Critique March 25 issue on deck!

Let me personally give you a round of applause today for making deadline. That’s some great stuff!  

So, here we are with more semester behind us than in front of us. How are we feeling about where we are?

Well, I see lots of room for improvement and lots of things that need to be address immediately.  I’ll mention them here during this critique.

But first, let’s talk about some of the good stuff.

  1. So glad that the Holi pictures got a blast of color (get it?) I would have like to have seen the text spin forward, meaning doing a better job of previewing what’s going on this week.
  2. Lita Bush’s column was fantastic! Great job, Lita.

So let’s look at what we can improve:

The Timber Brook story — This had some issues with it, which is surprising because if I remember correctly this story was in for awhile. The one of the issues I had with this story is that it backed up to what the story was. Essentially, a story on the front page had no lede. Are people upset? Are people happy? Is it going to cost more? I need to get sense of conflict in the story high up. I don’t have that here. I also see that the time peg is buried half way through.

Stay Glassy story — The dominant photo needs to be the one with the person and the secondary is the detail shot of the dragon vase. Yes, the secondary shot is used to go deeper into a visual story and so it, by definition, can’t be bigger than the primary shot. In this case it’s Ms. Fernandes (no relation). Online, however, I’m disappointed that there is no video to this story. This one easily lends its self to video. Why wasn’t there any? Or did I miss it?

Henry Cisneros story — Not a good lede at all. Whenever you have a diplomat, high up mucky muck, you have to include their title or former title on first reference. In  this case it’s former secretary of housing Henry Cisneros.

Arlington city story — We dropped the ball here. The city is doing some interesting stuff with the university, including building an incubator which will aid in the city’s economic development. Big stuf but I don’t see any university reaction to this? Are they excited? Have they already started working together? What expertises are they using from UTA and how do they feel? Tisk. Tisk. Y’all know better.

Bills, bills, bills column — It’s a hard thing to try to be funny and informative. However, what is off here is the tone. It’s uneven because it was trying to be too much of one than the other, and vice versa.  For a column about legislation, this needed to have more of an informative tone with maybe, MAYBE the occasional funny line. This one was not quite there.

Twinning — Interesting headline. Story, however, wasn’t. What is the newspeg to this story? The timepeg? Why are we writing this right now? I didn’t get that from this story.

Applying with urgency story — I’m wondering why this wasn’t the CP on Life? If we were going to do a photo ill, this story could have lended itself to it. We also have photos of people interviewing which would have been a good visual and adding the box to it to make it a great graphic. The rest why I think this would make a better CP is because this has a timepeg and it is something that our readers have told us that they needed and wanted to read from us.  Now, the online component to this could have been a great video. A how-to on how to search for jobs or interviewing techniques. It’s related but it’s just different enough to draw people online.

One last thing, quickly. There are two teasers on the front that don’t have stories that go with the page numbers. There’s no TEDXUTA story on pg 2. In fact, it’s not in the paper. Also the tornado story is on page 4, not 2. Check much?

That’s what I got for now, folks. Full critique on the board and verbal critique on Friday which everyone should be there. No excuses. 2 pm.

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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.