Online critique, July 4 newsletter stories

Best things:

Beautiful fireworks shot by Daniel from the College Park North parking garage! So glad he took the initiative to go out there with the other spectators and practice his fireworks shooting. That’s what all big events are: practice. At this stage in your young careers, grab every opportunity you can.

Anastasia turned out a smart and timely security story update on Snapchat’s new location reveal option. Good sourcing and advice on a story that matters to many college students who use Snapchat.

Also on the sourcing front, the Fourth of July safety coverage stories included all the right local public safety sourcing from Arlington police and fire officials and county fire marshal. Good reporting all around.

Shay’s nighttime cricket story was well told with a terrific lede and opening graphs. Read it. It also serves as an ideal example of noticing something on campus and following up on it. The university official interviews included good quotes and explanations. Good use of background, too. This is a newsy feature that matters to many international students on our campus that we pursued the right way. Good work.

Needs work:

The demand for deans story has a missing element that I suspect we did not ask about: is an effort being made to retain some of these talented folks that we are losing? The story seems a bit unfinished and takes everything at face value. Yes, it is true that this is a hot place to recruit talented faculty and deans now. But the university likely is lamenting some of these losses. At what point do we ask about retention efforts and steps that are being taken to keep some of that talent? This story was the perfect opportunity.

The structure on the men’s and women’s basketball conference schedule story was confusing. Let’s keep all the men’s team info together and the women’s team info together. When it jumps back and forth, you forget what team you’re reading about.

We also had some structure problems/logical flow issues in the cricket story, as much as I liked it. When it switches into talking about the background of cricket on campus, we need a new transition. At the end, the story just sort of, well, ends. How about if we revisit the nighttime scene in the beginning and use some color and include some more color and interviews with the players? It needed some ends tied up.

Where are they?

–Where is the photo of Arlington 4th of July grand marshal Myles Garrett? I know our German international grand marshal was sick, but Garrett is a pretty big deal. The hometown guy went on to a standout football career at Texas A&M and was a first-round NFL draft pick. Next year, let’s do a little more pre-planning ahead of time on parade coverage. We need to put ourselves in position to get the best stories and photos and not leave so much to chance. Much of event coverage is about the reporting before the event. We need to familiarize ourselves with the schedule of events on most things before we go out.

–We’re still several weeks past the meeting about the student service fees. Where are we on that?

–Are we going to follow up on the Santa Fe market on campus?



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