Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Recession alters parents' plans for kids' college"

Lisa Black's article on the effects of the economy on college affordability is written well enough, but lacks a truly newsworthy appeal.  Although Black does a nice job of finding and incorporating sources and uses quotes effectively to move her story forward, she fails to provide a fair balance.  The article does not provide substantial background information on the economy or provide actual tuition prices.  There are also no economic experts quoted in the story.  
Though the article is timely, it does not provide a newsworthy story.  The focus of the article is predictable and obvious.  Reading the article is only a way to find a few examples of people suffering from a problem that everyone already knew existed.  
The article's greatest strength is its use of examples.  By following a small number of students and their families through the struggle of applying to schools and finding a financial fit, the reader becomes attached and intrigued by their story.  
Overall, this article is well done considering the subject.


  1. It's funny- we did the same story but we talked about very different things!

    I agree with you about the examples, but disagree with you about the newsworthiness- I think it has a definite news peg. Even if it's not something that relates specifically to this week or this month, this is the time when students and parents are making these choices. Last year people were not quite so pessimistic about the economy- now, reality is sinking in and families are having to deal with it.

  2. Sam,

    There was authority throughout the piece--even without economists. The reporter talked to at least two experts: Jean Childers and Craig Powell. A story about the economy doesn't always have to use traditional economists as sources.