June 25, 2018, critique

Praises
Ginger’s piece on “Jurassic World” was a smart, authoritative and enlightening piece. This is because of the context, facts and informed opinions she included along with an easy-to-read but not dumbed-down writing style. Cheers to Ginger!

Best lead
None stands out.

Photo of the week
None stands out.

Best headline
‘Roseanne’ without Barr
Clever, accurate, compelling

Problems

Which of the two photos did your eye go to first?  Photos need faces. Our photos don’t have faces in them. (Tip: Animals faces count, too!)  According to Poynter Eye Track studies:
— People look first at faces.  And they are interested in the relationships between people in the frame, often looking back and forth, between faces and interactions. “It’s the people’s faces and their reactions,” said a 57-year-old female test subject. “For me, the sympathy on their faces draw me in closer, if I can see them really happy, or hurting or really excited, it draws me in to the photo.”

Problems, cont’d

Photo placement in story: Make sure to anchor photos at the top of the story under the headline as shown below.

YES!

Avoid laying out stories like the one below with the photo at the bottom and text snaked above it.

NO

Here’s another placement issue: Don’t separate the headline from the start of the story. Readers are trained to start reading the column that’s closest to the headline. Putting a photo between the headline and the start of the story is confusing.

NO
redo
YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumps: We’re not doing them right. Here’s what we should be doing …

Style

You might as well learn Associated Press for addresses because we put a lot of addresses in the paper. The address above should be:
The Egyptian Theatre is at 135 N. Second St. (By the way, we had the address wrong in the paper.)

Here’s the “addresses” entry in the Associated Press Stylebook

addresses 

Use the abbreviations Ave.Blvd. and St. only with a numbered address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Spell them out and capitalize when part of a formal street name without a number: Pennsylvania Avenue. Lowercase and spell out when used alone or with more than one street name: Massachusetts and Pennsylvania avenues.

All similar words (alleydriveroadterrace, etc.) always are spelled out. Capitalize them when part of a formal name without a number; lowercase when used alone or with two or more names.
Always use figures for an address number: 9 Morningside Circle.
Spell out and capitalize First through Ninth when used as street names; use figures for 10th and above: 7 Fifth Ave.100 21st St.
Abbreviate compass points used to indicate directional ends of a street or quadrants of a city in a numbered address: 222 E. 42nd St., 562 W. 43rd St., 600 K St. NW. Do not abbreviate if the number is omitted: East 42nd Street, West 43rd Street, K Street Northwest. No periods in quadrant abbreviations — NW, SE — unless customary locally.
Use periods in the abbreviation P.O. for P.O. Box numbers.
See numerals.

Grammar

Single quotes are used in headlines or inside double quotes everywhere else.

If something is happening in the future, use future tense.
NO: 
The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus is returning to DeKalb.
YES:
The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus will return to DeKalb.

Don’t use fancy words when conversational words will do. This is called using pompous language. We use the word “utilize” several times throughout the paper. Most editors would change every instance of that word to “use” unless it’s in a direct quotation.

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