Newsletter critique 1/22

Morning everyone! Some great stuff today! Let’s get started.


  • I really liked the top 5 places to study piece by Aaron Gregg. I think stuff like this is what people will click on and read. It’s also nice as someone who is still relatively new to the campus to see it in a different way. The photos with it were great — nice serene places.
  • I LOVE IT! We have something in today’s newsletter about the new Chancellor visiting. This is a big deal since he’s pretty new to the gig. UTA is the second biggest campus in the system and we have some bills submitted to the Legislature so his visit is pretty big for us. What is a strength about the newsletter going out everyday is that at 8 am when people open it, we have a chance to tell them exactly what they need to know for the day. This is something they need to know. This goes to the heart of our mission as journalists.
  • The BLURBS! YES!
  • Lita Bush, I’m loving your lede today on the school merger story.



Taking a look at the stories in this issue, I’m liking the mix. Remember during orientation when I said we can do deeper with stories, and some depth. We has some opportunities to do that here that we didn’t take. Let me point some out and then tell you guys how to fix it.

With the road closure story, which I’m glad we wrote, we need to tell people how many cars drive through the intersections impacted. That’s a quick call to either the city of Arlington or the Arlington PD. They have that kind of information handy because 1) city council members tend to ask for that information often 2.) Whenever they do a project like this, they have this as background info.  Having that in the story gives it scope. If 1,000 people go through that in one day, that’s one thing but if a million people do — well then, whoa! Big!

We also need to make sure that we talk to the right people for stories. It’s great that we talked to UTA PD about the railroad closures but they aren’t in charge of traffic in the area, Arlington PD is. They should be in the story.

Let’s go to the schools merger story. The fact that these schools are merging we already know. The new dean? We know that too.  What we need to know now is how they are moving forward. The lede on this story was great. Yes, what are we calling this new combo? That’s what we need to know and when things are going to be happening.

What we needed in this story to add depth is more specifics — when will they decide on the name? When does she start? (I know she already did but the story didn’t tell me. I’m assuming that she’s still not started.)  We talk about UTA’s Strategic Plan — what is that? We could use a one line explainer for this. Also we need to link to that plan, it’s on the UTA website.

Adding depth also includes visuals. We have a photo but there was information in the story that would make a great timeline. Let’s go ahead and add that today to give our readers some context.

ACTION STEP: To add depth, think about what the readers need to know and should know. Details, details, details.


First thing’s first. Have you submitted your art request for your stories yet? What are you waiting for?

Also remember art requests also include graphics.

I’m happy to see that we have photos for most of the stories in the newsletter today. The two basketball preview stories need pictures ASAP. Let’s get on that, please.

With the dean story, it would have been great to also have a picture of her in the story since she’s, like, the dean. We also need mug shots of people in other stories as well.

Can columns have art — yes. Today’s challenge, figure out appropriate art elements for columns coming up. At the very least, columnists should have their pictures on the column.

Did we seriously only have one picture for the Welcome Center story? Did we not get photos of students using it?  The assistant is nice, good photo of her but the story is about students using it…so where are they?

ACTION STEP: Let’s go ahead and try to create a multimedia story. There’s lots of opportunities to do that today. 

That’s what I got for now. Onward and upward folks!


This entry was posted in Training by Icess Fernandez Rojas. Bookmark the permalink.

About Icess Fernandez Rojas

Icess is a writer, professor, and blogger. She is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA program. Her work has been published in Rabble Lit, Minerva Rising Literary Journal, and the Feminine Collective's anthology Notes from Humanity. Her nonfiction has appeared in Dear Hope,, HuffPost and the Guardian. She is a recipient of the Owl of Minerva Award, a VONA/Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation alum, and is also a Kimbilio Fellow. She's currently working on her first novel.

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