Oct. 3 Critique

Best things:

The wealth of good photography is evident during our weekend and Monday coverage. Solid volleyball photos from Mara and Cody, and beautiful portraits and Indian event coverage photos from Shay and Jayme. We’re learning how to light and crop images effectively. Duy and Jayme collaborated on the really nice hazing prevention photo illustration. (let’s be careful that our online display doesn’t inadvertently cut off the sides…)

Nice work, multimedia team.

So proud of Jake’s autocross racing coverage. First of all, we covered it! This has not always been the case. Secondly, it’s filled with great description and color and includes many active verbs such as “stirred,” “floated,” and “launching.” And lastly, he did lots of legwork. He included not only the racing events, but also the morning open house that featured the new engineering dean (great opportunity for reporter face time) and local high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. It’s a well-reported story that deserves your time today.

Kudos to Sam for making the most of the cricket opening game by hanging out with Lisa Karbhari. Good sourcing opportunity there, too. This is another chance for us to show UTA that we care about the events and gets us out of the office to tell some fun stories.

Our sports desk worked their tails off this weekend, turning out some nice, tight writing and showing a command of their subjects. Destine has worked that volleyball beat for weeks and is now writing with the authority that she has earned by making herself a min-expert on the sport. Kevin turned out a solid recap of the cross-country team’s meet at Notre Dame that was chock full of perspective and background. Great work by these two and their editor, Selby.

Needs improvement:

         The cricket story could have benefitted from a text box of cricket terms that defined a “pitch” and a “bowl,” etc. We can’t assume that anyone knows what these terms mean.

We’re still using random acronyms such as ICC and LASO. These terms may be evident in Indian festival coverage and in the Latin American student profile story but we can’t just use random acronyms that are not widely known. Let’s paraphrase as “the group” or “the association” or “the council.” Those terms will be understood in the story more than an acronym.

A word about color, or description: I’m all for it when it seems natural in the story. A layer of smoke from burning rubber describes an action and effectively puts us in the place of the racing cars at the autocross event. Describing instruments playing and a clapping crowd was part of the scene at the Dawaat event with the Indian students. It shows activity and merriment. The color of the team’s cricket jerseys was important because it was their first match. We don’t care as much about a tent, chairs and gifts set up with lemonade at the cricket event.

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