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.