Online critique, June 20 newsletter stories

Best things:

John did really solid job on the story about UTA’s ongoing educational outreach efforts with the Arlington ISD. And he sought out and included a good interview with Dr. Karbhari for it, too. Good work!

Love the effort by Kevin to contact the professor on campus who teaches the class on Jay Z lyrics as Mr. Carter was named to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It also was a smart touch to include how those lyrics are analyzed and how that data helps teach about the use of literary devices.

Demi wrote a nice overview of the new folk market that debuted at UTA last weekend. She interviewed several artists, the organizer and described the scene well.

Multimedia turned out a beautiful collection of photos and a video of the Folk Art market, too. Well done.

Needs work:

Let’s please stop using the word “now.” It’s not particularly helpful and it doesn’t really provide any additional sense of timeliness.

We all need to remember to be curious. Reporters, editors and photographers need to be asking all kinds of questions that will provide context to our readers. “How does that work?” “How long does that take?” “Who else should I talk with?” “How do I know it’s correct?” Copy editors should be asking: “Does this story make sense?” “Is it thorough?” “Is it confusing?”

Several stories needed more explanation:

— The cancer start-up award story. Tell the readers step by step how these science start-ups work. How many are at UTA? How does this cancer technology work specifically? We can and should be as specific as possible. Many of our readers are curious.

–The folk art event coverage could have used some more information from the International Folk Art Alliance web page or interviews from folks in New Mexico. Just because it’s event coverage doesn’t mean that we can’t do some more legwork ahead of time to show the bigger picture. We needed some more background in that story to show what a big deal it was for Arlington to have only the second one aside from the one in Santa Fe. How many people come to it there? How many artists? Did we get an estimated crowd count?

–the two sports stories could have used some more background. How are players selected for the Junior Women’s National team? Tell us some more about volleyball recruiting. How many spots are they trying to fill? Who graduated? How is the new coach’s first recruitment season going?

We also need to tell our readers why we interview certain people for our stories.

The Jay Z story should have told readers right off that the reason we interviewed the English professor was because he teaches a class on Jay Z. We make people wait until way too deep in the story to tell them why that source was the right source.

CHECK YOUR FACTS AND CHECK YOUR NAMES!

Where are they?

This will be a continual section that pushes for stories that we haven’t been pursuing or need to pursue that are of interest to our readers:

–Follow-up story on the International Folk Art Market. Call Santa Fe and also talk to local organizers. Did it meet expectations? Will it be back?

–How did the Student Service Allocation Committee meeting turn out?

–How are the statewide cuts to higher education in the wake of the legislative session playing out at UTA?

–Summer enrollment?

–How is the international student population at UTA faring in enrollment post-immigration executive order?

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