Saturday, November 29, 2008

KUDOS, Nov. 25 Issue

To use an athletics analogy, you don't measure a good team by how well they did in the first quarter or first part of the season. You don't take the score at halftime or at mid-season and say, "Well, that's it." You don't look at the results toward the end of the season or game and simply throw in the towel. No, you don't do that. A good team is measured by the sum of its parts, at the end of the game or the end of a season. A good team learns from its mistakes, adjusts, works together and sets its sights high. And, when the final buzzer sounds and the game is over,that's when you look at the score and measure the worth of the team. As Yogi Berra used to say (all of you know who Yogi is, right?), "It's not over til it's over!" Amen. And so, as we near the end of the first semester - literaly, the end of our first game, things seem to be coming together and our hard work is reaping benefits. The Nov. 25 issue was a good one, overall. We had a "scoop" - a story no one else had before us - and that's worth gold in journalism. We also had a good legal story on pi with the tax free book week and solid city improvement story on pi. Both these stories could have been stronger, but no one else had them and we can always do folo-ups. As for the Billy Garza story, Jaime stuck with it until he could verify it. KUDOs, literally, to him. We got this story before mainstream media got it. The Valley did have it this weekend, but we scooped them. Page 2 was a little better and Melinda Sepulveda did a good job in her first layout assignment. Good reviews and a good Chupi and, most importantly, a correct staff box. Tania's story on the art students on page 3 was very appropriate. Juan Carlos had another solid review and Savannah had a good news story on this page. Page 4, ed-ops, had two solid columns, a cute editorial and a slamming editorial and accompanying editorial cartoon on Catholics. Wow. Lightning is sure to strike us now. Our Lady of Victory, as the Notre Dame football team would say, "Pray for US!" Page 5, solid sports page except for the graphic I added in Jav a Stats. Evidently, I did not put it in the photo box in the server and it did not update. My mistake. But, we should have caught this on the PDF. Always open PDFs to make sure all the stuff is there. Back page is cute and I look wonderful, don't I? Ha! We should have gotten other people for this, but cie la vie (such is life in French, I think. Kristie, is that right, ha.) Well, a little known fact as I look at that turkey on page 6. My nickname in middle school was guajoloton (which means Big Turkey). Don't ask why. Basically, I have been the size I am today since I was 11-12. So....well, never mind. Take care y good job. As for KUDOs, it's hard to not name Jaime for the honor. Also, Kristie had two front page articles and she too is making a rebound of sorts. Well done. So, both of you - Jaime and Kristie - get KUDOs. You in the pot for the $100. Good luck. And, for the record, uno mas (one more). Let's go get it......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

KUDOs Nov. 18 Issue

First, thank you for stepping it up while I was sick, Monday, on press day. You all got 'er done. Thanks. Now, I know we were late, but the dateline says it's Thursday, Nov. 18? Wow. Well, it was almost right. I guess we can take a shot at the date and's like 50-50 we're going to make deadline. Again, when things are late and there is no pi photo ready, every thing becomes a distraction and little details like this...the one's that make a difference between excellent, good and average or just plain lousy....are missed. We can do better. We will try. The layout on pi is unimaginative and boring. We had a great story on Rumbo al Anac'ua and on the Foundation. Why didn't we have photos of that? Rumbo would have been a better lead photo and it involves our department. Why didn't we even run a photo of that. By the way, the story on Rumbo lacked depth. The Economic troubles story needed at least mugs...don't you think? Wow, guys, plan. Please, plan. Design ahead. Find the photos. Wow, guys. Plan, think. Think WIIFM. The photo of construction was a nice grab,but ...oh, never mind. Again, JC and Angela and Kiki (as chief photographer) must take care of having a solid pi photo every week, every week. Same holds true for Focus on Us, every week, every week. Wow. And, how embarrassing...we have a "staff reports" story on pi. Nice that we did, but we write everything for pi....unless the world caves in and we fall into China. Wow. This is planning, organization, etc.

Page 2....same song, same verse....again, lack of planning and organization led us to find a sports photo for Focus on Us. It's also a boring sports one in the stands....nice touch, Patrician and Angela had nice stories here.

Page 3 was a nice page. Modular. I see where we ran a house ad. Cute. Edwin had a nice story on Norma Cantu. Not much else.

Page 4 again was solid. A nice editorial page with a mix of columns and stuff. Where were letters to editor, at least one. Oh, when we run a professor's column it's called "Forum" by tradition started by Paul. But, it was very good, but I liked Amanda's column better. Well done, Amanda.

Page 5 - wow, finally, a real BullFest photo. Wow. Nice work. A bit crowded but much information.

Page 6 was a nice effort but our big photo was too weak and it ruined the layout, which reproduced horribly. Also, we gave Jackie Thomas the plague. Ha.

KUDOs? Jaime Gonzalez and Amanda Marcum stand out in my mind. Jaime's work on the Foundation story took much time and research. Amanda's first-ever column for us was solid. So, they get it.....congratulations.

We're almost over..we're going to make it....I think...

KUDOs Nov. 11 Issue

First, don't be confused by the date on the front's Tuesday, Nov. 11. Sorry I didn't catch this. However, as you may recall, it was past noon and we had no lead photo for the front page, so who has time to look at the details? How did this happen? It goes to show we are not a true staff. A staff picks each other up and takes care of fellow staff members. A staff doesn't take advantage of its editor or advisers and say, "Oh, JC, Angela and Jaime or Dr. Flores and Adriana will take care of it." That shows gross disrespect for these people, the tradtiion of The South Texan, our student body and the profession of journalism and communications. It also shows that those who do this may not want to be part of something which some of us consider very special. It's depressing. Nonetheless, we perservered and JC, Angela, Jaime, Dr. Flores and Adriana did their best to take care of a very critical situation. It's depressing. Page one is passable with a pixelized photo of BullFest that we scrounged up at literraly at the lat minute, thanks to JC. I tried to make it work. The photo scheduled to run was Greek Week, but there were none. Someone dropped the ball and it wasn't done and no one called in time so that we could take care of finding another one...I know, don't won't to hear. This is total disrespect for the staffers who work had and to our student body, the profession of jouanlism, etc. The highlight of page one was Erika Hernandez's story. Solid. Now, JC and Angela, since you both are in charge of pi, when a story like this is the lead, please think first about photos, next about graphics and finally about infographics. They have to be done in advance. JC or Angela, when you do a dummy, you must place this in the dummy and assign, get it ASSIGN someone to do it before Monday morning or Monday noon. This represents a total lack of organization. The one page that must be planned down to a "T" earlier in the week is Page 1. It's the window to our newspaper. Teaasers, photos, graphics, decks, hammers, cutlines....all must be planned before we even set foot in the office Monday morning. Oh well.

Page 2....we followed formula layout again. Thank God! But, again, there was no Focus on Us photo. Why? So we do what we do best, find a canned sports photo. It worked, but it needs planning. This represents a total lack of respect for the staff. The inability for either the chief photographer, p2 designer or editor to come up with one pinche photo for one pinche page is depressing. It hurts! I know ...lalalalalalalalalalalala. I'm sorry. There were some nice stories by Angela, Amanda and Edwin and Leanna had a strong "Police Blotter" again. Thanks.

Page 3 had Campus News and, lo and behold, a Greek Week photo. It was only the biggest social event of the year for Greeks and we had to go beg, borrow or steal a photo. KUDOs for perseverance to whomever clutched this photo away from someone's desktop. It's a nice page.

Page 4 had one of the best editorial cartoons in recent Palacios has certainly grown up and will some day be the replacement for Jeremy Martinez, out cartoonist and the best in the state last year. Wow. Also, great columns by Jaime - wow, he was pro Palin - and Tania (with some rewrite, but she's learning). Layout wise, very solid. Who did it?

Page 5 was our first "Letters to the Editor" page of the year. It was nice.

Page 6 was solid a sports page. It still lacks a "big photo." But, hey, Kiki must have a thing for Billy Martin. She got another good action shot of the Javelina running back. Also, here, Jaime did a great job on a column. It's local, well-researched and makes a solid point that has implications at the conference and national level. Well done Jaime. I enjoyed it.

As for KUDOs . . . .I'm singling in on two people. Our cartoonist Ernest Palacios and our managing editor Jaime Gonzalez. Ernest's creativity bloomede with this cartoon. Jaime is simply relentless and shows his depth of knowledge and understanding for journalism by taking on a front page story, a solid ed-ops column, designing the sports page and writing a solid sports column. Jaime, you the vato. So, both Ernest and Jaime are in the pot for the $100. Congrats. Good luck.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

KUDOs Nov. 6 issue

Well, this could have been a great issue. In many ways, it was solid. The pi layout and the back page layout kind of salvaged this edition. But, even the pi layout was flawed. The story, which was very good by Mary Beth Cleavelin, is not readable. A poor print job by Alice soured this otherwise very solid page design and I messed up by not counting on my experience and telling you that type was too small to pass the Alice Publishing litmus test for a reverse type layout. I knew that, but said nada. Well, let's examine why. It all boils down to the vast majority of the staff not doing its work. We asked for an extension for pi and maybe another page, from the Monday deadline to Wednesday morning. This means we had plenty of time to get the other pages together and read and fix them and make sure they were solid and professional and (whatever). Instead, no one worked Monday. No one worked Tuesday and no one had finished products on Wednesday for us to read, proof, make sure it was correct, etc. I wound up doing most of page 2, editing the columns, and Adriana did the ed-ops page. Are you kidding me? In the meantime, we had no time - I repeat - no time to do a comprehensive and scholarly (yes, this is scholarly) study of design and content because Alice was calling asking "Where's the paper?" Again, I plead with you (no one is listening or reading this I know) to finish the editorial page, P2, the Campus News Page and most of the sports page by Sunday so we can fine tune it on Monday and not be on !@#$%$* rush. I know, no one is reading this. We will just continue to wait til the last minute 'cause we work well under pressure. Maybe, but as of this week, two of us have had chest pains and it's not getting easier. Please do your work. Please finish P2, the ed-ops page, campus news, most of sports and pi by Sunday so we can fine tune on Monday and make adjustments where needed. Page editors must finish their pages or just say "I can't do this no more." Also, JC, let's see if we can "review" preliminary layouts at the very least Friday afternoon. The layouts, look at the Campus News page, are sophomoric and deserving of a D5 paper. We're D3. We can do better. Come on? I would like to do a page-by-page evaluation but it's useless. Nothing is ready until after the noon on deadline day, and by then it's just "let's get this paper out of here!" For example, the ed-ops page had that column by Bob that has too much leading, too much. There were several stories with too much or too little leading. We know better, but we couldn't fix it cause we didn't have time. The ed-ops page also had Nndy's picture darker than the caverns of Carlsbad. We should have fixed this and we all know how to do it but (join with me here) "WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME!" The same can be said about the "blue" picture of groundbreaking and we should have had a more solid picture of this. Get on the ground. Take a picture of the shovel, which by the way had a big picture of HOG!. Wow. The Hog, getting dirty, into the make a good photo.
There were some good points on pi. We didn't have a teaser 'cause the most important story of the 21st Century was going on, and that was good. We, instead, had a horizontal tease line at the bottom of the page. That was good. It looks nice. And, our "weather" eggs made sense. How did we do this? Wow. And, I would be remiss if I didn't mention what a fine job Mary Beth did with her story. Too bad (say with me here) NO ONE COULD READ IT! Why? Okay, (say with me here) WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO EVALUATE THE TYPE SIZE CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. We could have done better and we will.
On P2, well, we didn't have the PacMan photo in the layout until noon Wednesday. Why? We took the photo last Halloween. And, it didn't fit the fortmat. Oh, what does that say? Use another picture, crop it in Photo Shop or use different bastard measures to make it fit. On P2, the blotter was solid, Chupi was cute and JC's review was excellent. On page 3, what a waste of space with that blurry picture of Tallant, our blue president. We needed to fix this in Photo Shop. Why didn't we? Say with me now -WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. Oh, on this page stories were solid but the best things were the ads. The Squirrely's ad is cool. Editorial page had some solid writing and great local cartoon. The edtorial was solid and timely. On sports page, we had one great picture - Billy Martin running. We should have run this bigger. The other two pictures were "stretched." We didn't fix this because, (say it with me now) WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. Oh, congratulations to Jaime on the wonderful prediction record he has. Nice work. And, finally, page 6. it's solid.
Mary Beth's last-minute work (as it was supposed to be) was excellent. Her post-election story was well written, had several quotes and had excellent information. So, she's in the pot again Well done, thanks!

KUDOs Oct. 28 issue

This was a very solid issue with a unique and powerful double-truck editorial page section on the upcoming presidential election. Except for reproduction issues (we had a blue Dr. Tallant again), this could be our best effort this year.
Page 1
On pi, teaser was solid, main stories (Dia de los Muertos and Jav-a-Ride) were informative and trailer at bottom of page on Round Table (by the way, they are capitalized) was informative. Tania Garcia did an excellent job on these stories and is approaching the time when we can no longer call her a "cub" reporter. This girl's a real bear of a reporter. Ha. Well done, Tania, and thanks for your passion and hard work. On the lead art, Bob Pena must be having visions of the Chupa Cabra, or is that "Porkey's" father? Whatever, it's "Forever (Por Vida)!" dude. Our weather "eggs" look like they're fried this time. I guess that means a change in the weather. Don't know? I still think they should be down in the rail and that news should be a the top of this rail. I also think that we need news briefs here for late-breaking news. What do you think? I know, no one will respond and it will be the great mystery of the year at our news desk. Yes, we have a news desk. Can someone find it?
Page 2
Page 2 continues to improve but it is always late and that cuts into our editing time on Monday a.m. Amanda and Patricia had solid stories. Good job. Chupi made some sense. Nice Jeremy. "Focus on Us" still weak. Again, this should be the Chief Photographer's and P2 editor's job. Has anyone told Kiki about this? I know she doesn't read this,but we're still a team. Or, Kristie, are you coordinating this with someone new? If so, this has to be complete, solid, with cutline info, etc. Also, if you need it wider, you can make "By the Day" thinner with a bastard measure. But, you won't know this until you select the paper. In other words, even the P2 formula layout is flexible. Only you can do this, Kristie. The others are busy with their work. You also need to be in the office Monday to finish your page. Please try to do that.
Page 3
Page 3 had two very solid columns and among the best I have read since my time here at the South Texan. Kristie's "undecided" column is provocative, intelligent and inspiring all at once. It's hard being a young voter and it's hard to figure out the issues. Kristie wrote not only from the heart, but here mind and soul. Think about it. Nndy (Is that how we spell it) has a true flair for writing. He is a welcomed addition to editorial page.
Pages 4-5
Simply a wow! This is as good an ed-ops double-truck as I have ever since in college journalism. We could have used more graphics, but it's fair to say that all of the elements stand alone and are solid. The two "cases" (Jaime and Nndy for Obama and Mary Beth for McCain) are among the best essays any one in our university could have written. Wow. Really, wow! The endorsement editorial is also very good. Juan Carlos, this is the type of leadership and writing you have to show to help lead the way. This is serious stuff and your insight and passion for this certainly added credibility to this 2-page spread. Thanks. Please keep this type of "thinking" up. And, the final design came from Angela Palacios. Angela, you need to be a leader in the design area for all pages. J.C., you need to re-think Angela's role in our paper. Well done, Angela. Also,nice cartoon from Jeremy was a nice finishing touch. Guys, the opinion pieces in this edition of The South Texan were solid. Thank you!
Page 6
Sports is solid. It has two strong stories and one good picture. The Peterson picture is also good, but poor reproduction killed it. I still think we need to "advance" stories rather than just report old news, but this works.
Page 7
A good idea for Spanish Page, but there is nothing new here. We need some enterprise stories to spruce this up. This are just translations. It's obvious we need more planning. Let's make sure our next Spanish page is planned appropriately. On the upside, we had three solid pictures.
Page 8
This is a solid photo spread It had just a little too much copy at the top. Also needed more white space. I think the person who did this page is awesome. Who was it?
AS for KUDOs....who get's it? In an edition like this where there is much quality and hard work, it's hard to single out one person. So, my thoughts are that the ed-ops team should all get KUDOs. They are: Angela Palacios, Mary Beth Cleavelin, Nndy Oheri, Kristie Vela, Jaime Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Reyes, Jeremy Martinez, Ernesto Palacios, Kiki Ausbie. You're in the pot. Congratulations. See you at the "-15-" Party.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

KUDOs for Oct. 21 Issue

We had an opportunity for some really good work on this issue. There were stories with potentially great headlines, graphics and photos. We missed them. Examples: crime story graphics; WiFi headlines with AirHog and stuff; WiFi photos of students online like in Mesquite Groove; Focus on Us photos could have been much better. But, we had some good stories with decent leads and we made it, sort of. In addition, the design on pi was solid and the back page feature page was "interesting" with good cutouts (for the most part)and two very good stories by our sports guys - JC and Jaime. Well, let's see. Page 1, good. Page 2, decent. Page 3, average. Page 4, average. Page 5, weak. Page 6, average. Page 7, good. Page 8, better than good but not great. Overall, a good performance. Some notable work on this issue includes,of course, Jaime's and JC's stories on the feature and sports pages. Also of note are the sports photos of Noe Longoria, the column by newcomer Nndy Oheri, the editorial on dorm security by Sabrina and the Ol' Smoky story by Arty. By the way, let's be consistent. Is it Smokey or Smoky? Now, some bad points. On page 2, our photos were horrible. They are too dark. I can't see the Ol' Smoky and the Hogs are too dark on Focus on Us. Chupi and the Blotter carry the page. Campus News pages are laden with campus stories...good job! Nothing spectacular, but all very functional. Even the bees look good. Sports was its usual solid self. However, I don't like the "lineup" photo of our Hall of Famers. we can much, much better and here is an incident when a mug shot would have actually been preferred. Oh well. They look like someone is trying to identify them for a theft or murder. Ha. Now, for KUDOs. In spite of some little discrepancies, this is still a solid edition. When looking at it as a whole, I see pi and feature layout had some thought but into them. Angela took over this duty last week and she did well. For that effort, she gets KUDOs. She's in the pot for the $100 scholarship at our "-15- Party." Congratulations.

KUDOs Oct. 14 Issue

This was a solid Homecoming Issue, complete with the happy photo of the King and Queen on the front page, the color photo spread on page 6, something for the alumni on the bonfire and the old flag with old Porky emblem on pi, the alumni luncheon on page 2, and a solid game story on page 5. Well done. Juan Carlos, you did a good job of coordinating this coverage and it shows. Angela and photo staff, good job of selecting different and varied pictures on photo spread. Angel, while this was excellent, it still needs to follow photo spread format we learned in design class and which you used to tackle easily two years ago. Please try to conform to traditional photo spread layout in the future. Okay? But, nice work. Really. And, photo staff - Kiki et. al. - very nice work on a dark and steamy night. Ha. What else was good about this issue? First, the teaser was excellent with QB Billy Garza running toward the head line on a screen of a gridiron (football field) in the background. Nice cutout and you identified who he was. The Bonfire story by Savannah was very functional. The King and Queen story need more detail but it was all there. The rec center story was solid. Well done, Arty. Page 2 was okay. The "Blotter" is all the rage on campus. Page 3 had a good parking makeover story by Patricia Reiss. The map did not work, however, because of the color that was lacking. We did not plan this page well. Carpooling story was solid. Good job, Erika. Erika, you need to be part of the staff. Come and spend some time with us. The Ed-Ops page may have been one of our best. The cartoon by Jeremy was award-quality at any level. Jaime's column, too, is of award-quality. The Analysis is well done, but with few exceptions. Good job, Kristie and Adriana (I think). Kiki's column finally made it. It was done in manner that would not lead to libel but it was controversial for sure. It is important to note that before we ran this column, our editor, Juan Carlos Reyes, had to verify that the complaints Kiki was writing about were true. He took the names of the students and their phone numbers down before it ran. The students did not want to reveal their names for fear of retribution. The column took courage to write, but it was not whiny and it spoke about inequities that need to be looked into at our dorms. The "bailout" editorial was also solid. Nice sports page. It's full of information and good photos, for a change. So, who gets KUDOs. Well, surprise, surprise. While this issue was a true "team effort" with everyone making sure Homecoming was covered from top to bottom, there were others who were busy helping our department, program and club look well. Amidst all the Homecoming hoopla, four students, make that five, rose to the occasion and helped prepare a Press Club float for the Homecoming Cavalcade. Press Club President Jaime Gonzalez's pickup truck was plastered with South Texans (a good use of our newspaper, ha) by Tania Garcia, LeAnna Fuentes, Adrian Trevino and Edwin Vasquez and it took third place in the Homecoming Cavalcade. This made our program visible. Many people said we should have won first place. Still, you all won first place in our hearts. Congratulations. So, Jaime, Tania, LeAnna, Adrian and Edwin, you get KUDOs for this week. Well done. You're in the pot for the Holiday "-15- Party" $100 scholarship.

Monday, October 13, 2008

KUDOS for Oct. 7 Issue

This was a pretty solid issue. Good writing, decent photos, provocative opinions and heads-up sports. Well done! Starting with pi, the article on incoming president Steven Tallant by Patricia Reiss was well-written and the layout - although a little blue - had the nice graphic that helped explain the 90-day plan. Erika had a solid story on Hispanic voters and a good report on Dr. Goswami's speech. Tania's SGA coverage is the best we've had in recent years and she continues to improve. Thanks. And, Savannah wrote a solid story. Wow. Layoutwise, the blue screen on Tallant made it look like he was working at night....kind of worked, but? Also, the Aztec Indians should have been bigger. We misse a good chance to display this photo well. Of course, just for good measure, we still have the eggy weather section. Page 2 did better with the "Focus On Us" feature, but we still need a good solid photo here. The blotter is still a hit. The review was decent and the review on the Kingsville Symphony Concert very well done. Our reviews are getting stronger, guys and gals. Well done. As for Chupi, I'm starting to understand, I think. Campus News, Page 3, was excellent with the exception of not having a big photo at the top. It was a very newsy and the "Benchwarmers" story was probably the hit of the campus. Officially, they are now stars. The Ed/Ops page had a very nice analysis by Kristie on the campaign 2008. We need more of this and we can't let up now. We have to have this all the way to the election. The "Work-Study" editorial was solid and, more importantly, local. Local editorials and columns should be our priority on this page. Mary Beth's column on Sarah Palin was a nice change of pace. Layoutwise, nice big cartoon. Okay. But, the bug on Mary Beth's column is very weak. Make her name bigger and also center it. This type of mistake can stop us from winning a design award and is also very distracting. Not much else to say on Page 5 - Sports. Solid stories, good photos and good charitcle. Page 6 was a well-designed Homecoming page. I like the way someone added the week's events at the bottom. The photos also reproduced well, this time. A good effort by all. Thanks! As for KUDOS.....while the work was very good this week on the printed version, there were some interesting things going on with the online version of The South Texans that were just very exciting. Bob Pena and Serbrina Salinas have revamped the site. We have a webcast now and also PDFs of each issue. This took a lot of work. Go visit the site and see what all the fuss is about. For their efforts, Bob and Serbrina are in the pot. Well done. Thanks!

KUDOS for Sept. 30 Issue

Finally, a newspaper with some politics. The Page 1 story on "A&M-Kingsville ready to vote" was heart-warming to see. The most important election of this generation's future is about to take place and it is our job and responsibility to inform the college student population of their options. Tania's article was perfect at this time and place. Also, we had two solid stories on pi with Kristie's "enrollment increase" story and Kiki's solid story on the "planet hunt." We even had a graphic on enrollment. Wow, who did that? Our weakness on pi continues to be weak photographs. Our writing is improving. Another weakness is our teaser. It seems unplanned. Of course, as long as it's "sunny and hot" we're going to have the fried egg symbols on our excellent 3-day weather forecast. Well, at least they get our attention. Page 2 is still developing. We are still developing our "Focus On Us." This should be the Chief Photographers No. 1 duty, after working with the page 2 designer. Here, we had photos of people's butts and backs. Not good. We can do better. The police blotter is assuming an identity of its own. Leanna Guerra, our cub reporter, is doing an excellent job. Well done Leanna. Thanks. Also, two solid stories by Patricia Reiss and Arty Maldonado. Patricia's story could have been a longer, but I understand we had space issues. Patricia also had a solid story on the India Culture event at Jones, on page 3. She has been a very pleasant addition to our staff and helps out on Monday during deadline. Tania continued to improve with the UPD story and Edwin added a solid story on "Savage in Limbo." Page 3 is full of campus news. That's good. What's lacking? Student features. Maybe Patricia, Edwin or Tania can keep this up. Page 4 is also full of campus news. Good stories by Amanda Marcum, Erika Hernandez (great lead) and Adrian Trevino. Adrian still needs work on news style, but he is getting there. Ed/Ops was pretty good. It still lacks planning and thus seems disorganized. JC had a solid column. Well done And, so did Adrian. Nice feature on Bayfest, We had a nice scene setting picture, but we used too many photos. I think we need to limit our use of photos to no more than 5 in a photo spread. Sports is solid again, but we still need two things from this are: bigger photos and more features. On the features, we have a winning team. Our students need to know the personalities who have helped us be successful. We also had a nice effort on the Spanish page. My one complaint is that it's not "newsy" enough. Also, the Senoirta Herencia Hispana story should have run somewhere in English. Well, it's time for KUDOs. With the work Tania has done recently and the work Adrian continues to do, along with the work of Leanna Guerra on the police blotter...these three cub reporters get the honor. Well done. You're in the pot for the $100. Thanks for your hard work.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

KUDOs for Sept. 23 issue

The Sept. 23 issue had some good points and bad points. Layout and designwise, we salvaged with flutter-bys and zarapes - the front and back page. The scariest part of the Sept. 23 issue was pi - page one. At 10:30 a.m. Monday, all we had on the page were cutouts of butterflies. The story on Strawswer was late, the story on enrollment died, other stories (I forget now what they were) disintegrated and we had nothing, nada, zilch. Carlos Alvarado came through with a butterfly invasion featurette and Jaime and I did a story on the football game to sort of kinda save the page. But, the butterfly effect layout was not totally finished when deadline arrived at noon, and the page was not very pretty. Juan Carlos added the hammer headline and deck to sort of kinda save, but not really. We turned out with a weak layout because there was very little advanced planning. The butterfly layout was a good thought, but it wasn't followed through. And, as for the stories on page one being late, well I don't know what to say. In 20 years of advising college newspapers, this is the closest we have come to not having material for page one. I'm disappointed. I don't know what to say. Now, as always, there were some good efforts. Angela continues to improve as a leader. Jaime is doing a very good job on sports and his editorial/column writing is superb, in most cases.Clavens Charles is always "ready" to take pictures for us. Pub Lab students are starting to get the hand of deadlines and news writing - GOOD! Tania covered SGA, BETTER! Police Blotter is back, AWESOME! However, we still nee to format Police Blotter better and no matter what, if it's in news style and not agate matter, we never start a paragraph with the date. That's how Police Blotter started out. Some high points: Erika's Ag Olympics story (good strong lead, solid quotes, well covered), Amanda's Yoga story (Newsy and well written), Yamira Hispanic Heritage story on Stephanie Griest (Good use of quotes), and the Ed-Ops page (good variety of columns and editorials). Some low points: Savannah's Hispanic Heritage Month story (poor reporting, events that were reported as happening did not, etc.), Hogs battle on page one (written too late and then spellchecker changed word to wrong word), Snout Invasion (turned in too late to fix and had some disappointing qhotes, i.e. "None of us are butterfly specialists") and Katrina's/Lorraine's/Ali's obesity story on page 2 (Zero, nada, nothing, no plannning for layout and design and photos). Why? Well, you get the point. While this was an "okay" or "average" issue it was not our best and we can do much better. The key to it is for us to get on an early cycle and not wait on everything till the last-minutes. Friday's can be our work day, don't you think? To have a story for the main feature piece on pi to come in at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning is unacceptable, unacceptable. We can do better. J.C., Jaime and others (Angela, Kristie, Kiki, etc), let's organize ourselves as team. Let's set some real-time deadlines and let's get it done. (Music here) KUDOs? Another tough week. Because of their continued willingness to help, KUDOs this week go to two of the least-complaining, most-cooperative staff members - Adrian Trevino and Clavens Charles. Adrian did a volleyball story and a strong column on Hurricane Ike's impact in Houston. Clavens took some of the better volleyball pictures this year. Well done, both you. Thanks for your hard work and thanks for being a part of the team without whining or complaining. Your in the pot for the $100 at the "-15-" Party. Good luck.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

KUDOs for Sept. 16 issue

First, thank God all of us are safe. A scare from a hurricane often puts journalists in harm's way. Last Wednesday, when we met to discuss the publication schedule in case the hurricane hit our area, there was both a sense of urgency and anticipation in the air. I appreciated the journalistic and professional attitude of all who were present - JC, Jaime, Mary Beth, Jaime, Edwin, Kiki, Adriana (I don't remember the others, but there was a lot going on). Assignments were made. We all understood what we were doing. Immediately, we must point out the work of two of our students - Mary Beth Cleavelin and Edwin Vasquez. Mary Beth took it upon herself to head to the hurricane-torn area to get a first-hand look and report on how strong the damage had been to the Houston-Galveston area. The devastation was unreal, and Mary Beth was there. Her photos and stories were poignant and solid. Edwin Vasquez was the first on the staff to recognize the news value of what was happening on our campus Wednesday prior to school being let out. Edwin noticed the scores of National Guard troops and trucks lined up along University Boulevard and Santa Gertrudis Ave. and immediately set out to take pictures and interview the guardsmen. His news instincts were superb and he is to be commended for his efforts.I also want to thank Juan Carlos Reyes for his column and news story on Michelle Leal's husband, one of our students, who tried to save a person who drowned as the hurricane approached. Juan Carlos' story and column were well done and actually we had a news exclusive. Angela did her usual goo job with the layout - she's becoming "Circle Girl," but very effective in this case. The only thing we have to watch for in a photo layout is that we have one solid BAP. One solid lead big photo. The photos compete for attention and that is distracting. Of course, the problem is that we had so many good photos. In another case like this, run three or four at the most and refer to the web for more marvelous photos. Okay? Also, the colors were too dark. Because they are dark, the text is hard to read. No matter how good the layout is, if you can't read the text, the photo layout won't work. This concept was almost true for pi this week. The front page lead photo of the hurricane in the gulf, which still needs a cutline by the way, printed out too dark in some issue and reading the copy was hard. By the way, Edwin's and Jaime's story was very good. The timeline is also a good touch. The only disappointment was that the photo of the bus was too dark here and the photo of Vera was "fuzzy." Homero Vera should not be a fuzzy character. Page 2 was good. The Q&A was a good touch but is unlabelled - in other words it needs a headline. The "Focus on Us" is lame. We need a good strong photo here every week, every week. Kiki, this is you job and Kristie, you find an assignment to cover this. Okay? Film review is bogus. No rating stars, no Hog's heads, now a grade of "D." Pick a symbol and stay with it, and also run a photo of the movie so it won't be so grey. Okay? Our South Texas graphic works, but barely. Bugs must be distinctive and add to the layout, not distract. And, the photo of the bridge is like from the 1970s, what's up with that? Plan, Plan, Plan, Plan...Please Plan. Page 2 is the easiest page to layout and design. Please, let's work on this. Sports is functional. Clavens had a good action photo. Thanks. Well, back to the start. KUDOs? We hav to give it to Mary Beth and Edwin. Both showed wonderful news judgment and Edwin "rode the storm out" here in Kingsville. He was ready for action and his photos were timely and newsy. Well done, both of you. You're in the pot for the KUDOs Award. Congratulations.

KUDOs for Sept. 9

First, a good effort. The front page has kind of a USA Todayish look to it, with weather, a graphic, a solid lead story and a BAP (big ?&% photo). The stories in pi are also pertinent and newsy. My only problem, besides another poor print job by Alice Publishing, is that it's too "horizontal modular." It looks like the same series of rectangles over and over, except for the "rail" on the left side. True modular is a series of squares and rectangles with one BAP and a photo with every story. Also, true modular uses decks (secondary headlines) to help the reader understand the story better. Other elements missing are quote outs, charticles and graphs. All who are involved wit pi are aware of these layout devices and should plan to use them in the future. Page 2 is better. The "By the Day" calendar is an excelleent feature. The "Focus on Us" feature still needs to be developed, that means "planned." "The Reely Speaking" bug and graphic is a nice touch, but this is still lacking something. I don't know, a photo of the movie, a better bug for th rating? And, what happened to our Hog Heads' rating? Oh well...we'll see. Oh, I think I understand "Chupi" this week. Not sure. Page 3 works, but one of our goals should be to have a photo, graphic or quote out for every story. Ed-OPs page is solid, as usual. Nice columns and editorial. U Wire stuff still bothers me. JC, in 17 years at DMC we never did this unless for an emergency or photo that we could not get. We have yet to have a "real" emergency. Sports, nice touch on "Hog Talk." Let's develop this. Also, please see me about "idea" on picks. We can do it. Angela, you put in a lot of work on the features page. I can tell you didn't get all that you wanted on it, but it was extremely busy. On a photo page like this, you must have one dominant piece of art and one scene-setter. You have many photos the same size and, they're so good and powerful, that they all serve as scene-setters. Still, well done. Thanks for all your hard work. As for KUDOs this week, well our editor outdid himself. His 6 stories are an example of what KUDOs is all about - a hard-workig student journalist who goes beyond the normal duties and helps us produce a quality student newspaper. JC had two stores on page one, wrote an excellent movie review for page 2, reported on the Sodexho menu on page 5,had a column on page 6, and wrote part of the feature on page 8. Excellent. Hard work, for sure. Thanks JC. However, an editor cannot get KUDOs unless he or she is part of a team coverage effort. So, JC doesn't get it. This, however, in no way takes away from his hard work. JC, get others to help you. Others, help JC. KUDOs this week goes, almost by default, to Angela Palacios. Angela help re-write two articles, took care of a very difficult featuare-page assignment and was a real leader in the newsroom. Angela, this is what we need from you. Well done. So, you're in the pot for the $100 at the -15- Party. Good luck and thanks for your hard work.
NOTE: An apology for not posting this sooner. The hurricane and other elements got in the way. I will try to be more prompt with my KUDOs' postings.
Dr. Flores

Saturday, September 13, 2008

KUDOs for Sept. 2 Issue

Our second full issue of the year had many good elements which made it a solid newspaper, coveragewise. Unfortunately, our layout and design remain mediocre, and so does our photography. These are areas we must get better in if we expect to maintain our reputation of being among the state's Top 20 programs, at least. We have been in the Top 5 at times and almost always we are a Top 10, out of the nearly 70 journalism and newspaper programs in Texas. Right now we're struggling to be in the Top 20 and we are stuck in mediocrity. That means "average." Average, where many of you are going is not fantastic. We can do better, as our editor has told us, and we will.
First off, our front page design leaves much to be desired. It looks as if someone went back to the 70s and 80s and plucked a layout out of the Laredo Times. Orale! What's wrong with it? The "reader" at the top of the page is too deep, leaving only that headline above the fold. Next, our main art is below the fold. We saw only the head of our esteemed state representative peering at us from above the fold. It's as if we scalped her. Remember, art to the top, art to the top, art to top, hmmmmm, hmmmmm. If we follow that mantra, at least, we can prevent us falling further and work toward escaping mediocrity, escaping mediocrity, escaping mediocrity, hmmmm, hmmmmm, . . . .Also on pi (that's page one and read "p" "i" and always italicized pi) Also, every page must have a main piece of art - a photo or graphic that stands out and is prominent. Look at pi and what do you see? You see two color photos of the Freshmen Convocation and they're the same size. This is not right. By doing so, having pictures of the same size, we confuse and frustrate the reader. We need one piece of art bigger than the other. Could we have done better? Yes. And, also the photos are too static. I can tell we took these two photos from the same spot. In other words, our photographer did not move. Our photographers cannot be lazy. They must move and look for the best angles, the unusual shot, the photo with a better perspective. Don't get me wrong. They're nice snapshots and good photos but they are average. That's not fantastic. We can do better. There were some good points here. Yamira's story was well done and Adrian had a good story on the convocation. Yamira's story had much potential and had several stories just hitting us between the eyes but because we think about just getting through and just being average. Page 2 is better. Nice job. Now, let's make sure we have space for these features...let's not let them slip up. "Chupi" looks good. This is up to the page editor and also the editor and managing editor. Also, we need names for photos. Carlos, I need you to get serious about working with us. Please. Our editorial page was excellent with some very strong columns by Juan Carlos and Jaime. The sports page was adequate. Lots of potential here. And, our final page was strong. Well done Angela. Well, we have lots of rooms for improvement. KUDOs? Juan Carlos has not talked to me about this and still refuses to the do the Dominique Garcia Hi-Liter Award, so here it goes. KUDOs goes to Yamira González-Mendiola for having the only "real" news story in this issue. Yamira took it upon herself to go to the hotels to talk to these students and also visited several sources before writing her final version. It is this type of attitude that will help us avoid being average. We cannot be satisfied by being average Joes or Marias. We have to do better. We're TAMUK. We're Javelina Journalism. Now, let's live up to that legacy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

KUDOs and Special Awards - Back to School Issue and Aug. 26 issue

The first issue of the semester was our "Back to School" special edition which was published Aug. 21. This issue is always hard to produce because many of the students have not yet returned to campus or to their Kingsville apartments. As a result, a skeleton staff does most of the work while some assignments are produced from the students' homes and are digitally sent to the staff in charge. While meeting deadline was hard, South Texan Lab Director Adriana Garza rallied our staffers to complete all their tasks and the result was a pretty decent publication.
Back to School KUDOs: Jeremy Martinez, Yamira Gonzalez-Mendiola, Kristie Vela, Jaime Gonzalez
This year's issue was not as "pretty" as last year's, because of a lack of funds. Last year's issue was published in higher-quality paper and, thus, had the slick look to it that made it seem a bit "more special." This year's edition was published on good, ol' newsprint and it looks like a tabloid newspaper. While not as fancy, the product was as good or better.
The cover was especially well done by staff artist and cartoonist Jeremy Martinez. Featuring the traditional "Porky" Javelina logo and the College Hall Tower replica on the cover prominently, ensured that students and other readers knew that we respected the past traditions. But, then, adding "A Renewed Sprit" for a theme and having the new "screaming Javelina" logo coming from out of the word spirit, signified the future and spoke of the changing face of our university as we undergo a major construction project and embark in a new era of leadership under a new president, who is expected to be announced in September. For his magnificent cover, Jeremy Martinez gains a KUDOs to start out the year. He is "in the pot" for the $100 scholarship to be drawn from KUDOs winners at the end of the semester during the Javelina Press Club's annual "-15- Party" or Holiday Party. Good luck to him and thank you Jeremy for an excellent product. Jeremy worked on this cover several days and came up with several versions before approval. Jeremy is already an award-winning cartoonist with The South Texan, having claimed first place for cartoon in Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition last year. Evidently, more awards await Jeremy this year.
Another person who deserves mention for this issue was our new advertising manager/spanish page editor. When funds were short and our advertising revenues from last year did not have enough money to even pay for this issue, Yamira volunteered to take charge of advertising for "at least" the Back to School issue. Her efforts - along with that of her advertising team of Jaime Gonzalez and Kristie Vela - resulted on at least 50 percent of the edition being paid for from advertising funds. She and her advertising team did an excellent job. So, they too gets KUDOs. Yamira is a transfer student from Del Mar College and she hit the road running. Yamira, you're in the pot and welcome to TAMUK Journalism. Your spirit, hard work and passion are appreciated. And, as a bonus, Jaime and Kristie also make KUDOs for their efforts in advertising as well as in the production and story flow of the Back to School issue. Congratulations to the KUDOs winners for the Back to School issue. Other staffers like Angela Palacios, Carlos Alvarado, Mary Beth Cleavlin and Bob Pena made sure this Back to School issue was a good one. Thanks, again.
First Issue KUDOs: Jaime Gonzalez, Adrian Trevino
While the "Back to School" issue is hard to produce because of many of the staffers have yet to return, the first issue of the semester is even harder to produce. Okay, so now we are all mainly together. But, there are new faces and new assignments, we must cope with a new editor and adjust again to meeting deadlines that at times seem as hard as climbing Mount Everest. Such was the case that first week as the staffers struggled to make deadline and the dreaded phrase Dr. Flores issues each week - "We're not going to make it!" - was about to be fulfilled. Through the hard work of our Lab Director - Adriana Garza - and the dedication of our editor Juan Carlos Reyes and some key staff members, the day was saved. We missed deadline, but only by an hour, according to Cecil at the Alice Publishing Co., and we did not miss our print window. The paper was published and delivered on time and was "good" for a first issue. There were many mistakes and several layout and copy editing errors, but it was a good first effort and a learning experience that will only help to make us stronger in the coming weeks. Before we go on to the KUDOs portion of this blog comment, I would like to go over some items I feel we can improve on for the coming weeks.
First, we need to finalize our style sheets. Let's make sure the same style sheets are being used on every page.
Second, let's think about using decks. For example, on the front page, we did not use Dr. Tallant's name in the headline. It's okay, but the story called for a deck, at least.
Third, the weather feature is nice, but can we maybe promote this on our web? Bob, can we get a better weather web site.
Fourth, on the front page, we have to have a kick ass photo, a good one. Yamira salvaged this by using a PDF she was given. Also, why didn't we use those PDFs elsewhere to talk about the construction? JC, you have to make sure we have a SOLID photo. Kiki, that's your help JC get a solid photo.
Fifth, when we talk about someone as important as Gene Upshaw and don't have a photo, we just at the very least run a mug shot.
Sixth, on page 2...this was a nice first effort. we need to finalize this potpourri design and come up with some standing features. Do we want to run Our South Texas there or do we move it to features? Kristie, your call. Talk to Angela and Katrina about this. You can run it every other week. I prefer the student stuff and I liked JR's stuff on internships. Also, Kristie, we must have a distinctive photo each week. You are to assign this each week and Kiki is to make it happen, somehow. Get solid information for this feature. Also, you said we will be getting the Chupi cartoon every week. Good. Nice feature for this page. And, as far the Q&A that we had last year on this page, we don't need it if you don't want it. Move it to the editorial page. Talk to Kiki about it. That's your job, just make sure that JC knows about what you're doing and that you also talk to Adriana about this.
Seventh, we missed an opportunity for a great photo with the student lenders and financial aid line story. Are you kidding me? We get photos of people's behinds and they're not even in focus. Whoa, that's not what I meant. We have three state-of-art digital cameras and Photoshop, there is no excuse for this. JC and Kiki and any other page editor, do not let photos like this get in our paper!
Eighth, the Campus News Page had a solid story and an okay picture on the Fallen Heroes. Good job JC and Bob, that was good photo once we understood. Nice artistic work. We, however, embarrassed ourselves with the story on the Oaxacan culture and exhibit. This was a major story becasue the work they did is going to be used to decorate Bishop Hall, and we ran a story that had more than 20 mistakes. We have to read every thing that goes in our paper. I know this story was late, but it was one of the most embarrassing stories we have ever run, because of the mistakes. There's no excuse. There are people in Oaxaca, freaking Mexico, laughing at us beause of this. Come on! Please do better!
Ninth, I know we have U Wire,but I can't help but think that using material like this just means we're lazy. Editorial and columns, with the experience we have, should be one of the easier chores around. U Wire is "last resort" stuff, as far as I'm concerned. There were some good points here. Jaime's Upshaw column is very good and J.C. transition column kind of got better as it went along. And, of course, the Upshaw artwork by Jeremy is wonderful. Well done. This page must be planned ahead. We must have editorial board meetings and we must write the material ourselves, if at all possible. JC and Jaime, you work with Kiki to make this page work better. Also, start plannng the election stuff now.
Tenth, the features page was an intersting one. Nice photos and an interesting column(?) by Adrian. Angela, this is your page. You noticed that Adrian, one of our new reporters, used a little bit too much commentary in his article and you decided to run his mug with an editor's note. Good job. However, you are a veteran here. As a veteran you have the responsibility to train the new staffers. Work with Adrian and others and tell them we need to cover stories as objectively as possible. I know you can do this. You have the authority to do this, so help them get better. Adrian, by the way, did an excellent job and your solution, Angela, was a good one. Good job. Also, nice attempt at having strong photos, Jaime.
Eleventh, well done on the picks and on the layouts for pages 7 and 8. I would have liked a more polished and finished layout on Gene Upshaw but both these pages were very functional and a very "sporty" feel to them with stats and other material. Juan Carlos, good job on the Atterberry story. Now, sports guys, you need to think about what makes sports interesting to our students. What we have is excellent. But, the WIIFM factor is even more alluring to the sports aficionado than others who read the paper. What do the sports nuts want to know? Oh, well, let's see, how is the quarterbck battle coming? Who is this Billy the Kid guy? Who are the better players on the volleyball team. Photos, photos, features, features, quotes, quotes about and from our players is what we need. We need to sell our players to our students so that they can be excited about being Javelinas and go cheer for those who represent us on the field of play.
Bueno, enough.
Now, for KUDOs.....Very good work by many of our students. Juan Carlos Reyes, our editor, tried to pull us all together for this first issue. It wasn't easy. Again, through the help of our South Texan Lab Director, Adriana, we salvaged deadline. Thanks. But good stories were written by Yamira, Kristie, Angela, Katrina, Mary Beth and Carlos. We did have a short staff, so several of you all wrote more than one story. Believe me, that dedication is appreciated. Many of you showed much passion in meeting deadline and turning in a story on time for us to read and correct and even rewrite if we had to do that. Some of us turned our material and layout in much too late. Please don't do that. I'll leave it at that...please don't do that. When it comes to KUDOs, it's hard for JC, Adriana and I not to be impressed by the work of our managing editor Jaime Gonzalez. In that position, he must serve as an example to others. Jaime does this by taking on more than he can chew, at times. As a result, his only fault was not having everything ready by deadline, but that was more because of first-issue consequencs then lack of effort and hard work. Jaime had a solid front page story, a solid column, three photos, four sports stories and much more. For that, Jaime gets KUDOs. Another person who was impressive this first week was cub reporter Adrian Trevino. Seldom has a freshman stepped in and just taken off running covering stories and taking pictures. He did. He did well and showed passion. Thanks, Adrian. You have a bit to go but your effort is appreciated. For that reason, you're in the KUDOs pool as well.
Bueno, this was a mouthful. Please take the suggestions to heart. Please work to make OUR newspaper better and please work to be a team. Thank you for an exciting first two weeks and, if we keep improving, I promise to stop saying "We're not going to make it!" again. Nah, just kidding.

KTAI working on reformat

As the semester started, the university radio station - KTAI-FM 91.1, The One - has been busy working on a reformat that will make its debut sometime in September and October. The reformat will keep the same type of alternative, eclectic and oldies format Monday-Friday, but will add a "Sabado en Espanol" on Saturday and "Sunday is for Country" formats on Sunday. Dr. Carl Saltarelli and Kirk Notorianni will have more on this later. Meanwhile, the station will be broadcasting the Javelina football games as scheduled and has plans to do volleyball and basketball broadcasts as well.
Meanwhile, the radio station staff has announced it will again run its popular sports talk show - "The Bench Warmers" - again this semester. With two of the mainstays of that program either graduating and/or transferring (i.e. Larry Garza and Sean Rosales), the show will now be hosted by Juan Carlos Reyes and Jaime Gonzalez with different guests appearing each week. A third host is expected to be announced next week. Plans are for the show to start this coming Tuesday with a broadcast from the station on campus. In the future, the broadcast will move to businesses to be announced. It set for each Tuesday afternoon. Good luck to the bench warmers who will get some "PT (i.e. play time, ha) at least on the airwaves emitting from the KTAI tower - that's about a five mile area for sure and, with a strong wind from the Gulf of Mexico, you can get them in Ben Bolt, Premont, Driscoll and even Alice. Go Hogs!

Getting Started

The new school year has started and the staff of Texas A&M University-Kingsville student newspaper - The South Texan - is off and running. The semester started with new editor Juan Carlos Reyes and South Texan Lab Supervisor Adriana Garza leading the staff in a couple of "J-Camps" (i.e. Journalism Camps) to familiarize the staff with deadlines, style, interviewing and writing tips, office policy, key requests, etc. etc. The meetings went well. The highlight came with Dr. Teresa Remilus, VP for Student Affairs at TAMUK, addressed the staff and listed a myriad of activities that were going on in the university. She was a refreshing change to the stifling atmosphere that has dominated that area in the past and ensured us that her office would run every thing with the student in mind and that she would have a policy of transparency to make sure that communication channels would be open among the administration and the student. She said she saw the university newspaper and online editions as a key to that communication and transparency and we agree with that.
Meanwhile, the new staff is off and running. As we start the semester, here are the assignments as detailed by our editor, Mr. Reyes:
Jaime Gonzalez - Managing Editor, will be in charge of story flow, staff morale, planning and training new staffers. He will be laying out and designing the Sports pages and contributing to the opinion pages. Jaime is also in charge when Juan Carlos is otherwise occupied being "Mr. Fantastic" - as he likes to call himself on his MySpace account. Jaime will also help plan, organize and run the weekly South Texan Budget Meetings. He and Juan Carlos will both oversee and direct the weekly Editorial Board meetings, which include every page editor as well the chief reporter and on-line editor. Jaime is in charge of story production during the week and makes sure that every story assigned is turned in on time and runs in the paper. He can assign students to cover stories at any time a story develops, without the authority of the editor. He runs the newsroom. He has the authority to ask staffers to re-write stories.
Kristie Vela - Associate Editor, will be in charge of developing our "potpourri page", Page 2, and covering major stories. She is third in the chain of command. She will serve as Juan Carlos' top assistant and will help him develop and plan each issue. She has the authority to ask staffers to re-write stories or re-take photos.
Keiona "Kiki" E. Ausbie - Chief Photographer and Ed-Ops Page Designer, will be in charge of all photographic assignments, maintaining all camera equipment (i.e. making sure they are charged and properly working, cables are ready to download, etc.), develop and maintain a checkout format for cameras, designing the ed-ops page and assuring that columns and editorials are turned in in a timely manner. AS Chief Photographer, all photo assignments must be approved by her and all photographers must report to her. She must also ensure that at least one the cameras is available in The South Texan office every day. She will also assist Juan Carlos and Jaime with the weekly Editorial Board meetings. In addition, Kiki will be in charge of any special layouts or editions having to do with politics and elections and of developing a weekly question that can run on the editorial or opinions page.
Angela Palacios - Features and Entertainment Page Editor - in charge of all feature layouts, writing features and supervising feature stories turned in for use on the Features and Entertainment pages. It is her duty also to develop enterprise feature stories and to plan for feature stories ahead of time. She is the fourth in chain of command and is in charge of the newsroom whenever Jaime, Juan Carlos and Kristie are not around. Angela is also in charge of developing graphics for "bugs", "logos" or ads that are not ready for publication. Because of her experience, she has also been put in charge of ensuring that style (i.e. the cutlines, headlines, quoteouts and other design elements) are consistent throughout the newspaper. She also has the authority to ask staffers to re-write stories that appear on her assigned pages.
Yamira Gonzalez Mendiola - Advertising Manager and Spanish Page Editor, is in charge of all local and regional advertising (retail or local accounts) and of developing, designing and producing a Spanish Page at least once a month and on special occasions, i.e. Hispanic Heritage Month activities. As Advertising Manager, Yamira is to make sure all retail (local) ads are ready for publication, billing and maintaining a client list. She also works with Ms. Garza on ensuring prompt payment is made by our open accounts. As Spanish Page editor she is in charge of preparing and reviewing all copy and photographs which run on that page.
Robert Pena - Web Designer and Online Editor, will be in charge of all online media content and assuring that the newspaper put on the web on a timely manner, including PDFs of the current issue. He will also work with others in the department to develop online video and Podcasts. He reports directly to the editor and to the Lab Director.
Michele Leal - National and Regional Advertising Representative, will be in charge of all national and regional advertising (i.e. advertising from the Corpus Christi area). Will help coordinate billing of all advertising while working with the Editor, the Lab Director and the Advertising Manager for local (i.e. Kingsville area ads). She will also be in charge of maintaining contacts with Media Mate, the U.S. Army, Texas Army National Guard and other major accounts. She will be in charge of all insertion orders for national accounts and must maintain a contact email and fax number where these insertion orders can be sent to. She will work with the Lab Director - Adriana - to maintain these contacts.
Carlos Alvarado - Front Page Designer, will be in charge of developing a cohesive and attractive layout and design for the front page, every week. He is in charge of developing all layout and design elements on the Front Page, including the teasers and the lead photographs. Carlos will also assist with columns and editorial when needed.
Mary Beth Cleavlin - Chief Reporter, will usually be in charge of the lead story for the week. She also must develop enterprise (or in-depth) stories for the front page and campus news pages. She will get all her assignments from either Juan Carlos or from the Lab Director.
Adrian Trevino - Reporter, will be in charge of developing stories as assigned.
Katrina Alejandro - Features Writer, will be in charge of developing and maintaining stories for the "Our South Texas Feature" and also working with Angela in other assigned features.
Serbrina Salinas - Photographer, will take photos as assigned by the Chief Photographer and Editor and also will assist the Chief Photographer in maintaining photo equipment and equipment sign-out sheet.
Sabrina Reyna - Photographer, will take photos as assigned by the Chief Photographer and Editor and also will assist the Chief Photographer in maintaining photo equipment and equipment sign-out sheet.
Clavens Charles -Photographer, will take photos as assigned by the Chief Photographer and Editor and also will assist the Chief Photographer in maintaining photo equipment and equipment sign-out sheet.
NOTE: All page editors and designers are responsible for: (1) preparing the photos that appear on their pages by using Photoshop, (2)transferring the approved copy that appears on their pages to a new MS Word file that Bob Pena can use to upload into our website, (3) PDFing and archiving their page. Of course, meeting deadlines is essential.
As the semester progresses, other staffers will join our group. Their assignments will be delineated at the appropriate time.
For now, this is the working and volunteer staff. They represent a solid group of student journalist who have both the passion and the expertise to give our students a good product in both our print and online editions of The South Texan.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

On Professional Decorum and Obama's Visit with Unity Journalists in Chicago

CHICAGO - When presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama visited the Unity Journalists of Color convention Sunday, July 27, there was a question about the professional decorum of the more than 2,500 journalists and associates present. Journalists, as a rule, should maintain their decorum and maintain a perception of balance and no favoritism. Alas, the Obama mystique and charisma overwhelmed many of the journalists present. When Obama walked up to the stage, the audience jumped to its feet, cheered and whistled and applauded loudly. There was a definite Obama bias in the air as the cheers and applause grew louder. I have to admit, I was among those who stood and applauded, but it was polite applause. Others cheered loudly, as if at a rock concert. The Obama presentation was televised live by CNN in the Chicago area and also picked up by many news networks. One of the live TV shots showed one of the audience members clearly wearing an Obama T-shirt. For the veteran journalists present that morning, that could have been the low-point of the Obama visit with minority journalists. Ouch! Jouralists don't do that. We don't publicly cheer for politicians or root for our favorite sports team when we are on assignment or at a convention. As the Obama interview continued, his remarks drew repeated applause and cheers. Again, this is wrong. Now, polite applause is warranted at the start and at the end of the speech or interview, but to openly display more than a cordial greeting in a situation like this is just wrong. Journalists don't do that. Period. Speaking of Obama and journalists, this display in Chicago only fuels the sentiment that's already out there about liberal bias in news media. The
perception is that these journalists will tilt their coverage in favor of Democrats or minorities. What do you think?

TAMUK at Unity Conference, NAHJ national convention

I had the privilege of traveling to the 2008 Unity Conference and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Convention in Chicago, Ill., July 23-27, with two Texas A&M University-Kingsville graduate students. The conference is the largest of its kind in the nation for journalists "of color." NAHJ held the conference in conjunction with professional associations for black, Asian and Native American journalists. Approximately 5,600 journalists were present.
The highlight of the TAMUK delegation's visit to the conference came during the NAHJ Hall of Fame Banquet, Friday July 25. During the banquet, two video/powerpoint presentations produced by the TAMUK Communications and Theatre Arts Department made their debut. The presentations were: "Los Periodiqueros: 200 Years of Spanish-Language Journalism in the United States" and "Francisco Ramirez: 19th Century Spanish-Language Pioneer." Both were met with much acclaim from the more than 2,500 present at the banquet. "Los Peridiqueros" is based on the research done for my book "Hispanis in the Media," but the work of putting together the presentation was all done by students and staff. Those who worked on the 17-minute "Los Peridiqueros" presentation and the 6-minute "Ramirez" presentation showed that our students and department were up to the task of preparing something for a prestigious national convention. Our students and I were seated right along other great journalism school like those at Northwestern, Columbia, USC, Notre Dame and others. It was fun to hear the names of the professors associated with these prestigious universities and than introduce us from Texas A&M-Kingsville. There were a couple of "uh?" moments in the audience but by the time our two students who attended the conference - Adriana Garza (left photo) and J.R. Quintanilla (right photo) - were introduced for having worked on the productions, they knew TAMUK was an integral part of the ceremonies that night at the Sheraton Chicago. Our students received a loud, long and appreciative ovation. It was very gratifying to see that. Adriana and J.R. were the two chief researchers for the project and also helped in compiling info for the book. Others who helped were Kirk Notarianni, radio-TV operations manager for TAMUK, Sam Eulenfeld, KTAI radio station director; Marco Iniquez, Spanish instructor; and Dr. Carl Saltarelli, assistant professor of communications. I served as producer and writer. Kirk was the director and production manager. Sam was in charge of sound. Marco and Adriana were the talent. The conference was well-worth attending, just for the information and networking possibilities. That we as TAMUK played an integral role in one of the key moments at the conference made our visit to the windy city that much more gratifying. TAMUK can now be counted on as a "player" in the field of journalism nationwide, especially in the eyes of hundreds of professional Hispanic journalists.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Plans for new South Texan staff underway

As Fall semester approaches, it's time for the staff of The South Texan, Texas A&M University-Kingsville's award-winning student newspaper, to again get active. New editor Juan Carlos Reyes and managing editor Jaime Gonzalez met with me and South Texan Lab Assistant last week to go over plans for the 2008-2009 school year. Already in the works is a Back-to-School issue planned for the week of August 21. It will be an insert in the first issue of the South Texan for the fall semester. Because of budget constraints, the Back-to-School issue will not be as permanent as it was last year, but it will still have all the information new and returning students need to succeed at TAMUK. Also, J.C. and Jaime discussed hiring an advertising manager and of naming advertising teams to start contacting potential sponsors and advertisers. Meanwhile, Adriana Garza will do an initial mailing with a rate sheet and publication date information to Kingsville and South Texas area businesses. Also in the works are a series of "J Camps" - Journalism workshops - for the new staff. These should be early to mid August. It's very exiting. The new year is upon us and a new staff is ready to start printing the news that impacts our university's students, faculty and staff. Can't wait.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dr. Flores named new Communications, Theatre Arts Department Chair at TAMUK

KINGSVILLE - The phone rings in the office of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville student newspaper—The South Texan—on a Monday morning.
Bustling between reading proofs of the week’s newspaper and helping student journalists with the layout and design of the newspaper just hours before deadline, Dr. Manuel Flores, associate professor of journalism, finds himself in familiar territory.
Producing newspapers and meeting deadline have been part of his life for nearly 50 years.
Dr. Flores - a 1966 graduate of Hebbronville High School and grandson Pedro G. Chapa, former editor and publisher of the Jim Hogg County Enterprise - takes a break from the pressure of deadline to take the call.
On the other line is retired TAMUK journalism professor and former sports information director Fred Nuesch.
“We’re making sure The South Texan gets published,” Dr. Flores tells Nuesch.
“Your doing the same thing you were doing 42 years ago,” Nuesch said jokingly to Dr. Flores.
Forty years have passed since Dr. Flores served as a student editor of The South Texan and Nuesch was adviser, but his dedication to TAMUK journalism remains steadfast as he has inherited the role of his old adviser and appointed as Department Chair.
Dr. Flores, who was named Chair of the TAMUK Department of Communication and Theatre Arts June 1, graduated from Texas A&I University with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science in 1970. He went on to earn two master’s degrees in the same areas from the university. He earned his doctorate degree in education from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and also did extensive graduate work at the University of North Texas.
His professional career has included more than 13 years of daily newspaper experience (most of it with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times), 11 years in public relations (with Central Power and Light Co.) and more than 18 years teaching journalism in the college and university classroom and advising award-winning collegiate student newspapers at Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Flores has presented at several national conventions including several sponsored by the College Media Advisers and Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications. A scholar of Hispanics in the Media, Dr. Flores has also authored a book documenting the history and role of Hispanics in the U.S. media, to be published this summer. Dr. Flores is also a Tejano historian and has toured the state making presentations on the contributions of Tejanos to our state and nation.
Throughout it all, he has remained grateful to the education he received in Hebbronville.
“Hebbronville is just special. There is a strong sense of community that is hard to find elsewhere. The teachers truly cared and the advice you received came from the heart, and not just a paper evaluation. That’s the difference, teaching with heart and passion instead of nagging kids to tell them ‘You should do this and that’,” Flores said.
Flores credits his grandfather, as well as his English and journalism teachers in high school, for helping choose the profession of journalism.
“Mrs. (Pedro) Perez, Mrs. (Maude) Rogers, Mrs. (Josephine) Morris in one way or another had a tremendous impact in my life, either through writing English papers or helping produce or edit the monthly student newspaper (The Longhorn) or yearbook (Corral). It was a great educational experience,” he said. “As for my grandfather, I started working at the Enterprise when I was 10. He gave me my first job as a printer’s devil and later reporter. I own much to him. I have printer’s ink in my blood and once you have that you’re going to be involved with journalism in one way or another.”
Dr. Flores joined the TAMUK faculty in Fall 2006.
Since then, Dr. Flores has been instrumental in a variety of new initiatives for the department which include a sense of cooperation and innovation.
As adviser to The South Texan, Dr. Flores has encouraged cooperative efforts between university’s newspaper and the university’s radio station - KTAI. Both mediums join forces every weekday during the regular semester to bring 91 seconds of campus news to the TAMUK community every half-hour on KTAI. Plans are also to begin student-produced podcasts that will be simulcast on the university’s television station, he said.
Dr. Flores also was key in the joint effort between the Art Department and the Communications-Theatre Arts Department to send students to the regional American Advertising Federation competition.
As chair of the department, Dr. Flores hopes to continue the trend toward growth and development of departmental programs by increasing the use of multi-media technology, continuing to promote cooperation with national organizations, including the AAF and National Association of Hispanic Journalists to increase internship, scholarship and career opportunities for students.
“I want this department to gain state and national recognition so that our students will be able to compete for and accept jobs in today’s media-based society,” Dr. Flores said.
While much has changed both in media and at TAMUK in 40 years, Dr. Flores remains committed to ensuring the department he chairs at TAMUK continues to be a leader in South Texas for producing tomorrow’s media leaders.
“It’s an honor to think I’ve come to a point in my life that I can give back to the institution that prepared me to do well in my profession,” he said. “I also want to extend an invitation to any South Texas area student wanting a career in journalism to contact me or our department at the university.”

Friday, June 6, 2008

San Quilmas comes to Kingsville with new movie

The mood at Jones Auditorium May 30 on the campus of Texas A&M University-Kingsville was relaxed. Alumnus Domingo Chavez was busy greeting people who were flocking to the Kingsville debut of his latest movie - Barrio Tales/Historias del Barrio: Tops, Kites and Marbles - produced and directed by legendary Chicano filmmaker
and TAMUK-San Antonio alumnus Efrain Gutierrez. Chavez (l) and Gutierrez are featured in the photo above while working on the film. The posters of two of Gutierrrez's films are featured above that photo.

Most did not realize the magnitude of the event at aged Jones Auditorium. Gutierrez is recognized by scholars as the first Chicano filmmaker. His latest film was to be a touching tale of barrio life in San Antonio (affectionally known as San Quilmas by SA dudes, better known as vatos back in the day). The film premiered at CineFestival in San Antonio April 12. Following its Kingsville showing, it will run in the Cine Cuauhtemoc Pan American Film Festival at the University of Houston-Downtown June 16.

Chavez is an alumnus of then-Texas A&I University, graduating in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and theatre arts. His photo is still depicted in the halls of the Speech Building on the TAMUK campus as one of the almuni who has gone on to greater things - a.k.a he made it to Hollywood - along with the likes of Eva Longoria and others in the display. He is the "star" of Barrio Tales and winds up portraying a super hero as an Aztec Warrior.

Barrio Tales is the fifth film Gutierrez has produced and directed during his illustrious and trailblazing career, which started back in 1976 with the revolutionary Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! or ¡Por Favor No Me Entierren Vivo! That film was the first feature directed by a Chicano, and its successful independent production and distribution served as a model for future Chicano filmmakers working outside of traditional Hollywood.

Barrio Tales is different and not as controversial. It tells the story of a grandfather suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, who is able to remember the days of his youth while teaching his granddaughter the classic childhood games of tops, kites and marbles. Comic relief comes from the characters Baby Marin, played by Chavez, and Primo. Both characters were featured in Gutierrez’s last movie Lowrider Spring Break en San Qilmas, released in 2001.

Gutierrez,who made an appearance after the Jones Auditorium showing and spoke to the audience of about 200 people, said Barrio Tales is the first in a series of films that wil feature other barrio activities such as the Skateboarding Barrio Olympics and games such as jacks. Chavez will continue to play his Baby Marin role and appear as an Aztec Warrior urging the children and all to read.

Gutierrez is simply a legend. That he took time to visit in Kingsville was quite an honor. Gutierrez founded the Chicano Arts Theatre in 1971, followed by his own film company in 1974, which he used to produce his first film. Please Don’t Bury Me Alive! and Gutierrez’s next two films have since been restored and preserved by the UCLA television and film archives, as part of their Chicano Cinema Recovery Project. In addition, Stanford University collected production papers from Gutierrez for their Green Library Archives.

Chavez moved to Kingsville two years ago to care for a sick relative, and has become known by young people around town through his work as a substitute teacher with the school district. Chavez wants that audience in particular to see the other side of him, which has been acting extensively in film, television and the voiceover arena for some 20 years. Acting credits for Chavez include parts in the films Robocop II and Selena, local and regional television roles, and voice work for Japanese anime.

But, now, Chavez is home and his Barrio Tales' role will more than likely endear him to thousands of new fans. Chavez's career has been revived and not a moment too soon. Gutierrez is a legend and a genius and his film - which will probably be released in DVD form by the end of the year - will certainly make its way into thousands of homes.

We wish Javelina alumni Domingo Chavez luck and hope for the best for Gutierrez. It would be wonderful if the two could return to the university during Hispanic Heritage Month and perhaps help us do a film festival on Chicano films - films that truly matter to South Texans and talk about our history and not films that depict the history of other Latin or Hispanic areas of the United States. These - Gutierrez's films - are the films which our students should be made aware of and be familiar with. It makes no sense to know about films from throughout the world and not know what is going on in our own backyards. We should all make an effort to make these films available.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Heading out into the real world

The semester is finally over, and students are scurrying to find summer work, enroll for summer classes or to just relax. That's the routine for most college and university students. Unless, of course, you are a senior and graduating. That's when the stark reality that your youth may be over hits you in the face like the chill from a Texas Blue Norther coming in early in September. It's time to head out into the real world, make decisions that will impact you for a lifetime and this time truly be out on your own.
For some Texas A&M University-Kingsville seniors in the Journalism Program of the Communications Theatre Arts Department that day came sometime this May. It was time to head out into the real world. Here are some of the results:
Rubi Reyes - accepted a job as education reporter with the Victoria Advocate.
Roberta Flores - accepted an internshihp with the Seguin Gazette
Dominique Garcia - accepted a job as copy editor/designer with the Victoria Advocate
Jami Rash - accepted a job as a reporter with the Childress Index.
For others, mainly juniors, it was a time to seek out internships to gain the experience they need when it comes time to apply after graduation. Here are some of the results:
Alitrinette Scott - has accepted an internship at KPIX-TV CBS5 in San Francisco, California.
Carlos Alvarado - has accepted a public relations internship with the International Broadcasting Corp. in Washington, D.C.
Pamela Hinojosa - has accepted an internship in public administration and public relations with the Centers for Diseases Control in Atlanta, Ga.
Michelle Leal - has accepted an internship and full-time position as an account executive with Planet 102.3, Classic Rock 104.5 and JAKE 107.3 radio stations in Corpus Christi.
Katrina Alejandro - is conintuing her internship with the Nueces County Record*Star in Robstown, Texas.
Juan Carlos Reyes - is continuing his internship with the Nueces County Record*Star in Robstown, Texas.
Jaime Gonzalez -has accepted an internship in sports information with the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs of the Continental Baseball League.
We wish these students and others who are still searching the best of luck. And, please know, you will always have a home at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The irony of graduation

Graduation ceremonies at Texas A&M University-Kingsville were held at the Steinke Physical Education Center Friday, May 16. More than 400 TAMUK students walked the stage. Among them were 14 Communications/Theatre Arts Department graduates who had completed their coursework in journalism, radio-television, speech, theatre arts or communications.
Graduation is an event full of irony and metaphor. It is an end, and yet a beginning. It is a sign of maturity, and yet many of the graduates still have much to learn and some still must continue their march into adulthood. It is a time of celebration, and yet there are tears. Fear, hope and pride are feelings which transfix each graduate as they wait for their name to be called and to be congratulated by TAMUK President Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juarez.
As the moment gets closer, the heart beats faster, the eyes search for loved ones and friends among the thousands seated in the cavernous gymnasium and the stomach feels a little queasy.
Then, the moment is at hand. The name is called. Some rush toward President Juarez as if galloping toward their last meal. Others prance through the stage as if tiptoeing through broken glass. Still others puff out their chest, mainly the young men, and walk proudly toward their destination, knowing that a firm handshake is expected of them at this moment. Some, a few, walk quickly through the ceremony, as if the thought "it's time to get on with my life" is their primary motivation. Some, after receiving their diploma, raise their arms triumphantly over their heads, trophy (diploma) in hand, as the distant cheers of loved ones echo off the SPEC walls. Others give a sigh of relief and walk slowly toward President Juarez, as if trying to stall the impending end of their university education as long as possible.
Some cry. So do some professors.
Seeing young men and young women accomplish their goals is, perhaps, the most satisfying moment for the lecturers and professors in a university. It's bittersweet. As a professor, you hope and pray they are ready. You hope and pray you did as much as possible to teach them well and prepare them for the real world, realizing that each student is different and that there is no magic pill or one style of education to reach all of them. You wish them well. If you can, you look for them a give them a "abrazo" (hug) and shake the hands of their parents, who are swelling with pride and often wiping tears from their eyes. They realize, as many professors do, it's time to let go. . . .
For the Communications Theatre Arts Department, it was time to let go of several talented students. They were:

*Vanessa L. Arellano, San Benito, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (speech/journalism), cum laude
*Patrick William Desmond,San Antonio, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (minor journalism)
*Jacob F. Flores,Bishop, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (communications/journalism)
*Roberta Flores, Dilley, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (journalism), summa cum laude
*Griselda Gonzalez, Kingsville, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (theatre arts)
*Kathryn A. LaGesse, Alice, Texas, Bachelor of Science (educaiton/journalism), cum laude
*Analicia Valdez Martinez, San Antonio, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (radio-television)
*Catherine Skye Myers, Eagle Pass, Texas, Bachelor of Fine Arts (minor journalism)
*Sunnie Ann Odom, Corpus Christi, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (journalism)
*Javier Rene Quintanilla, Premont, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (minor journalism), cum laude
*Rubi A. Reyes, Weslaco, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (journalism)
*Jami Quinn Rash, Childress, Texas, Bachelor of Arts (journalism)
*Christi Rodriguez Lopez, Kingsville, Texas, Bachelor of Arts, (theatre arts)
*Jinelle Veronique Aguilar, Sandia, Texas, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude (theatre arts)

Many of these students were integral parts of our department. Many worked on the student newspaper or broadcast media and others were part of the drama productions. They left their marks on our university and programs. Congratulations. We will miss you.
Graduation is a strange time. It's a time to say goodbye to those who nurtured you during one of the most important periods of your life, as well as a time to say hello to a new and exciting time in your life.
Adios, y que dios los bendiga.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

-30- Party set for Monday

The annual "-30- Party" will be sponsored by the Javelina Press Club Monday, May 12, at the Pizza Parlour in Kingsville. This is a time when staff members of The South Texan and the Press Club come together to reflect on a year of achievements and hard work. Awards for serving on the staff and club will be presented while the outgoing editor will bid farewell and the incoming editor will announce principal members of his/her new staff for the coming school year. The Press Club president will also say farewell and give an end-of-year review. Now, why is it a "-30- Party?" The designatin "-30-" has long been a tradition of saying it's "the end" of a story in journalism. Legend hold that its origins date back to the 19th century when reporters filing stories via telegraph from the expanding westward movement of our country had to find some way to denote the story had ended. The mark "-30-" emerged. Thus, "-30-" means "the end" in journalism. The Javelina Press Club has taken its meaning to a new level, however. Unofficial "-15-" (mid-year or end of Fall semester) parties have been known to occur. Of course, someone must have had a "-1-" party somewhere down the line. At any rate, the end-of-year function is designed to recognize the hard work of students, reflect on a job well done and investigate how each of us can improve and to make plans for the new year. It's a special time. The Javelina Press Club has added a juried contest (judged by professional journalists) to the list of events to make the meeting special. It should be fun. All J Majors are invited.

Juan Carlos Reyes new editor of South Texan

Juan Carlos Reyes, senior communications/journalism major from Corpus Christi has been appointed editor-in-chief of The South Texan student newspaper for Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Reyes joined the student newspaper Spring 2007 but has been involved in other student publications and media prior to arriving at TAMUK. He has served as Associate Editor ad Sports Editor for The South Texan and has covered several university events including sporting events, entertainment, features and news. He was alson on the staff of The Foghorn at Del Mar College and has worked as a reporter and columnist for the Nueces County Record*Star in Robstown.
“I’ve gained enough experience and diversified myself as more than just a sports writer,” Reyes said. “I want the student body to understand that.”
Reyes received associate degrees in radio/TV and journalism from Del Mar College.
His interest in journalism began when he was asked to write a column for an advertising course while at Del Mar College. Soon after that he was asked to join the staff of The Foghorn, the award-winning student newspaper at DMC.
“I realized this is my future and this is what I want to do,” Reyes said.
Reyes said he intends on making the student newspaper at TAMUK even more student-oriented by adding more music and band reviews, features on student and faculty members and web blogs to the student newspaper’s web site.
“I think that everybody including students and faculty have something special about them,” Reyes said.
Reyes also said he intends on working well with Campus Activities, Student Activities, Dean of Students office, Student Government Association president and the TAMUK community.
“I think I have the personality to do something like that,” Reyes said, giggling.

Special News, special editions

In this era of instant communication and technology, the "extra" or "special edition" in print journalism has become a thing of the past. It takes very special circumstances for a newspaper staff to come together and produce a special issue. The news event must be of major consequence to the readers of that newspaper and it can't be just another story that will be on the evening news or can be announced on the internet. Texas A&M University-Kingsville had two such stories this past week. The first was the tuberculois (TB) scare. When it was announced that a TAMUK student had the disease and that others may have been infected, no amount of press coverage from Corpus Christi TV stations and newspapers 50 miles away would suffice. Also, in spite of the university's excellent effort communicate with students, some students continued to have questions and natural concerns. It was natural for the university's student newspaper to step forward. When the students at The South Texan saw a line of more than 50 students at the Life Wellness Center for the TB test, the staff decided it was time for a "speical edition" just to get some clarity to the situation. It wasn't enough, but seeing a university or local newspaper cover an event openly adds calm to a crisis. It's been that way since the 19th century when responsible journalists saw that adding interpretation and meaning to an event was the ethical and correct way of reporting a news event. So, the first page of a special tabloid edition of the South Texan was in the works. The second significant event happened miles away in Abilene, Texas, where the TAMUK baseball team was making some big news of its own. The Javelinas, ranked 6th going into the Lone Star Conference baseball tournament, surprised every one in the nation and won the LSC title! Problem is, it was so far away from home and the coverage was so minimal that few realized this historic athletic event had happened. The sports guys on the staff took over and thanks to the work of Sports Information Director Sean Johnson and others, page 2 of the "special edition" was planned out. The special edition was printed in the office printer at The South Texan, to save money. The students distributed the paper to the different areas. Only 1,000 copies were printed (the normal run for our paper is 4,000) and distribution was limited. The first place the paper was distributed was at Mesquite Groove, the annual end-of-year bash, and it was met with enthusiasm from students and some negative remarks from administrators and teachers. Still, it was picked up and read and a sense of calm and pride (because of the different issues covered) ensued from holding the newspaper. The South Texan staff is there for the students, and saw producing this issue as a right and a privilege. The fact that most of this students volunteered for this while we are in finals week is inspiring. No, they didn't miss out on their work. So, as a result, the "Speical Edition" is out. It came about because of special circumstances. It is significant because it is as rare as mosquitoes on a frigid night in the South Texas Brush Country. Congratulations to The South Texan staff, its new editor Juan Carlos Reyes, reporters Rubi Reyes, Kristie Vela and Jaime Gonzalez and Publications Lab Assistant Adriana Garza. KUDOs to Carlos Alvarado, Sabrina Salinas, Kiki Ausbie, Ellie Tamez, Bob Pena and Edwin Vasquez for helping with various areas of production, printing and distribution. Thanks. It's a good way to "finish" the year. We made it, finally.