Wednesday, September 24, 2008

KUDOs for Sept. 23 issue

The Sept. 23 issue had some good points and bad points. Layout and designwise, we salvaged with flutter-bys and zarapes - the front and back page. The scariest part of the Sept. 23 issue was pi - page one. At 10:30 a.m. Monday, all we had on the page were cutouts of butterflies. The story on Strawswer was late, the story on enrollment died, other stories (I forget now what they were) disintegrated and we had nothing, nada, zilch. Carlos Alvarado came through with a butterfly invasion featurette and Jaime and I did a story on the football game to sort of kinda save the page. But, the butterfly effect layout was not totally finished when deadline arrived at noon, and the page was not very pretty. Juan Carlos added the hammer headline and deck to sort of kinda save, but not really. We turned out with a weak layout because there was very little advanced planning. The butterfly layout was a good thought, but it wasn't followed through. And, as for the stories on page one being late, well I don't know what to say. In 20 years of advising college newspapers, this is the closest we have come to not having material for page one. I'm disappointed. I don't know what to say. Now, as always, there were some good efforts. Angela continues to improve as a leader. Jaime is doing a very good job on sports and his editorial/column writing is superb, in most cases.Clavens Charles is always "ready" to take pictures for us. Pub Lab students are starting to get the hand of deadlines and news writing - GOOD! Tania covered SGA, BETTER! Police Blotter is back, AWESOME! However, we still nee to format Police Blotter better and no matter what, if it's in news style and not agate matter, we never start a paragraph with the date. That's how Police Blotter started out. Some high points: Erika's Ag Olympics story (good strong lead, solid quotes, well covered), Amanda's Yoga story (Newsy and well written), Yamira Hispanic Heritage story on Stephanie Griest (Good use of quotes), and the Ed-Ops page (good variety of columns and editorials). Some low points: Savannah's Hispanic Heritage Month story (poor reporting, events that were reported as happening did not, etc.), Hogs battle on page one (written too late and then spellchecker changed word to wrong word), Snout Invasion (turned in too late to fix and had some disappointing qhotes, i.e. "None of us are butterfly specialists") and Katrina's/Lorraine's/Ali's obesity story on page 2 (Zero, nada, nothing, no plannning for layout and design and photos). Why? Well, you get the point. While this was an "okay" or "average" issue it was not our best and we can do much better. The key to it is for us to get on an early cycle and not wait on everything till the last-minutes. Friday's can be our work day, don't you think? To have a story for the main feature piece on pi to come in at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning is unacceptable, unacceptable. We can do better. J.C., Jaime and others (Angela, Kristie, Kiki, etc), let's organize ourselves as team. Let's set some real-time deadlines and let's get it done. (Music here) KUDOs? Another tough week. Because of their continued willingness to help, KUDOs this week go to two of the least-complaining, most-cooperative staff members - Adrian Trevino and Clavens Charles. Adrian did a volleyball story and a strong column on Hurricane Ike's impact in Houston. Clavens took some of the better volleyball pictures this year. Well done, both you. Thanks for your hard work and thanks for being a part of the team without whining or complaining. Your in the pot for the $100 at the "-15-" Party. Good luck.