Oct. 26, 2017, critique

Praises

• More faces! Our photos featured faces prominently throughout this week, and I think the paper benefited from it.

• Our content in general was strong. Good mix of hard news and lighter news.

• There was an attempt to add several points of entry into the design — breakout boxes, pull quotes, mugs, graphics.

• I love the digital guide on page 2! Might I suggest including information to help people find out where these are online. Something like: Find Eve Grunauer’s piece under the “blogs” tab at northernstar.info.

Nice photo: Nice shot from Vamshi Dasarraju on page 3 of Kelsey Williams speaking about mental illness. Unfortunately the spelling of her name was different in the story and the cutline.

Nice lede: None stands out.

Nice headine: None stands out.

Pick of the paper: Lindsey Salvatelli’s piece on parking tickets. It had a lot of numbers, but it was still easy to follow. Liked the breakout about the amnesty program, too.

Problems

• Remember to notice how photos and headline play together. Most of our readers won’t know what Dannenmaier looks like, so they will at first glance think that Gerald Blazey, who’s pictured right above the headline, is the former law dean.

• When I read the headline “Domestic tuition to extend,” I had no idea what the story was about other than something relating to tuition.

• What is new in the Dannenmaier story? The only thing I read in the story that I didn’t already know what that Dannenmaier and Blazey have a “collegial” working relationship, and that’s in the 14th graf. Remember to put the news in the lede with something like: Ousted law school dean Eric Dannenmaier is finishing out the terms of his contract without incident, according to the vice president who supervises him.

• Our cutlines don’t look the same. Sometimes they’re bold and tiny; other times they look “normal,” as in the way they’ve looked for at least a couple years now. The bold and tiny look is too hard to read.

Grammar: We have a subhed that reads Third Street and Oak Street. Change to Third and Oak streets. We spell the word “official” wrong in chatter on page 5.

Style: Don’t use double quotes in headlines and other display type. Use single quotes.

 

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