Star-Telegram seeks fall multimedia intern

Great news: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has reignited its paid internship program for this fall. What does that mean? If you are going to apply, it’s important to do so soon. Here is information on one of the internships being offered:

Job Description / Responsibilities / Qualifications
The Multimedia Intern will join a team of breaking and digital reporters and video producers responsible for canvassing North Texas for the most urgent and interesting stories our busy and growing region has to offer.
This person will write short breaking, entertainment and life news and will curate and create videos for digital platforms. Areas of interest for the Multimedia Intern could include the latest big development in a mayoral race or an update on the name of a local baby giraffe at the local zoo – all in the same day.
Qualifications include:
  • The ability to write quickly, accurately and well;
  • Solid news judgment;
  • Driven, with an instinctive grasp of what will engage a wide audience;
  • A deep grasp of what drives interest on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms;
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit, good curiosity and high energy;
  • A collaborative style that works comfortably across teams spread throughout the office and company.
  • A familiarity with entry-level video editing platforms is preferred.
This position is 20 hours a week and work time is flexible. The job is based in downtown Fort Worth. Schedule could include weekend hours. This intern will have a mentor and will be paired with other digital team members to learn tools/skills needed.
Application Documents
Resume (Required)
Cover Letter (Required)
Transcript (Optional)
Writing Sample (Optional)
link to video clip(s) (Optional)

Online critique, July 18 e-newsletter stories

Best things

 Welcome back, Madelyn! She may not be officially back until the end of summer but it’s sure nice to see her byline. The Legislature is kicking off its special session so it’s great to see her taking that on and informing our readers. She wrote a solid advance on the upcoming month’s proceedings.

Demi’s ArlingCon story from the weekend was a fun read and featured one of my favorite quotes: “I really think it’s important for people to understand that being a geek is a way of life.” The story also included good detail and quotes.

Allee’s photo illustration for the broken phone story was well done! Great job integrating all of the broken pieces. Cool lighting, too. The cutline on the photo was good as well: a solid two sentences that tell readers what’s happening in the photo but also tease to the story.

Multimedia also turned out solid coverage from the Wings game and ArlingCon. Sorayah shot a well-composed photo to illustrate the parking permit story.

The phone repair story itself was interesting. Good work by Kevin on integrating expert advice and student phone horror stories.

Two health-related stories each were informative and timely: summer skin ailments and heat exhaustion. Kudos to both Demi and Narda who each wrote helpful and smart stories about issues students care about and incorporated people who have suffered from these conditions. That’s topical summertime reporting.

Needs work

 The parking permit story needed a lede that told people right off the bat that fees were increasing for faculty and staff (and by how much) but staying the same price for students. The fact that the prices were announced is not the news.

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.

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?


Online critique, June 29 newsletter stories

Best things:

Selby and Anastasia did great work on the interactive fireworks map. This is good training and shows the type of initiative we need to be showing this summer. Very user friendly and colorful—more, please!

Nice work by Narda on spelling Cheryel Carpenter’s name correctly in the parade story. That’s a tough one.

Sorayah turned out a solid photo from city council that features one of the Rangers’ owners. The composition is effective and really added to Nick’s council wrap-up story.

We’re getting better at ledes. Nick and John both turned out straightforward, clean first paragraphs that encapsulated their stories but also led the reader to more information in subsequent graphs:

“Arlington City Council passed the new Texas Rangers ballpark’s plans with a new predominantly female council Tuesday evening.”

“College Values Online recognized two UTA online graduate programs for their affordability and excellence.” 

Needs work:

We’re still working on wording. Part of the reason that I harp on word order is that it often gets in the way of explaining what we’re trying to tell people.

In the parade story, we wrote:The two-mile path will make it’s way through downtown Arlington with about 150 floats and performing groups.”

(First of all, it’s “its”) But also the path can’t make its way anywhere.

We need to say: “About 150 floats, bands and other entries will navigate the two-mile path through downtown.”

(We don’t have to say Arlington. We’ve already established that it’s the Arlington 4th of July parade.)

In the city council story, we wrote: “Williams said the council exemplifies Arlington’s inclusiveness and diversity and shows its recognition for the value of female citizens.”

How about just “recognizes” ?



Online critique, June 27 newsletter stories

Best things:

Good job imbedding Tweets, video and other online additions with stories! These extra elements bring more depth to the story and help provide context and background plus links to other content.

Demi did nice work on the gas conversion grant story/ribbon-cutting event. It was a quick turn on a science story and she took the photos as well. Nice hustle.

The multimedia gallery from the Wings game was solid. When we get in nice and tight on the action, the photos are even better. Let’s keep working on composition and cropping.

Nana continues to turn out well-written, daily sports updates as the teams recruit players for fall and announce their schedules. If you want an example of how to work in history and background, check out her men’s basketball stories this week.

Needs work:

The Life story about things to do in Arlington this summer was an overview of students’ opinions and could have been a mug and quotes topic. It needed more depth and sources at the university and community about why students stay in Arlington for the summer—Are they in class? Can they afford to go home? How does transportation factor in? Are most of them commuters? What makes summer different?

The same sex marriage story also needed more context about what states still are not complying with the law of the land. We also could have used the AP wire for some of the national background. Students’ opinions are good but they’re only a part of the story.

Where are they?

We’re missing the boat on reaction to major, topical news stories happening right now: the Supreme court ruling on the travel ban, SB 4, Title IX.

What is making us tentative about biting off the local angle (our angle) to these timely national stories? Identify reporters who can do these (or the editors can tackle them), research how the professionals are writing them, who they’re talking to, how they’re getting voices. Supplement where needed with the AP Wire and source it. If you need help, ask. But don’t put off the story.

Here are some places to start:

Attorneys spar over Texas immigration law in federal court

The Texas Tribune, 06/26/2017

Monday was the first day of what could be a lengthy legal battle over Senate Bill 4, which has been billed as the toughest state-based immigration bill in the country.


“The U.S. continues to welcome the most talented”: Universities respond to Supreme Court action on travel ban

The Washington Post, 06/26/2017

On Monday, some university leaders welcomed a Supreme Court ruling that Trump also claimed as a victory. The Supreme Court agreed to allow a limited version of the ban to take effect, carving out exceptions that appear to exempt university students, faculty and lecturers.  


In the Time of Trump, Colleges Start to ‘Make Title IX Our Own’

By Sarah Brown

After the president’s election, speculation abounded that colleges might scale back their efforts to combat sexual violence. Instead, many Title IX coordinators are trying to chart a new path forward.

Online Critique, June 22 newsletter stories

Best things:

Good, quick work by Nick the new Liberal Arts dean announcement brief.

Nice job by Sorayah on the gallery of Dallas Wings photos. She’s really learning quickly on her first summer on multimedia.

The economic development story on the city of Arlington topping Plano in new business construction and activity was very readable. Good job by Nick and Sam on reporting and editing that one. Including students was a necessary touch that made it a fully functional story. I know that took some extra time, but the story would not have been complete without it.

Nana has been killing it on Sports coverage this summer. As in other areas of the university, summer is a deceptively busy time in athletics. Recruiting for next season is in full swing. Nana incorporated lots of context and background on the story about the volleyball team’s season schedule announcement. An interview with the coach, who’s returning to the team, its record at the end of the season all contributed to make what could have been only a brief into a full-fledged story. Good job.

Needs work:

We need to slow down the editing train and make sure when we move things in stories the right people are matched with their actual quotes. Arlington’s economic development director is quoted as saying something he did not say. Not good. This is a correction that is not on the reporter but the team on the other side. People don’t like to be quoted as saying things they didn’t.

Where are they?

–Let’s follow up on the Liberal Arts dean announcement with an interview with the new dean.

–Gospel artist and music producer Kirk Franklin just opened his new studio downtown. Who’s doing that story?