Online stories, Oct. 13 critique

Best things:

Love the lede on the Star Wars themed Bed Races event. “In a stadium far, far away, unrest grips the students as midterms loom, but a glimmer of hope remains — Bed Races.”

You can get away with using present tense there but only because the Star Wars opening it references does the same. I also see a theme with this and the cutlines on the fantastic multimedia slide show that accompanied the story: “There was no try at the 36th annual Bed Races Wednesday at Maverick Stadium, only do and do not.” You can’t go wrong with Yoda.

Sam did a fair and balanced job covering the PSU march highlighting police brutality. She quoted the protestors as well as the police who accompanied the group. It was a smart move and a great opportunity to highlight the important work of campus police.

The election-themed political views in the Life mug and quotes was nicely done. I like how we’re incorporating our election coverage plan throughout the sections. Let’s be sure that we use our election banner on such features, too.


Needs improvement:

Brittany’s story on the program that helps political fast-checkers appears to be a follow-up to a story she wrote in January about this UTA group. In January, in the story and the accompanying web site, we spelled it as ClaimBusters. This time around, it’s lower case as Claimbusters. Which is it? It’s always a good idea to refresh your own memory about a story that you previously wrote, especially if you’re doing a follow-up. The more places we check ourselves, the more accurate we can be.

A word about subheads: we may be going a bit overboard with them. They are meant to divide up large amounts of text, not to be used every few graphs or so. If reporters need to use them when they’re outlining their stories, that’s OK, but let’s keep them in your notebook and only use them when we have dense passages to break up. We should not be seeing them in so many stories.


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