Online critique, July 11 newsletter stories

Best things:

The story on the new traffic signal on UTA Blvd. was an important one, especially after the pedestrian fatality at Abram and Cooper last fall. This story required comment from both the City of Arlington and the university. Kudos to Narda for getting to the right people for the story. We know they were the correct people because when we were uncertain the type of traffic control device we were even talking about, they let us know. But Narda also wasn’t afraid to clarify that information when she wasn’t sure. This is what makes credible journalists: We don’t guess. We ask.

Nice job by Demi on the weekend autocross story. It was direct and to the point but also featured a descriptive lede about the smell of fuel and rubber in the humid morning air. It could have benefitted from a student quoted from another university.

Nana turned out a fun story on the university’s table tennis team. She wrote it with the respect that she brings to other athletic teams that she writes about. I like that she gets into the issue of their funding and that they can only afford to compete at one tournament a semester. It would have been cool to incorporate some description from their practice such as the slap of paddles on the table or the rhythmic thumping of the ball across the net. These stories are ideal practice for that type of writing.

Needs work:

The transportation committee story needed more explanation about the types of transit the city is considering (some of them are new and experimental) and the proposed zones within the city that would be used. Once again, we’re assuming that people know this information or have read a previous story. We have got to do a better job with context and explanation. And please, once sentence, one thought. We’re making people work too hard for what is new information for many people.

The student groups in summer story needed a stronger lead-in. Why not ask Liz and Brent some overall questions about what students and groups gain from working throughout summer and use that as your story explainer?

Can we please stop using “community members”? Work a little bit harder. Are they residents? Students? Spectators?

Also, “provide an opportunity to” is creeping back in.

Members have the opportunity to practice on and off campus and to attend tournaments throughout the year.

Just write, “Members practice on and off campus and attend tournaments throughout the year.”

Where are they?

–Are we still working on the Student Activities recommendations story? Feels like that meeting was a long time ago.

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