Paper Critique: Friday Parthenon- October 16, 2015
The Friday editions of The Parthenon have become noticeably stronger in terms of lessening micro AP style errors. A few persist here and there, but clearly the writing of the reporters or the copy editing of the editors, or perhaps both, have improved. While the overall writing has improved, the paper still has issues with identifying newsworthiness and writing headlines.
The issues are most prevalent on the news page, where the lead story is “Second annual Loving Appalachia Day celebrated” as opposed to the story “Final presidential candidate visits Marshall campus.” The university’s presidential search has more newsworthy impact such as impact and relevance, and it should be deemed as the biggest story in the paper. The presidential search story is also well-written, whereas the Loving Appalachia story has a few cases of micro editing errors and numerous points where the reporter draws his own inferences. The story’s headline is also written in past tense instead of the proper present tense.
Another headline on the page is completely devoid of a verb sapping reader interest. The headline reads “Big Sandy Superstore Arena: Wing Fling all-you-can-eat chicken wing festival.” The headline merely states the name of an event with no verb or additional information. It acts as a title not a headline.
Finally, the final story on the news page is headlined “Thirst Project comes to Marshall.” The verb “comes” isn’t the strongest verb as it fails to tell anything about the event or the organization. Also, most readers probably aren’t sure what Thirst Project is. The headline is simply too vague. If a reader sees this headline, they have little understanding what the story is about.
The issues with headline writing has been a regular fixture with this publication throughout the critiquing process. The headlines lack strong verbs, information or creativity to draw readers to stories.