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.