From the New York Times this weekend… the plight of the laid-off journalist.
Monthly Archives: February 2010
From Salon’s Mark Glaser on why our profession may not be doomed after all…
And, Iceland wants to be a journalism “haven” by making press-friendly laws.
Today’s paper is full of bright spots! Heidi’s Super Bowl reaction shots nicely captured the Saints victory and the Colts defeat. Our inside photos (with the exception of page 2) were much sharper and less muddy than past issues. Good job, Heidi!
Cool World of Warcraft package on page 6! Welcome to Kaiulani Anderson-Ligget and Noah Leinimger! Kauilani’s stories are about gaming’s role in the lives of people on our campus. She does a great job showing the impact of Warcraft from people’s downtime to the classroom. Wonderful job, Kaiulani! And great planning by Harold, great graphic by Noah!!!
Caitlin and Travis offer effective and thoughtful reviews of “Precious,” a film that is outside of the typical college-aimed feel-good realm of our audience. I would love to see more reviews of films people might not have seen. Well done!
As for last week’s issues, I have a few comments/suggestions.
MONDAY, Feb. 1
This issue didn’t work visually at all. The photo cutout on the front was poorly executed and didn’t make much sense in the scope of the whole design. The story content seemed haphazard and poorly planned. This issue was not our best work.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3
The Health Center follow-up by Nick and Heidi was much needed and nicely reported. Good job to both! The BLC preview and feature on Andrew Young was well planned within the context of the whole BLC coverage. Nice job to Harold!
The inside content, however, was poorly executed. Our Facebook story, which was supposed to hold, runs without mugs of “doppelgangers,” which was the whole point of the story. Our Bob Heaton story has no photo, but our economic panel is photo-only. This is totally backwards. This issue seemed to flaunt the planning that went into it and just “wing it.” An unfortunate turn of events.
Finally, our lead Health Center photos are very dull and staged. This is partly due to a question about what legal access we have to photograph patients. Just to clarify, a law known by the acronym HIPAA prevents health officials from giving out any private patient information to anyone who is not authorized by the patient. However, if we are in a health care setting and ask a patient if we can photograph them, they can give their permission. So just ask the person themselves. Don’t assume you are violating any law.
FRIDAY, Feb. 5
Cool light sabers! If I were of a different generation, I might question whether this story was really the biggest news. However, knowing Gen X-ers the way I do, this package will JUMP off the stand to anyone under the age of 40. So, way to know your audience! Rachel’s story is detailed and does a great job explaining how the “light sabers” fit into the larger project at Third Street and I-70. Well done!
The newsiness continues on the front with the Andrew Young speech coverage. I love that we packaged Greg’s column with Trever’s story. Nicely executed! I’m also glad we held Jenny’s story on the professor’s patent until we could get it on the front with an image. Reggie’s piece on Lukas Nelson was a nice follow-up, although I think he’d appreciate it if we didn’t put “Willie Nelson’s son” in the headline anymore. He is, in fact, his own talent. Good photos by Reggie in low light, as well. Would’ve liked to see the audience, though.
Inside content is less successful. The “Photos of the Week” screams “space filler” to me; also wasn’t available online by Friday afternoon. Page 8 sports was visually dullsville. A gray blanket of text.
First, BIG BIG kudos to Reggie for almost single-handedly covering the 108 staff cuts on Friday. Reggie’s effort is the only reason we were able to inform readers about this important impact on our campus. This story merits follow-up, in terms of getting an accurate list of names of people whose positions were eliminated. I know many of those people would be willing to talk to us. Great job, Reggie! Way to think like a journalist!
Nick did a nice job “previewing” the staff cuts. His story last Wednesday covered some important background about ISU’s financial situation. Nick’s piece Friday on reaction to Obama’s State of the Union speech was also timely and a great way to localize that story.
Reggie also deserves kudos for his coverage of Provost Jack Maynard’s application for the president’s gig at Youngstown State. I trust Reggie will get another well-deserved pat on the back when we write about whether Maynard gets the job.
Finally, our Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service package was nicely done. The Jan. 20 issue had a super-cute kid’s face prominently on the front, helping clean up at a local charity. The stories by Erin, Jenny and Greg offered a diverse and compelling look at all the ways the day impacts students. Great job on planning and execution of that package!
Nathan’s sports photos have carried more than one issue recently. He’s doing a great job capturing key moments on the court. Nice work, Nathan!
Harold “Boss” Bosstick is kicking bootay with his awesome staff this semester. His section is routinely diverse in terms of story topics. As an editor, he is organized and communicates well with all his peers. Great job Boss-man!
For the record, the star ratings for the previous 5 issues are as follows:
This Friday issue was NEWSY!!! From Provost Maynard job-hunting to the Haitian nursing student’s plight to the smoking ban being flaunted to armed standoffs with police, this issue had a little something for every reader. Great job by Nick, Zach, Heidi and Reggie getting the biggest scoops out front.
This issue was lackluster. The basketball story that leads the front isn’t really that big a deal to anyone but the real fans. It doesn’t merit general-interest front page placement. Our piece on Tony George leaving the Indy speedway board is a bright spot, but could have been more localized. He has a lot of involvement on Terre Haute boards, as well. Colts heading to the Super Bowl gets back page placement, but would have been better choice for the front than b-ball because of its broader appeal.
We had some solid reporting in this issue — the previw of the staff cuts, enrollment figures, Sandison Hall’s nursing residence plans and contributed content from Auschwitz travelers. We also did a pretty good job getting feature photos of students working out at the Rec Center. I also appreciated Harold’s take on Super Bowl party planning. However, a closer look at some weak ledes and poorly executed page designs inside takes this down from a “good” paper to just “OK.”
This issue has solid story topics and some compelling writing by Nick, Rachel and Reggie. We needed more photos, though. We needed pix of people for the State of the Union story and a torch-carrying photo of Professor Rogers. Our school spirit story had only one source and no students talking about school spirit.