The Line. 04.06.10

Here are some notes on this issue of The Shorthorn:

Best photo:

Aisha Butt’s image of the recycled fashion model on Page 1. This image, which captures a great moment of the model having fun and showing off, tells this story well. This image also looks like something you’d see in a real runway shot – the placement of the legs, the exuberance – it comes through. Also, the focus on the model with a blurred background really makes her smile the first thing you see on the page.

Best package design: `

Page 1, We are the world. This design was helped by the banner head, which served as a label for the package (try sans serif next time), and the use of calendar and map to provide hierarchy within the package. The varied shapes of content – horizontal image, smaller map, vertical calendar – really helped the package have a clear path for the reader to use in reading. Package is very clean.

Best story:

Alysia’s story on Page 2. Clear, focused lede got you into the story, then the story unfolded by answering questions as I had them. Nice job, and educational. Alysia’s best story of the semester! Read it here.

Best lede:

Monica Nagy’s banner story on Page 1:

“Sima Awaida tried her best to maintain composure as a parade of drums and banners passed by.
The interior design freshman was giving a lecture on modesty to female members of the Muslim Student Association when the UTA Samba Band marched by, causing her to shimmy on the spot.

Good start got me to the next graph, and the next graph. And that graph made me laugh. What a good scene setter, and a great way to “show” the music being played. Nice.

Close second: Chase Webster’s scene setter on the CSI Arlington story. See it here:

Best thing in today’s paper:

Teamwork, plain and simple. Will Johnson and Aisha talked to each other during their assignment on the recycled fashion show, and it came across to readers – we had photos of the people in the story. Packaging on the CTP showed the reporters (Chris and Monica) talked to each other, and that news and design had a clear idea of stories to come. All editors pitched in when we had two editors out. Nice job, everyone, for pulling together to make things happen when they needed to.

Things to work on:

– Today’s SG election story left me feeling bias in a few ways, even thought it wasn’t the intention. On one hand, we had three sources vouching for one candidate and only one for the other  – himself. When you look at what was reported, though, we get much more in-depth on the second candidate and provide more information to help shape our judgment – a completely different sort of bias. Be aware of a few things: How you structure your story and the information you elect to include (and when it’s introduced) all plays into perception. By focusing on getting specific information about platforms and backgrounds, we could have eliminated the at least second set of bias. Seems like we were trying to force a focus that wasn’t supported in the lede.

– Speaking of ledes, don’t back into them. In some stories, we don’t explain the impact on readers until later in the story. For example, the SG election story, runoff story and logo guideline stories don’t explain, clearly, what the impact on students is. Go beyond the “what happened” and explain “why” it’s important. We talked about this Friday during the self-editing session.

– Scene and Sports reflect poor planning. We have a one-source story on Scene as the lone story, and the sports page doesn’t include content that reflects all the sporting events that took place over the weekend. Let’s get on track here. Staffs – keep hitting those beats to best cover the campus. Will and Sam – good job with roundups from this weekend. Especially like the details and athlete comments. Keep it up, and let’s get more STUDENTS on these pages.

Good stuff coming up – the Housing Guide, some projects in the works. Keep up the basics so you can let your work shine.



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