The Kansas City Star

This headline was a bit difficult to write, since the trial took place in 2008, but the murder happened in 1974. I had a couple of types of display text to play with, so I was able to fit both pieces of information in while focusing on the recent court decision. Within the article, I clarified that the juries agreed Horton had lured the girl into the high school, not to the school in the first place. I also shortened the article by several graphs.

PDF version of article: Murder trial

In this article, I clarified some of the details of the ride. Originally, the reporter had written that passengers got on the ride at one point and exited at another. After speaking with him, however, I discovered that passengers could get on or off the ride at either terminal, so I reworked that detail. I also removed a line about being able to check strollers at one of the terminals, since the reporter wasn’t sure if that was the only place where stroller checks were possible. I also removed several graphs from the end of this piece.

PDF version of article: Sky Safari   Safari jump

I played around a bit with this headline since it was dealing with young girls, and I didn’t want to label them as “overweight” or “fat” or “chubby” or anything like that. I found and corrected two name discrepancies in this story. Additionally, in the fourth graph, the reporter had originally written “blasts the reply from more than 40 kindergartners to high school seniors.” I thought that sounded as though kindergartners were responding to high school seniors, so I changed the sentence to clarify that it was referring to the age range of the group. I shortened this piece by several graphs as well.

PDF version of article: Dance Camp  Dance camp jump

This headline was very difficult to write, since my hed specs were very, very small. I wrote a more general hed and relied on supporting display text to fill the readers in on the rest of the story. I also did a lot of rearranging and tightening in this story. I thought that the original piece jumped around a lot in terms of the events it was describing. I decided to push the most recent and important developments to the front and put the rest of the information in – more or less – chronological order after that.

PDF version of article: Trooper

This was an interesting story but fairly complicated to try to explain in a headline. Luckily, I had a generous hed spec, so I was able to have fun with it by playing off of a literary reference to arrive at the final product. Otherwise, I just did some normal fact checking and made AP style corrections as needed. (The writer had a very distinct voice throughout, and I tried to respect that.)

PDF version of article: Snakes  Snakes jump

While at the Star, I got the chance to work in the features department off and on editing a wide variety of content, including this concert review. In terms of a headline, I think it’s important for the hed of a review to capture the overall judgment of the critic. The three terms I included were repeated throughout the review as representative of the experience at this concert. I ended up removing the very last part of the fourth graph, which read something like “much in the vein of the aforementioned artists,” since I thought it was both confusing and awkward. Additionally, I corrected the spelling of a few of the songs in the set list to reflect the band’s stylings.

PDF version of article: Concert

The University Daily Kansan

This article arrived very late, as the reporter had to rush to send it in after the election results were tallied. I did some research to help flesh out details, including how much Brownback won by, the date Mark Parkinson will leave office and the number of seats Republicans picked up in the House of Representatives. I wrote the cutline from scratch, because the photographer didn’t have time to write anything.  As for the hed, I had to work with a large font and small space, so I chose my words carefully. I made sure to include GOP in the deck so readers would understand the play on words I had made in the kicker above. In addition, I highlighted important results both statewide and nationwide in the deck.

PDF version of article: GOP   GOP jump

This article was a print companion to a blog one of our reporters wrote while she was embedded at two army forts for a week. When I got the article, there was no disclaimer explaining that, so I suggested we add one and include the blog’s address in the note as well. The reporter had included some nice descriptive passages in her article, which I helped her polish. I also rearranged the text so all of the descriptive passages ended up at the beginning and end, and the explanatory material was together in the middle. I added subheads to help with the transition between the descriptive and explanatory parts of the article.

PDF version of article: Boot camp   Boot camp jump


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