Thursday, August 30, 2012

Solid first issue

Hope you had as much fun at critique yesterday as I did. If you didn't make make it, the full written critique is available on the course website on BulletinBoard Learn.

Given the time crunch, the fact that just about everyone on the staff is in a new job and the rustiness that comes from not reporting all summer, I thought the first issue of The Orion was pretty good. Here's what stood out:
• Lots of news well reported. This has always been a strength of The Orion and the staff showed it off again in this first issue.
• The nice redesign didn't fix all the visual-presentation problems. The paper looks cleaner and more modern, but the pages are still text-type heavy and have a long way to go visually.
• Photos need to be better and bigger. Remember that news is about people, so photos should be, too.
• Ads are back on track. The percentage of that paper that was ads on Wednesday was just over 40 percent, higher if you add in the Wildcat Survival Guide. That's great news given how much debt the paper is in.
• Copy editing wasn't perfect, but the paper overall was very clean (free of simple errors).
• People are starting to notice that The Orion is reporting news more than once a week. The website, Twitter, Facebook and daily webcast efforts have already changed readers' impressions of what the paper is all about -- delivering news to the community in a timely and convenient way.

There's room for improvement, of course, but all in all this was a terrific first week. Keep it up!

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