City Desk

Washingtonian August 2008 Table of Contents

Much virtual ink has been spilled around here about the incomprehensible awfulness of the table of contents page of Washingtonian magazine. (Yes, I'm piggybacking on my boss' complaints about it, but best as I can recall I whined about it first at CP central command.) It has really tiny type. It makes no effort to draw you to what are the most important stories in the issue. If a j-school student submitted it as an assignment for a magazine-design class, any reasonably intelligent professor would have to nod politely and say, "Yes, well, that's a very interesting first try."

Well, I'm gonna do a little service journalism of my own here and offer a helpful table of contents for the latest issue. Tear out the TOC on page three and replace it with a printout of what follows—I guarantee that, if nothing else, the type will be three times more readable.

PAGE 7: Capital Comment Reinventing Obama and McCain...Good beach reads...Empty seats on Air Force One....

PAGE 19: Where + When Coldplay's coming!

PAGE 33: Health D.C.'s got a serious lead-poisoning problem but you wouldn't know it reading the TOC because it's buried next to a book excerpt. Kids in D.C are threatened with brain damage and it's getting as much attention as the crossword.

PAGE 44: "Heroes at Play" Nice sports-themed photo essay that the TOC leads you to believe is about Georgetown U.

PAGE 54: "Grownups Gone Wild" Washingtonian's TOC editors had a choice between flagging a photo of privileged young women whoopin' it up in Dewey Beach and a picture of FBI chief Robert Mueller...standing around. Guess which they picked?

PAGE 64: "My House of Bargains" If you want to find things cheaply, go to Craigsl—NEVER MIND NOTHING TO SEE HERE.

PAGE 82: More cheap stuff. This feature takes up approximately 200 pages but only merits a three-line treatment on the TOC.

PAGES 88-90: Ladies, have you considered getting some work done?

PAGE 141: Home Repair There's nothing quite as gratifying as working with your own hands on things around the house. Here are some people you can hire who feel that way.

PAGE 171: Real Estate Oh, honey, if you have to ask...

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