Hindsight, Sept. 14, 2017

The weekly critique of Doane Student Media publications


Newsy P. 1.

Glad we got the hurricane and DACA stories out front.

Nice use of bullets on P. 1 Trump story by Lauren Wagner.

Basic news writer Allison Priddy hit P. 1 with a good story about DACA. Nice work.

Good graphic on debt from Logan Thurston.

I’m ecstatic about P. 4. Absolutely love it. That’s exceptional work. Fantastic! One problem: The headline. Don’t use together twice: Twins grow up, get degrees together

Great lede on the twins story by Anna Flores: “From the same womb to the same college, three sets of twins have been inseparable.” The only thing I would change is to include Doane in the lede, as in: … three sets of Doane twins … Still, this is your Lede of the Week!

Editorial cartoon improves each week, but we failed to give credit to who drew it.

I like Logan Thurston’s idea to use a photo of the soccor player with the schedule, but the photo is too dark. Also, it’s a lot of space to use to give the upcoming schedule. It worked in this week’s paper, but if we have more sports news to tell next week, it may be too large.

Good work by basic news writer Mackenzie Burch to tell us about fantasy football leagues, but remember, put locals first in localizations.

Photo of the Week: Caitlyn Nelson’s twins shot.

Graphic of the Week: Logan Thurston’s schedule with photo.

Headline of the Week: Alumni share advice on juggling debt


We fail to include the date in our flag. Instead, we have: Thursday, September, 2017.

P. 1 is too gray. We need more photos/mugs.

We too often bury the lede. Put the news first.

In a localization, write about what the locals are thinking or doing about an issue before exploring the national/international issue. Move quotes from locals higher in stories.

Omit needless words. Stories are too wordy.

Omit needless grafs.

Good work by Trey Perry to localize the hurricane story.

Hurricane Harvey photos are available on the federal government’s Emergency Management Agency website. Why didn’t we use any? You can use government photos without worry about copyright issues. Same would be for Irma, as well.

A Doane student lost a relative in Hurricane Harvey? Who is the student? I would move that info higher … much higher.

Re: the Daca story. We have no mugs of these people?

Include titles of sources in stories.

Attribute facts and comments in stories.

Any Dreamers at Doane? That would make a helluva story.

Two-line heds should fill the space alotted.

About the debt story, the news is that Doane students have substantially less debt than the national average. Why isn’t that the lede?

If you’re going to use alums as sources, you must let the reader know when they graduated and with what degree.

The student fees story is well written by Kayla Starbuck, but the story still contains a problem: What’s is the news? If students look at their itemized bill, they will already know that they pay $800 in student fees. That’s not new. What is the news?

BTW, I find it hard to believe that StuCo receives only $60 in student fees. It allocates only $60 in student fees to all those organizations? Where does it get the money for those allocations?

Watch spacing. At times, the type gets too close to the page’s borders.

The only problem with the P. 4 design is that the text gets difficult to read toward the end of the story.

About the student teachers story, what’s the point? What’s the news? What’s the angle? Maybe it’s that these education students teach without getting paid? Maybe it’s what a long day they put in? Maybe there’s some other angle? But we need a news peg, a news angle, to write the story.

Cutlines should begin and end at the borders of the photo. They should not extend beyond the photo.

Is the Night of Networking an ad or a graphic? I’m confused.

Here’s the probelm with the Quilted Conscience story: We say it will happen on Sept. 14 — Thursday — but we fail to give a time and a place. How can readers go to see the showing without knowing when and where it is?

Avoid leading with a time element.

No photo to go with the Quilted Conscience story?

Headline on Quilted Conscience story is way too small.

Be accurate. Hurricane Katie was not in the Atlantic. It was in the Caribbean Sea.

Why do we jump a column from P. 6 to P. 7. We should avoid doing that. The only jumps should be from P. 1. Either cut the column or the artwork.

Tennis is a sport, not a human. It cannot have a heart. The members of the team can have hearts, but not tennis.

Grammar and structure:

Avoid long introductory clauses. Keep ’em short and sweet.

Omit adverbs.

Family is a collective noun. It’s singular. If we’re going to use it, we need to use singular pronouns. If that sounds weird, recast the sentence. Example: Jackson reached out to his family members in Texas to see how they …

Doane is a singular noun that requires the singular pronoun, its, not their.

Avoid placing pull quotes at the bottom of legs of text. Move them to the top of the column.

Watch where you place “only.” Example: “ … they had only spent … No. Instead: “ … they had spent a total of only three days …”

Avoid “there are” constructions.

The sentence says, in part: “ … so they can beat their opponents with their heads and not just their strokes.” In tennis, I don’t think it’s possible to beat an opponent with your head. Perhaps we mean that the team members can outthink their opponents? Is that the point?


Titles after the name are lowercase.

Please use first and last names of people. Example: It’s Nurse Kelly Jirovec, not Nurse Kelly.

What’s style for movie titles? See Composition Titles in the AP Stylebook.

When it stands alone, spell out United States. Abbreviate only when it is used as an adjective: U.S. Air Force.


Where is the exclusive content?

Where are the links? A story here or a story there has the links but we fail to include them with any consistency.