For one night, and maybe more, Texas A&M is King of the Hill

For one night, and maybe more, Texas A&M is King of the Hill

Kenny Hill gets congratulated by fans after the win/USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Let’s go ahead and get the nickname business out of the way. Texas A&M sophomore Kenny Hill, for the record, would prefer if you not call him Kenny Football.

“It’s a little played out,” Hill said late Thursday night deep in the bowls of Williams-Brice Stadium, moments after he had dissected No. 9 South…

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Somebody pinch me! I wouldn’t say I’ve ever truly enjoyed watching football, but Thursday night the wonderful photo editors at USA TODAY let me work with them as we populated the morning paper with photographs from Super Bowl XLVIII. I also contributed to the Sports Weekly, which comes on Feb 5.

Multiple tasks happen all at once and by the time you catch up, you find out that the whole page you just finished has completely changed and needs different photos. This situation paired with a CMS that likes to crash roughly every five minutes made for an interesting evening.

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USA TODAY Photo Editors (from left) David Cooper, Sean Dougherty, and Mike Tsukamoto work during Super Bowl XLVIII.

Overall it was an incredible experience to work for the Super Bowl.  To see the workflow from when the photo is taken to it’s resting place in the paper and all of the in-between gives me a better idea of what I need to do to get myself at the same level as the editors I work with. One of those things is good old experience. Being able to know what you want from a photograph, and how to find it, and how to do that quickly is something that comes with time, which is good because time is something I’ve got plenty of! 

Something that I got to see for the first time since being here is a picture page being put together. Throughout the game it kept changing shape and content, and it was great to be able to contribute to it! Check it out:

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Another interesting page to help put together is below. As you can see, Geico bought a specific piece on the page, so page designers had to work with something to make use of the space we could use.

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While contributing to these sorts of things, I am picking up better habits in terms of workflow and just getting to know the software better. They’re little tips and tricks that aren’t difficult but make the job a lot easier and more efficient. Like before downloading an image from Merlin, just rename it to something including the page number it’s going to, subject matter, and the date of publication, then you won’t accidentally choose that same image for another use the next day. Which when doing Super Bowl stuff, would be pretty easy to do. Picking up these habits is kind like “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!” but I’m here to learn and that’s what I’m doing!

Something I need to keep on my mind the next week or so is focusing on what my goals are. My goals for getting an internship and working at USA TODAY was to get exposure to the job. To work and observe professionals and soak it all in like a sponge! But now that I’m getting a better idea of how things run, I need to focus my ideas so that I can speak up and say “Hey! I want to do THIS.” Having more specific goals in mind will help guide me to where I want to be - even if that path is really curvy and takes a few pit stops, at least I’ll know which direction I’m headed.

New NFL policy leaves players leery of Roger Goodell's power

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New policy leaves NFL players leery of Goodell’s power


Roger Goodell’s admission that he botched the Ray Rice case were lauded by advocacy groups




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Texas A&M running back Trey Williams (3) runs the ball against South Carolina during the first quarter in Columbia, S.C. Texas A&M rolled 52-28.

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