Friday, February 22, 2008

TAMUK student journalists on the road again

As Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton brought their campaign rhetoric to South Texas this week, student journalists from the journalism and radio-television programs from Texas A&M University-Kingsville were there to take photos, shoot video, do interviews, take notes and report news that impacts our university, South Texas and, of course, our state, nation and the world. It has been a pleasure to see the excitement in our students' eyes as they get the next "BIG" assignment and to get a taste of "real world" journalism. During these events, they get to "mingle" with the national press corps and touch shoulders, literally, with many of the area's professional journalists. They are there and I know it's a privilege they do not abuse.

It's great to cover TAMUK events and activities and our student journalists relish that experience, too. However, to be present for a speech delivered by a former or future president in a dynamic manner is inspiring and helps our students understand that - as journalists - that is their mission. It's their job to report what great minds think and to analyze how those great minds can impact us - the citizens.

During the past week, The South Texan sent reporter and Spanish Page Editor Edwin Vasquez to report on Sen. Ted Kennedy's visit to Corpus Christi. On Friday, a team of reporters was sent to cover Barack Obama's speech at the cavernous American Bank Center in Corpus Christi. That team included Juan Carlos Reyes, Kristie Ann Vela, Keiona Ausbie, Roberta Flores and Michelle Leal. All were under the direction of journalism lab instructor Adriana Garza, a staffer and columnist for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, as well. On Saturday, J.R. Quintanilla and Edwin Vasquez will report on former president Bill Clinton's visit to South Texas Vasquez's photo of Clinton is featured on this post. Read their reports on the Feb. 26 issue of The South Texan, catch it all on the web and maybe even listen to it on KTAI 91.1 FM.

If there is a story in our area that impacts US, the RTV and Journalism programs of TAMUK are dedicated to go and get the facts. And, in case you miss our print edition, radio or TV news, check out our news on the web at Stay tuned......

KUDOs for Hillary Issue

During the past two years, we have had several good to great issues of The South Texan. The last issue (Feb. 19, 2008), however, stands out as one of the most outstanding. Staff members of The South Texan - under the leadership of editor Dominique Garcia - sent teams to McAllen and Robstown to cover the presidential campaign visit of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The reporting was excellent and the photographs of top quality. For that reason, KUDOs this week goes to all of the TAMUK student journalists who made this coverage of Clinton's visit possible. KUDOs goes to Dominique Garcia, Rubi Reyes, Catherine Myers, Edwin Vasquez and Ellie Tamez (whose video was used on our website). Cat Myers' excellent photo of Hillary at the Nueces County Showbarn in Robstown is featured on this post. But, the quality of the newspaper did not stop there. Mary Beth Cleavlin had an excellent on TAMUK President Rumaldo Juarez stepping down. Edwin had a solid story on the battle for the State Representative battle between Juan Escobar and Tara Rios Ybarra. Our Page 2, designed by Roberta Flores, had some excellent items on the NAACP Image Awards. Kristie Ann Vela gets special recognition, too. While covering a story on the flu epidemic on campus, guess what? Kristie got the flu. Now, that's getting into the story. Angela Palacios, Lorraine Rodriguez, Jaime Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Reyes also had excellent stories. Jaime, our sports editor, continues to improve and is doing a solid job. Another special mention goes to our ed-ops writers. Carlos Alvarado had a timely and poignant piece on the shootings at Northern Illinois. Any other week - without the Hillary campaign coverage - Carlos would have won KUDOs all by himself and being in the pot for the $100 scholarship drawing at the end of the year. Still, Carlos, well done. All of these items and photos, of course, can be enjoyed in print and on our Internet site. Our Internet Editor Bob Pena has done a superb job. Visit us at We'll see you there. Until then, congratulations to the KUDOs winners. You're in the pot for the $100.