Christopher Gotsill wins Print Front Page DFMie

April 23, 2013 San Jose Mercury News front page

Christopher Gotsill of the Bay Area News Group won the 2014 Print Front Page DFMie for his April 21 cover addressing teens’ views about rape.

The editors’ nomination explains:

Taking a topic that is sensitive and making it impactful on the front-page of a daily newspaper is always a challenge. By any measure, the line between sex and assault is sometimes a fine one. Illustrating such a complicated subject is not easy, especially when teen-agers are the focus. This front-page had lots of input from the story’s reporter and editor, but it was designer Chris Gotsill who took the ideas and made a taboo subject into something that forced readers to read on.

Judges’ comments:

Designer Chris Gotsill of the San Jose Mercury News wins the DFMie for best print front page for his cover on the how teens are having trouble figuring out what rape is. Chris was able to draw readers’ attention to a sensitive issue without using photography or illustrations. The typography and color was direct, dramatic and to the point. The white space around the display also allows the typography to stand out while other elements and stories of thepage didn’t compete for equal attention.  Overall, it is a memorable and high-impact page.

This is one of four DFMies for the Bay Area News Group.

About Christopher Gotsill

Christopher Gotsill

Christopher Gotsill

Gotsill is a designer for the San Jose Mercury News, with the Bay Area News Group. He’s been with the company (and its predecessors) for about 18 years, switching newsrooms only once.

His journalism career started at Kansas University at the William Allen White School of Journalism, and later led him to the News-Star along the Louisiana bayous.

Early in his career, he heeded the advice of influential editor Horace Greeley: “Go West, young man!” He’s been living in California ever since, working for several years on the Central Coast before moving to the Bay Area.

Other finalists

Other finalists for the best print front page were:

  • Brian Harr of the Los Angeles News Group for a front page on the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq, featuring no story or photo, just the names of Southern California troops killed in the war and a teaser to more coverage inside the newspaper.
  • Alyson Bowman of the Register Citizen in Torrington, Conn., for a cover featuring a project on local heroin deaths, with an illustration of a hypodermic needle and statistics comparing Torrington’s heroin deaths to state and national figures.

Samantha Dellinger of the York Daily Record won the 2013 Print Front Page DFMie.

Steve Buttry

By Steve Buttry

Steve Buttry is Digital Transformation Editor for Digital First Media. He oversees our efforts to transform newsroom operations and culture to more effectively pursue our digital goals. His duties include responsibility for social media and community engagement. He has visited most DFM newsrooms personally, leading workshops and coaching editors and other journalists in following the Digital First approach.

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