You would not recognize her name – but you have seen her work on the front pages of The Augusta Chronicle over the past seven years, plus uncountable Sports pages, Feature pages, special sections and her favorite – Masters pages.
She has had several titles in her two stints with the newspaper since 1998: Copy editor. Designer. Assistant sports editor. Design editor. Presentation editor. Night news editor.
Traci Westin is the nighttime leader of our copy desk. She excels at visual storytelling aimed at maximizing your understanding of the subject matter.
It is an additive art that Traci practices each night. She takes the work of the reporters, photographers and editors and shapes it into a design aimed at increasing understanding.
She calls herself a designer. I call her an editor because her degree of creative, critical thinking is sublime editing.
This week, Traci was honored with an award for excellence that is handed out quarterly in the Audience group of The Augusta Chronicle.
It was for a series of designs – including the recent Sunday front page that outlined the impact of the Affordable Care Act. She packaged the material to get your attention, maximize your understanding and help you get to the questions you needed answered.
And we all benefit from more than her design skills.
Two Saturdays ago, your paper was later than normal after our newsroom computer system malfunctioned. Our night workers were unable to access the stories or pages from 10:45 p.m. until after 3:30 a.m.
But Traci organized the night staff to work offline – outside the confines of our news production system. They designed the pages, edited the stories and output it all so that the press could start.
They released the last page about 3 a.m. – more than two hours past the Friday night football deadlines. After everyone else had gone home for the morning, the computer system came back online. Traci stayed until after 5:30 a.m. so that users of the iPad edition could get the experience they are used to.
Editing. Dedication. Leadership. A triple threat.
MOVING ON: Outdoors editor Rob Pavey’s last day at The Chronicle was Friday. Rob has covered many beats for us – most recently covering Savannah River Site, Plant Vogtle, environmental issues in addition to outdoors. Rob will continue to write a column for us each Sunday.
MOVING UP: Among some changes announced in the newsroom at The Chronicle recently were the following promotions:
General assignment reporter Lisa Kaylor will be covering Faith and Religion. Copy editor Robin Nevetral has been promoted to digital media specialist.
And sportswriter Chris Gay will be leading our efforts in social media and mobile devices in the coming year.