CORRECTION: In our lead story on A1, we identify Walter Beck (a former Statesman employee, BTW) as a “junior English major.” However, on the page 5 jump, the cutline identifies him as a “senior journalism major.” Need to set the record straight.
You oughta be in pictures for…
… nice front page design! We mixed it up a bit this issue with a refreshing color headline, grayscale box, and good attention to breakouts (mug, pull quote, web refer). This gives readers multiple entry points onto the page. Incidentally, the front-page correction is merited for a front-page headline error. This adds to our credibility. Nice work.
… a really engaging lead story on the fountain preachers! Here’s what I liked: We didn’t take the eye-rolling, “these guys are nuts,” approach to the story. The straight-news approach Mark Richter takes is more informative because he allows our community to respond in a number of ways. We give our readers a chance to judge for themselves. Nice work! Also, Anna’s shot of the preacher is a great example of how we can get up close to convey emotion and action. Great job, Anna!
… a fabulously visual lead from Greta on the First Lady’s lemonade stand. The timid freshmen approaching Bradley, only to find a kindred spirit was a wonderful image.
… a concise and easy-to-read story on the Blue Moon event on page 3. Preview stories are difficult to make interesting, but Heidi gets us into the story through an actual person! Nice work!
… the Grapevine feature! Answering questions like this is really helpful to our readers and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Diversions has developed into a packed place for cool features. I especially like the use of this space for promoting Web-only content.
… a cool lead by Lana for her Dede Plaza dance story. I especially love her quote from Kira Tucher: “It’s better than just stayin’ locked up in my dorm room all night.” It’s great to cut off g’s when it allows the character of the person or the flavor of the moment to come through. Great job, Lana!
… an innovative approach to design and story presentation in sports on page 8. The feature on Coach Miles could have been a dry Q&A, but Ben and Trever make the story pop with a inset box and great use of white space. The breakout box next to the photo is also a nice touch. This is a great example of taking simple elements and making them shine with a little creativity. Excellent job, guys!
… Trever’s story on Coach Miles. It deserves its own praise for being especially well-written. The first two sections of the story make it nearly impossible to stop reading. Trever builds dramatic tension in the second section: “Long gone are the days of 70,000 screaming fans… Gone too are the amenities … plane rides are now bus rides… Nike isn’t busting down the door to offer equipment.” Just excellent pacing of the narrative! Fantastic story.
Watch out for …
… using broad terms such as “evangelical.” There are certainly many Christian evangelists who would deliver a very different message of the gospel. Be as specific as possible when identifying religious or ethnic groups. We needed to identify the exact group to which the three preachers belong. Also, we make reference to “legal battles,” in reference to Shrock. We need to elaborate on that. Did he sue the university? Was the suit settled/thrown out/proceeding? Finally, Shrock references the “Alliance defense fund,” but we don’t explain what he means by that. What is this group? How have they been involved with his campus speaking? We could easily do a follow-up on this issue: How campuses such as ISU’s become an opportunity for proselytizing. What are the legal guidelines, in terms of what is protected speech on a campus? How does ISU administration approach this issue?
… mismatched story and photo IDs. Reporters and photogs need to share information and editors need to pay special attention that the story and cutline don’t conflict.
… skinny columns!!! (*Lori grits her teeth and grumbles incoherently…*) Sigh… It’s up on the newsroom ideas board, and yet we still cut columns in half, both in the lead story (Web refer juts into third text column) and in the Bradley story (mug creates skinny third column).
… far-off shots of buildings and tiny people. Our photographers (the full-time photogs and anyone else shooting, however infrequently) need to be bold about getting close to the action and conveying emotion, interaction and atmosphere. The lemonade stand shot on the front page did not tell me much of anything about what happened there yesterday; it’s simply tiny figures standing around a building. Let’s get faces and color in to our photos.
… boring verbs in headlines. The President Bradley story on A1 said he “interacts” with students. That tells me very little about what he actually did that day.
What if …
… we think creatively about the upcoming political conventions, in terms of how we can capitalize on the local connections each affords? The Dems in Denver will include Sen. Evan Bayh, which I comment on in the earlier post. Also, we need to use Sadie Davis’s attendance to its maximum effect. Her blogging from the convention is VERY exciting! Let’s also think about how to use the ISU students who are attending.
Let’s start planning for the GOP convention, as well. We will surely have ISU attendees. Also, will Greg Goode (former ISU legislative liaison) be attending? How can we take advantage of our connections there?