I’d like to provide an overview of applause and areas for improvement for different areas of the newsroom for the last 10 days of online publication.
Thanks to all who helped out at Friday’s TCCJA conference and also for your patience this last week with adaptations to my scheduling, coaching and critique routines.
Let’s get back on track:
–The mental health story by Sam was timely (World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10) and included good sources.
–The Student Government story by Audrey was a smart, well-reported follow-up on a decision to scrap the sanctuary campus effort that was championed by students in the spring. The story explains the “why” behind the vote. More like this, please.
–Kyle turned the employees injured in the car wreck into a quick story that was one of the most-read on the site the day after it ran. Good hustle on this! Staff and faculty likely found it interesting. Let’s check back in a few days.
–Bekah wrote a wonderful, descriptive lede for the Drag Show event: Standing 7 feet tall in platform shoes with feather boas framing their faces, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence opened the fifth annual Pride Week Drag Show.
–John’s DACA protest story was well done. Love how he worked in both description and a counter, conservative voice into the story. He paid attention (observation) and also asked questions to get this much detail (follow-up). The source praised John in a feedback form emailed to her from The Shorthorn (as we do on many stories we publish).
Here’s how he put it together:
Broadcast sophomore Estrella Gonzales gave Napieralski a bottle of water after seeing him begin to lose his voice during the speech. Gonzales decided to come listen to the protest after a friend told her the organization was going to host a rally.
Gonzales also serves as president for the UTA chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative group on campus. She identifies as Hispanic and said she felt divided on the issue and hasn’t taken a side. Many program recipients represent the ideal citizens, but she also raised concerns about taking on too many people into the country.
“I may not always agree with what they have to say but as a proponent of free speech, I still want to support their right to say so,” Gonzales said.
–The campus elections timeline was a nice addition to the story.
–The graphic arts team has turned it up. Jonathan created a digitally rich lupus graphic and Juan turned out cool illustrations with the gaming story and casual relationships stories.
–The resources box with the mental health story was thorough and helpful.
–Christina created a nice piece of art for the housing options story.
–Great work by Alex on the double wrestler reaction shot from WWE coverage. It’s a fantastic shot. Good, tight edit helped.
–Anthony also caught a great moment from the drag queen show when the crown decided to take a nosedive.
(Note: don’t be afraid to showcase these moments earlier or leading the slide show).
–The Columbus Day story that featured the alternative “Indigenous People’s Day” didn’t really explain this to readers. This is an effort that has taken root in some cities across the country but we need to tell people that. It needed a clarifying paragraph that explained the context. We refer to “Indigenous People’s Day” as something that we should already know or something that is unique to UTA. This should have been caught on the edit or during copy editing. Event coverage sometimes needs more reporting back in the office.
–As much as the mental health story was timely and well reported, it lacked attribution to the Medical Examiner’s office on the suicides. We’ve been reporting these two cases for months. Show readers where you got your information just as you would in any other news story. Again, we need skeptical editing. Not to poke holes in the story, but to shore them up.
–The Campus Security and Fire Safety Report story needed a graphic of results.
–Bekah’s story on the Aero Mavericks featured a rocket that could have used a more imaginative display than the photograph we used.
–On three events—the Hope Walk, drag show and the Native American Student Association gathering—we didn’t get enough angles or variety of different types of shots. Move around to get all options for the photo. Tom Pennington said on his recent visit that your legs are your biggest necessity in photography. Turn around. Get in front of people. Walk backward. Anticipate. Show crowd shots, detail shots, shoot horizontal and vertical. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.