Paper Critique: Friday Parthenon- October 9, 2015
This Friday edition of The Parthenon didn’t have many stories, but the stories in the paper were somewhat newsworthy and useful to the audience. The sports section had the usual dose of game previews and recaps with supportive and action-verb headlines. The primary news stories were appropriate for the audience and were a welcomed diversification from the usual event recaps and previews which often fail to focus upon the actual newsworthy aspect involved. The main stories were about depression screenings and thoughts about depression from students and a story about a haunted house, fitting considering the Halloween season.
However, while these stories were strong pieces, the headlines didn’t do them justice. In the story about depression the headline was “National Depression Screening Day”. Is the name of the day the news or is the news depression with the nationally recognized day being a newsworthy method to report on it? The story about the haunted house used a headline reporting a partnership between the two organizations running the haunted house. Again, while this is the news that makes the story relevant, it probably isn’t the reader’s primary reason for reading the story. Both stories involved timeliness, but the timely aspect of the stories wasn’t of interest to readers, it was the bigger picture.
Aside from the headline mistakes and a few AP style errors, the paper actually presented readers with interesting news, considering the audience. However, the photos were also an issue. It’s difficult to acquire stimulating photos to accompany many stories in The Parthenon, but in this issue the photos play a major role because of the limited number of stories. Many of the edition’s large images don’t offer much to the story and aren’t appealing visuals to readers. Photos of signs, buildings and two people having a conversation aren’t powerful or candid images. Also the front page is busy with colors and design, but nothing pops out to engage potential readers. The photos aren’t colorful, detailed or powerful enough to overcome the dark and busy designing strategy. The front page may actually be more likely to turn readers off as opposed to invite them to read the paper.