Monday, May 5, 2008

Journalism graduate courses to be offered

For the first time since the 1980s, the Communications Theatre Arts Department will offer graduate courses in journalism. Offered this Summer I is COMJ 5303 - Mass Communications Research. Students will be expected to complete research projects on a variety of media topics. Among the possible research projects are viewership, listenership or readership surveys of area media. Offered this Fall 2008 will be COMJ 5303 - Hispanics in the Media. The course will revolve around doing research on the impact of Hispanics on U.S. media. Students interested in these courses can register on line, after completing admissison requirements. They are also encouraged to visit Dr. Manuel Flores, associate professor of journalism/communications, at TAMUK. Please contact Dr. Flores at ext. 3401 or cell phone 361-813-7808.

KUDOs April 29 issue

The last issue of the 2007-208 school year is out and distributed. There will be no more South Texans until the 2008 Fall Semester in September. Summer is a time for training and keeping up with the news via The South Texan Online at We encourage all journalism students and Javelina Journalism fans to keep up with the TAMUK news via the website and to continue to contact us if there are news to report.

It's been quite a year, but for right now let us review the issue at hand - April 29. First, The South Texan made a bit of history this week. For the first time in the history of the journalism program at TAMUK, A&I, South Texas State Teachers College or whatever this university has been called, the university's student newspaper published in two sections. There was an 8-page Section A and a 4-page Section B, completing a 12-pager full of information and data pertinent to the university's student body, faculty and staff. To Dominique Garcia, editor-in-chief, and her staff, congratulations.

There were many good stories in this issue. Last start with pi, page one. A newsy front page is a must for college journalism and this one did not disappoint. The death of a university official is always sad to report, but this story on the top strip was done with class and dignity. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Trudy Anderson. She will be missed. The article on the students at the students at the University Family Housing Unit being asked to vacate the buildings was touching and well done as well. It was accompanied by a solid photo of a father picking up his child's tricycle. I would have liked to have seen more quotes here, but I know the story was done on deadline. The story on the TAMUK/A&I conflict brought to conclusion a 3-part series by Rubi Reyes. Good job, Rubi. But we missed something. We needed an accompanying editorial reaching our own conclusion on the debate. It was written and it didn't run. This was a mistake from the editorial page editors. At the very least, a column was needed.

A2 is solid. The final exam schedule is always a "must run" on the last issue of the semester. Page A3 had some solid campus news with a review of the visit by the Chancelor, a story on a retiring associate vice president and news stories on The South Texan's website and on Earth Day at TAUMK. Well done. A4 was a pleasant surprise. Sunnie Odom's story on drinking and driving and the accompanying layout provided a solid page. The opinions page had two solid columns and a solid editorial on the presidential search. This is where the TAMUK editorial should have run. It was ready, but I guess news judgment, or lack thereof, got in the way. Page A6 included a review of several editorial and a farewell column by Dominique. It was solid. Page 7 featured sports and had good stories. We still need to use bigger photos and more attractive layout on sports. Maybe this will come next year. Page 7 was the last Spanish page for the year and it included some solid photographs and stories from Edwin Vasquez, The story on Dolores Huerta is very well done. Now, for the B Section. While B1 stands along as a section front, it is not as strong as I would want it to be. I was glad to see the article on the new SGA president and the story on Mesquite Groove. The story on the University Police adding two new cars was also well done but I was disappointed with the photo. We need our UPD patrol officers in the photos boasting and showing pride about about the new cars. B2 as the entertainment page featured a review of Big Love, the final drama production of the season, and a story on the senior art exhibit. But, we save the best for last, Page B4, the lifestyles page and final page of Section B and th newspaper were excellent. Kristie Vela's "My Iraq" was very sell done and the photographs brought the story to the forefront. Kristie's last page was a great way to end the first two-sectioned newspaper in Javelina Journalism history. It was a great way to end a long and trying semester and a good way to allow me to say "well done" to the staff. Thanks, staff, for a great job this year. You've helped maintain the standard and we will work to make it even better. Kristie, (pictured at top) by the way, gets the last KUDOs of the year. She's in the pot for the $100. Well done, Kristie. Thanks.