Since today doesn’t officially “count,” I consider it an under-the-radar catch-up day in which I can do anything I want. And yet here I am, reading our newspaper and writing in the pub. It’s actually pretty pleasant. Without further ado, the critique:
It’s clear that Aliya, Anna and Nathan had a lot of fun with the “Night of Elegance and Beauty.” The photos were absolutely essential to this story, and Anna and Nathan both shot some beautiful photos of the queens in action. Aliya also took the right reporting approach, in keeping the story about the larger purpose of the event, rather than the “zoo” mentality of “look how colorful they are.” Much more newsy and useful way of writing this piece. Excellent job! (The blue background effect was nice, too.)
Welcome to Annie Smith and Jonathan Stoner! Annie’s piece on Multicultural Scholars is a concisely written piece that is an easy and informative read. Jonathan’s MVC track meet story is comprehensive and offers some history and context to the event. Good work and welcome aboard!
It’s nice to see the faculty diversity story get the play it deserves. It’s an issue that has many consequences for students and the university as a whole. The pie charts on page 3 were useful (in spite of the formatting gaffe) and the comments from student and faculty leaders were well reported. Keep reading for my suggestions on this story under “Watch out for…”
The smoking policy story does a nice job giving context to the recent forums that have sought input from students and faculty. Here we also find the quote of the day: “First it’s our cigarettes, then it’s our Bibles.” Can’t beat that for quotability! Good job, Aliya!
Harold’s story on the FUSION performance of Inuit legends has a great feel for the performance itself. I also enjoyed hearing the writer discuss the inspiration for and reaction to the performance. Nice description and color, too!
Today’s paper has a very clean design, with a long-awaited springtime feel to it. From the daisies on India Black’s dress to the baby chick pale yellow and eggshell brown in the teases, I feel like winter has nearly passed. Hallelujah!
… every writer told one good story in their story? I wonder what it feels like/sounds like/ looks like to dance onstage with a drag queen? I wonder what it feels like to be the only African American faculty member in a department? I wonder what it feels like to be only one of nine black faculty members on campus? I wonder what it’s like to brave the cold and wetness of winter in order to get in a few drags on a cigarette outside an ISU building? Let’s try to get some anecdotal leads into our stories that paint a telling image of the people in our community. Let’s work in some description of people’s lives and experiences. A spoonful of sugar, as they say…
… leading with old news. The diversity story needs a little something we call a “news peg.” The news peg of a story is the reason it’s running now. Having a good news peg freshens up a story that might otherwise sound outdated. So, instead of a nut graf that pegs the news on a Sept. 28 report (5 months ago), we could use a lead involving the Multicultural Scholars event or a more recent event in the life of a black professor, etc., as the news peg to lead off the story. We could then bring in the Sept. 28 report as context and supporting information, rather than the entire reason for the story. So the story might read,
“Dozens of black and Latino high school students toured the campus of Indiana State University Wednesday as part of Multicultural Scholars Day. As they strolled through the Commons and among the classroom buildings, they no doubt saw faces like their own among the ISU student body, more than 10 percent of which is non-white. But if they choose to attend ISU, they likely won’t see faces like their own at the front of their classrooms.” …
This approach not only allows you to freshen up what is otherwise old news, but it also allows you to paint some images and package the story with Annie’s Multicultural Scholars Day story.