformation and publish corresponding fact checks in Spanish. AP is the first fact-checker in Facebook's program to focus on content consumed by Spanish speakers in the U.S.MORE
Here's an idea to steal and adapt: The Virginian-Pilot used data to find a new beat topic to reach new audiences. Now, the beat is consistently one of the highest-performing in the newsroom.More
Do you want to grab the attention of your readers with your very first page?
Of course you do! With every issue, you want your front page to have high readership. You want it to be your best-read page.
You can get that strong readership by making sure the design of the front is compelling. And the key to that compelling design is a strong visual element.More
You've done it again. Success! Every page in this week's (or day's) paper is in by deadline. It took some doing, but like almost every issue before it, you've created another miracle: cramming thousands of words and photos together into your latest newspaper. And ... you've done it on deadline.
Well, before you stroll from your desk brimming with pride, let's take a closer look at the "miracle." Every page is in, perhaps, but most of them went to prepress in the last half-day (or last hour).
So, yes, all the pages are "in," but you've created a problem for those who have to turn those pages into files that can be processed and printed.More