The Line. 1.27.10

Here are some notes on this issue of The Shorthorn:

Best photo:

Andrew Buckley’s Page 2 wild art of the engineering student playing with a helicopter. The composition of this image is great, and it captures a slice of life on campus that you would have missed had The Shorthorn not given it to you. Also, love that this student is wearing aviators. Very cool moment.

Best teamwork:

Stephanie Goddard, Laura Sliva and Scott Snider’s trekking down to Special Collections in the library, combing through the Reveille yearbooks and hitting up The Shorthorn archives to seek out photos to go with the engineering package and for an online gallery. Your time and energy paid off – the photo gallery online is full of interesting images.

Runner up: The mix on the opinion page was good today. I enjoyed seeing a guest column on a relevant topic, as well as Brooke’s personal account of dealing with caffeine issues. The editorial needed a bit of work, but the intention to share resources was good. All are topics readers will eat up.

Best thing in today’s paper:

Johnathan Silver’s engineering package today could have included current faculty, staff and students and stopped at that. Instead, he tracked down the former college (and university) president, got historical information from other resources, talked to former students and employers, and even talked to the future students UTA hopes to see. The sourcing in this piece doesn’t reflect everyone he talked to, either. Wonderful job finding the people impacted – and impacting – other folks.

Things to work on:

–       Content dictates design, but today’s engineering package and the other story packages we had didn’t seem to follow that rule. Rather than play up the content we had and promote the heck out of our online resources, it appears we stuck to the routine. In the engineering package, we had historical photos galore but chose to showcase three, from recent memory. We didn’t make the best use of space, and the package begged for graphics (enrollment, maps of growth, etc.). Be sure you are exploring all angles of a story, even at the design stage. We’re all story tellers. Maps, info boxes, etc., are all part of that.

–       If you promote online work in print, make sure it’s there before you publish. If someone visits the site expecting to see a photo gallery with a story and doesn’t, that person isn’t coming back to check it out. Make this a routine, and don’t break it.

–       Good stories today. They reflected that we are out there. But, be sure we are getting stories FIRST, not just getting them in when we can. The College of Nursing story is a great example of something we knew about last week when Dewhurst came (it was in the press release). We had a strong reaction to the rap video posting on YouTube, but we knew enough about it the night before to get something short up on the web. Keep your ears open for news and report it when it happens. Let’s break some stories!

Corrections: We misspelled Nursing Dean Elizabeth Poster’s name in the summary deck on Page 1.

Also, the headline on the engineering promo should have been “Marking a milestone,” not “making a milestone.”


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