Critique: Notes on the 1/19/2016 edition of The Shorthorn

Online stories, e-newsletter: 1/19/2016

It was great to see so many bylines (new bylines!) online today. Always exciting to see stories that we talked about last week turn into solid coverage. Congrats to those of you who now officially have had your first published Shorthorn story. You all took what you learned in orientation and applied it to these online pieces.

By and large, we produced stories that informed people and fixed trouble spots (the new MAC floors and turnstiles); stories that were UTA-centric (Care-a-Van, MLK banquet) and stories that helped us think differently (exercises to do between class).

Best things:

  • Big props to Anthony for doing the legwork and planning ahead of time on his Monday MLK Day of Service volunteer story. He reached out several days early to line up his folks and had art assigned as well. He also showed up early to the event. Planning makes all the difference.
  • Photographer Alexis Austin went to Dallas on her own for a story to cover the UTA University Catholic Community marching in the North Texas March for Life. Great initiative.
  • The new Sports department has been working their tails off getting ready to tell stories this semester. Evelyn Valles did a really nice weekend wrap-up story on track and field.
  • Kudos to the new Copy Desk for poring over stories and asking good questions.

Needs Improvement:

  • We’re just getting started but we need healthy habits on a few things. We need to make sure that we’re telling readers why we’re covering a story and what happened at the event we’re covering. It can’t just be that an event was held and it doesn’t matter what time the event was held because by the time we publish, it won’t matter anymore.
  • We need to make it clear to the readers where we got our information. And if we don’t know something, we need to say we don’t know it.
  • Also, we must confirm information and only go with what we actually have. Only that. People and documents confirm information. Ideally, both. This applies to online stories, print stories and social media.

We’re off to a great start!



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