Online stories, Oct. 25, critique

 

Best things:

    John’s coverage of the visiting candidates for the Center for African-American Studies director position has improved with each story. Today, on candidate 3, he turned out this story top:

Stefan Bradley, Saint Louis University history associate professor, shared his outline and ambition for the Center of African-American Studies on Monday at the Mavericks Activity Center Lounge.

Bradley is the third candidate of four to speak to faculty and students at UTA for the vacant Center of African-American Studies director position.

       What’s so great, besides being clean and concise, is that it gets all of the information in there. It also includes every specific suggestion I’ve made to him on critique, which shows he’s learning as he goes. Good work.

Brittany also had a thorough opening on her story:

Becky Garner hopes two documentaries screening on Wednesday can inspire students to make a difference and be more aware of public and global health.

“It’s just going to be an amazing opportunity for us to bring our campus community together,” said the kinesiology clinical assistant professor and public health program developer and coordinator.

       These ledes exemplify what we’re striving for: tell the reader what happened or is going to happen. Clear writing is the goal because it serves the readers. This doesn’t mean that we can’t be creative, but we have to be clear first.       

Needs improvement:

Two good stories today that could have been better helped me to potentially identify a reporting issue: I don’t think we’re talking to people long enough on interviews.

Zahraa followed her instincts toward a story about students offering “free compliments” and “free intelligent conversation” in the UC Starbucks. She and Shay jumped on it quick. But I would have loved some examples of the types of compliments and conversation doled out. That takes more questioning, more sticking around.

Also, Jasmine’s on the UTA band and its alumni was good. In at least one place, we could have asked for more details:

Joining the band was a good opportunity for French horn player Daisy Pena to meet new people, since she is a freshman commuter student, said her mother, Monica Pena.

How has it helped her daughter? Did she play in the band in high school? How did mom feel seeing her daughter adjusting to college?

Let’s move past the point of awkwardness in interviews into the conversational place where people open up a bit. Let’s try it some more. Everyone has a story to tell and those stories require details.

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