Christine (Tiney) Ricciardi brews up stories for GuideLive
By Alli Lorensen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
In 2015, with the help of a small team of 11 people, GuideLive, the entertainment section of The Dallas Morning News, revamped its website to reach out to a younger digital audience.
The 131-year-old newspaper veered from its traditional ways.
Copy editor Christine Ricciardi and her colleagues proved that their entertainment website could be profitable.
In 2012, Ricciardi initially started working for GuideLive, the entertainment section of The Dallas Morning News, as a contractor.
In 2014, she joined The Dallas Morning News to work full time, and was assigned to the GuideLive staff again in early 2015.
For the past three years, Ricciardi has worked on a section that is all about beer. She said this provides her with opportunities to make tasteful puns.
“I read about this brewery in Arlington called Legal Draft and they are called that because the president is formerly a lawyer and all of their beers are puns and I got to talk about their ‘Beeranda Rights,’” Ricciardi said in a phone interview.
On a daily basis she creates content, assigns stories to freelancers, edits those stories and sends them to the print team. Ricciardi starts the day by checking to see if there is any breaking news. If not, she will move to checking out stories, “If they’re from a freelancer I like to do them early in the day, that way I can send back feedback and say, ‘hey you need to check this out,’” Ricciardi said.
When editing stories, Ricciardi keeps everything in a Microsoft Word document. She uses the highlight tool and adds her notes in bold either in the middle of a sentence or after a paragraph.
Ricciardi agrees that the AP Stylebook is very helpful. However, when writing about craft beer industries, she said, it is absolutely essential to do online research.
“I rely heavily on my copy editing team. Not only because they’re fabulous at their jobs, but they have much more experience than I do,” Ricciardi said. “I graduated college in 2010 and I work with a lot of people who have been in this industry for as long as I’ve been alive.”
Ricciardi graduated from Southern Methodist University and received a degree in both journalism and Spanish. She initially started with a minor in Spanish, but she enjoyed classes so much that she didn’t want to stop.
She spent a semester abroad in Spain and understanding a second language has proven to be beneficial.
“We also own and produce a Spanish language paper and so when they do entertainment stuff, a lot of times people come to me,” Ricciardi said.
Before getting hired at The Dallas Morning News, Ricciardi ran her own music blog called dfDubReport.
“I had a bunch of my friends who I had recruited to write and cover shows and review albums,” she said. “Everything went through me before it got posted on the website.” This provided her with an editing background and additional practice.
“I’m more of the person that wants to bring happy news and a little bit of light in the sort of depressing news cycle,” Ricciardi said.
Ricciardi’s passions for food, drink and music make her successful in her career. She describes herself as a social butterfly who likes to have countless recommendations to provide friends and family with.
Entertainment news has been becoming increasingly important.
“I’ve been that person that people look at the entertainment section and have been like, ‘oh it’s just the tabloid section of our website,’ and gaining that respect was a challenge,” Ricciardi said. “Ultimately entertainment is the fact that everybody needs and wants to do happy things and good things in their lives and they want to know about the new, up-and-coming cool stuff.”