Online critique, June 6, 2017

Best things:

Nice work by Shay and photo newbie Sorayah on the Special Olympics multimedia gallery. This is an event held yearly on campus and it represents a great opportunity to practice our visual storytelling. It also allows one new photo staffer to shadow a more experienced one to get their feet wet. This teaming up and hands on training is important and we should make sure we’re doing more of it.

Madelyn finished out the semester in fine fashion with her excellent legislative coverage. She did an outstanding job for months of tracking down meetings and lawmakers, following the complicated world of the statehouse and pulling out substantive stories that resonated with our readers. Her two wrap-up stories on the budget and on big issues were a good way to end her session coverage.

Nana also contributed excellent softball coverage this semester. Rich with play-by-play details, her stories followed the team through its more successful season in years. She capped it off with the loss in the championship game.

Nick included some additional summer weather perspective in his weekly weather wrap-up about temperatures this time of year and how the hurricane season affects those inland. Good work.

Needs work:

 Kevin did a fine job writing about environmental awareness (or lack thereof) on campus. But because he focused on paper recycling in the lede, the headline and the packaging and newsletter tease made the reader expect a story about paper recycling. In reality, only the first three or four paragraphs were about paper recycling. The remainder of the story was about the overall environmental efforts on campus and the apparent disconnect between what the university does and what students think. That’s the better story and the lede should have reflected that. Then the entire package could have been about that topic. The paper recycling is only one facet of that but it became the story based on how we played and promoted it.

I like the idea of the city council wrap-up story, but it didn’t go deep enough to explain what happened on several major issues. Approving supplemental Handitran Services to the tune of $2.3 million needed more background. Who benefits? Why is it needed? What hole is this filling in transportation in a city without mass transit? We also should have included more background information on the lawsuit that the city settled on the 2015 shooting.

The City Council agendas are accompanied by an agenda packet that links to background reports and material. We need to include as much info as we can from this source.

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