The Line. 06.16.10

The Line. 06.16.10

Here are some thoughts on this week’s edition of The Shorthorn and theshorthorn.com:

Best headline: “As the university cuts back, so should the students” by Johnathan Silver and Jessica Parnell.

This headline was good because it accurately sold the story it was on – an editorial encouraging students to cut back on personal use of university computers. The deck, “Students can help save money for UTA by using computers more responsibly” follows up with the specific action the editorial asks students to take. Nice job on specificity and clarity. Read the editorial here.

Best photo: Avery Mackey’s portrait of Courtney Brown on Page 1 used natural light and put the subject in her environment – a great way to show where she likes to work. The subject’s connection to the camera also is very sincere – a nice moment.

Best lede: Advances can be tough to make intriguing, but Ali Mustansir’s lede really draws the reader in using a twist:

Students and faculty interested in the Second Life program have a chance to meet face to face tomorrow.
Sort of.
Second Life is a virtual world of fully user-created content. Thursday, the system will host an all-online conference as a culmination of a year’s work. The conference will feature panel discussions on topics like working in a virtual world, preparation for graduate studies and managing a virtual identity.

The “Sort of.”, emphasized by setting it off in its own paragraph and written conversationally, is a cue to the reader to expect something different than the first paragraph. The third graph plays in nicely, explaining the difference clearly. Read the full story here.

Best art element: It’s a tie. Well, not in that sense. Thea Blesener’s hand-drawn explanation of how to tie a tie were the best art/design elements in this week’s edition. They are well executed, consistent, and match the text clearly. Nice job.

Things to work on:

– Overall, most content in today’s paper was information that isn’t unique to The Shorthorn. As a reader, I had the basics of stories featured from other news sources. We must be the first source of information for people. That means staying on top of the news and reporting it when it happens. We missed big stories this week – the buyout among them – but have a chance to make up for it by being the BEST source of information on this from here on out. Let’s seize that opportunity.

– Pitch and write stories as you hear about things.

– Small developments can be part of a bigger story, but often warrant their own headlines. Think about briefs or short stories as ways to deliver the news quickly.

– Use The Big Dipper tickle file to keep tabs on things to follow up on, the big things on campus, the news. It’s at SPUB>The Big Dipper. Set a goal of updating this every time you are in the newsroom. E-mail or call ideas in.

– Let’s get more people doing things in our photos. Think action. Action takes someone doing something. Of our seven photos in this issue, three had people in them, and two were action shots. One was a file image. Let’s accurately reflect the goings on of our campus. If we hold the paper up, are we a mirror of what’s going on at UTA?

Let’s keep up the momentum and energy!!

BF

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