The Line. 04.01.10

Here are some notes on this issue of The Shorthorn:

Best headline:

Rance Pringle’s “Round Two of the Fight Begins” in Pulse. The headline sums up the story – after a Battle of the Bands appearance, a Street Fighter-inspired band is hosting a CD release party. Round two, anyone? Nice work.

Lesson: Headlines need to summarize the stories they are selling, but in doing so need to remain specific. This headline does that, while several others do not. We are padding (adding unnecessary words to) headlines throughout the paper. These are marked in yellow highlighter on the page.

Best quote:

Chris Hunt did something great in his construction update-he found a former UTA student who plans to attend classes here again. Until then, he’s working construction toward the Engineering Complex: “I think it’s cool that I’m helping build a building that I’ll be studying in.” Great perspective, and good source find. It helped layer the story.

Lesson: Find people relevant to your stories. If you are writing about a student program, talk to the students involved or impacted. Think about the stakeholders from all angles, and get them represented.

Best lede:

Monica Nagy’s “Those who want to avoid a D or F my prefer a W.” Any idea what this is about? The drop date is looming, the play off of letter grades enhances the impact on  students (nice use of the word “avoid”). I think we all can relate to this lede, which also makes it an instant hit. Great!

Lesson: Ledes don’t have to be long or complicated to get the news across. With every story, focus on what impacts readers. Often, that doesn’t include background. Put the newest or most newsworthy information at the top of the story, and structure your story around the lede.

Best thing in today’s paper:

Justin Sharp and Thea Blesener’s graphic on The Science of Bed Racing (page 2). This was a unique angle on an annual event that put the experts in the position to give advice for a fun event. The advice is practical and provides another layer to telling the story.

Question/challenge: What other experts could we have consulted on EVERY story in this paper to add depth to stories?

-BF

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