Online stories, Oct. 18 critique

Best things:

       The coverage of the fair visit with the international students was top-notch. The story was filled with nice moments of dialogue, observation and description and a good pairing of students in the photos with students quoted in the story. The online slideshow shows great expressions, good use of cropping and composition, and, as usual for Cody, great moments. This kind of coverage takes a lot of attention and energy, so thanks go out to John and Cody for taking the initiative, riding the bus and reflecting this outing for the fun event that it was.

Zahraa has figured out the goal of Ransacked: to give us insight into students’ lives through their school bag. And to help you guys learn to talk to people and get them to talk to you. This time around, I got all of my incessant “why’s” and “how’s” answered. She tells us the kind of headphones—model, price—and that her subject doesn’t care for ear buds because, “I think my ears are deformed or something because they won’t stay in.” Nice touch.

Love Allee’s photo from Drop it Like It’s Hot. Nice, tight shot of pure student reaction—what event coverage is all about.

 

Needs improvement:

       On both the writing and editing, we should have caught the name of the fair: It is the State Fair of Texas, not the Texas State Fair. We need to be checking these things. Everyone. For the reporter, look up the web site. Look at your ticket stub. On the edit, check every proper name. Check together. Nothing erodes credibility faster than not getting the name of the event correct.

The following lede should not have run and the editors should have pushed to make it more specific: “See through the eyes of women by way of film.” This tells me nothing. Let’s try: “Showing the world through the eyes of female filmmakers is the goal of an upcoming showcase.” We need to be making these ledes actually say something.

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