Critiques, online stories, Jan. 25-Jan. 30

Best things:

John did nice work explaining the wonderful world of cosplay. He didn’t just talk about the role-playing aspect. He also included the why and how of people involved. Plus, I just love that this guy built a giant sword (if you encounter something unusual like this again, give our readers some dimensions of it.)

Jamil’s Cuban history story was very interesting. It was a nice blend of a local UTA angle with some science, history and good quotes mixed in.

Good hustle from Sorayah on the intoxicated student in the UC story.

Matt’s tree story was informative and quirky—how those in charge of the university’s substantial tree population stay on top of their health. This is a great example of a story that’s right under our nose on our own campus.

Sports did an excellent job sourcing the new volleyball coach story. Having an interview with the new coach the day his appointment was announced was a major score.

Speaking of Sports, give Selby’s short feature on the basketball freshman that his teammates have nicknamed “Bill”—for no apparent reason—a read. Great little tale and a scene from inside the team and fun beat coverage.

I enjoyed Cody’s column about the stifled flow of information from government departments since the inauguration. It was straight to the point and talked about an important issue.

The story on the UTA doctoral student who serves on the DeSoto school board among other commitments was a nice reminder of how to tell stories about all of our students. Points also go to the photographer for going to DeSoto ISD to shoot the photo.

The male make-up artist story was effective because it mentioned more than just the trend but the people who are embracing it. The accompanying video was a nice touch.

Nice photos from Braulio on the shooting pool story. Shay also had a really cool portrait of the craft beer company owner.

Zachary’s list of “People I don’t feel sorry for” in the celebrity privacy point/counterpoint Life column was just priceless.

Finally, weekend coverage at DFW Airport from the executive order fallout was a great way to inform our readers about the evolving issue. Having our own students on these big events is great training for our staff but also provides a unique perspective for readers. Good work on the stories, video, slide show and social media.


Needs work:

Please continue to weigh protest coverage and make sure we can balance that with the other side that may have opinions but are not protesting.

We also need to work on ways to file from the field when we’re out covering events. Having a social media presence is important but it doesn’t take the place of having a story, even if it is an early version, up on the site. The social media should drive traffic to the site.

Let’s work on making our writing more intentional. We use “have the opportunity to” a lot. Let’s get right to the verb and what we’re trying to say. We tend to surround the point with prepositions and words that are just not necessary. We’ll continue to work on this in coaching. These passages also are noted on story critiques so make sure you are reading yours.

Semicolons are your friend and are helpful in breaking up long lists.

Please refrain from using “very” and “really.” These are qualifiers and we don’t need them unless they are included in a direct quote.


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