Critique overview, early summer

You guys sure have given me plenty to read between the semester and the start of summer!

 

The New Student Guide mostly hit all the right marks. It provided some necessary information while updating our new readers on big-issue stories like the new SEIR Building and campus carry.

User-friendly, instructional stories in special sections are tough: you want to keep things light while providing enough meaty information. I noticed that some of our reporters leaned in a little more than others with in-person interviews. We also missed an opportunity to include graphic elements like a box with governmental websites for the scholarship story. And a campus dining locator map with the new dining options story. We can’t assume new students know where these places are. We have to put ourselves in the shoes of people just setting foot on campus or we’re not hitting the right demographic.

The sports coach profiles feature was terrific (I learned a lot) and the overview of the campus FSL groups was a keeper. Those things take an awful lot of work to put together.

Anna’s welcome letter hit just the right tone. The academic advising story was very helpful.

The key is to write the stories that you wish you had read before you came to campus. That’s real service.

 

First week of summer publication

 (Overview issues; specific red lines on the newsroom board)

 

We are all working throughout the newsroom to improve our line editing and copy editing. It shows. I saw many fewer missed spaces, transposed letters and missed punctuation than I have seen in the past. Clean copy is paramount to a solid publication, whether it’s online on in print.

I watched editors, reporters, photographs and production crew working in groups this week to pull apart stories and put them back together. It shows.

The writing on the airbnb story definitely benefitted from coaching at all levels. Zahraa got great interviews but the structure of the story improved the more you guys worked on it.

Loved seeing Selby’s byline on news this week as well at WNBA stories. This helps all of us grow when we can learn a new skill. The whole newsroom is moving toward this now and it’s exciting.

Stories that didn’t appear to get a second or third look had some holes and problems. Matt’s Engineering dean story was an important, needed update and follow-up. But it  lacked a first reference name for the dean. We lose credibility on things like this. The story was lengthy, meaty and well-done overall but we needed as many eyes as possible on that one.

We also suffer from a lack of specifics in several stories. If we know more, say more. Or go back and ask more. (see red line examples).

Overall, we’re keeping our eyes and ears open on big stories and updating or jumping on them when we need to. Dr. Karbhari at City Hall was a great example of this. But those stories are all around us.

Let’s seek out some quirky stories and features. Summer is a great time for that.

Have a great next week of publication. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

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