Wednesday, April 30, 2008
The "Lock-down" issue proved to be a good one, but with few exceptions. The articles by the lock-down staff were done very well under very trying circumstances. I was impressed with the "command center" attitude to the students when they discovered we had a big story on campus. Most reacted like professional journalists and through cell phone or internet were busy compiling data for their stories even while the lock-down was being enforced. We even got a photo of the empty campus (don't ask how). My disappointment, however, does revolve around quality photos or lack of news photos. The front page had excellent news articles, from part 2 of "A&I/A&MK name change" controversy, to the lock-down story, Miss TAMUK saga and the death of a graduate student. These were all solid stories. Page 2 focused on student issues with the "question of the week" and had a good review on a current move. Page 3 had a good variety of campus news issues. Page 4 was a solid editorial page, with the exception of no letter to the editor. We had several sent to us but we didn't use them. Page 5 and good lead art and a solid "Christians Profess" story. Page 7 had a solid "enterprise" story on the high price of gas. Good graphics, solid story make this a winner. Design was a little weak because the graphics get lost but there was lots of effort here. Good job. Page 8 had another "enterprise" story (by the way, these are stories outside of the regular beat system for a newspaper or reporter) Page 8 had a good art head and solid big photo....I would have like to have seen the story in bold face of bigger. Sports page was newsy and had solid local stories...always a good sign. Again, here I would have liked for our photos to have been stronger. The one photo-op that I wish we could have done better with was the Javelina football team visit to Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi. I wish the picture would have shown the boy who was in for a tonsillectomy. Still, well done. Now, there were several very good individual efforts for this issue. Rubi Reyes did part two of her series and teamed with Juan Carlos Reyes for a report on the lock-down. She also had a photo of students stranded in the cafeteria during the lock-down. Well done. She also designed one of the campus news pages. Kristie Vela had a good folo-up on the Miss TAMUK controversy as well as an article on how the alert system worked during the campus emergency. Kristie's Miss TAMUK story, unfortunately, was responsible for our newspapers disappearing from our news stands. Someone, didn't like the fact we wrote the truth, I guess. Still, there were plenty of papers to go around so, it didn't matter. Dominique Garcia, Kiki Ausbie and Patrick Desmond all had excellent column on the campus emergency and the staff had a good editorial on how the alerty stystem worked. In addition, Krystal Burgess had a solid column on hunger and Robert Pena continued his excellent series on TAMUK's computer system operations. So, there is plenty of praise to go around. The lock-down staff led by lab assistant Adriana Garza while most of us were away to the AAF meeting did well. But, as always, when the pressure is on, at least one person rises to the top. While this is very difficult, KUDOs this week goes to Rubi Reyes (pictured here). She is in the pot for the $100. Good luck to her and thanks to all for another good issue. It's another good 10-page extravaganza.