Sunday, November 9, 2008

KUDOs Nov. 6 issue

Well, this could have been a great issue. In many ways, it was solid. The pi layout and the back page layout kind of salvaged this edition. But, even the pi layout was flawed. The story, which was very good by Mary Beth Cleavelin, is not readable. A poor print job by Alice soured this otherwise very solid page design and I messed up by not counting on my experience and telling you that type was too small to pass the Alice Publishing litmus test for a reverse type layout. I knew that, but said nada. Well, let's examine why. It all boils down to the vast majority of the staff not doing its work. We asked for an extension for pi and maybe another page, from the Monday deadline to Wednesday morning. This means we had plenty of time to get the other pages together and read and fix them and make sure they were solid and professional and (whatever). Instead, no one worked Monday. No one worked Tuesday and no one had finished products on Wednesday for us to read, proof, make sure it was correct, etc. I wound up doing most of page 2, editing the columns, and Adriana did the ed-ops page. Are you kidding me? In the meantime, we had no time - I repeat - no time to do a comprehensive and scholarly (yes, this is scholarly) study of design and content because Alice was calling asking "Where's the paper?" Again, I plead with you (no one is listening or reading this I know) to finish the editorial page, P2, the Campus News Page and most of the sports page by Sunday so we can fine tune it on Monday and not be on !@#$%$* rush. I know, no one is reading this. We will just continue to wait til the last minute 'cause we work well under pressure. Maybe, but as of this week, two of us have had chest pains and it's not getting easier. Please do your work. Please finish P2, the ed-ops page, campus news, most of sports and pi by Sunday so we can fine tune on Monday and make adjustments where needed. Page editors must finish their pages or just say "I can't do this no more." Also, JC, let's see if we can "review" preliminary layouts at the very least Friday afternoon. The layouts, look at the Campus News page, are sophomoric and deserving of a D5 paper. We're D3. We can do better. Come on? I would like to do a page-by-page evaluation but it's useless. Nothing is ready until after the noon on deadline day, and by then it's just "let's get this paper out of here!" For example, the ed-ops page had that column by Bob that has too much leading, too much. There were several stories with too much or too little leading. We know better, but we couldn't fix it cause we didn't have time. The ed-ops page also had Nndy's picture darker than the caverns of Carlsbad. We should have fixed this and we all know how to do it but (join with me here) "WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME!" The same can be said about the "blue" picture of groundbreaking and we should have had a more solid picture of this. Get on the ground. Take a picture of the shovel, which by the way had a big picture of HOG!. Wow. The Hog, getting dirty, into the make a good photo.
There were some good points on pi. We didn't have a teaser 'cause the most important story of the 21st Century was going on, and that was good. We, instead, had a horizontal tease line at the bottom of the page. That was good. It looks nice. And, our "weather" eggs made sense. How did we do this? Wow. And, I would be remiss if I didn't mention what a fine job Mary Beth did with her story. Too bad (say with me here) NO ONE COULD READ IT! Why? Okay, (say with me here) WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO EVALUATE THE TYPE SIZE CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. We could have done better and we will.
On P2, well, we didn't have the PacMan photo in the layout until noon Wednesday. Why? We took the photo last Halloween. And, it didn't fit the fortmat. Oh, what does that say? Use another picture, crop it in Photo Shop or use different bastard measures to make it fit. On P2, the blotter was solid, Chupi was cute and JC's review was excellent. On page 3, what a waste of space with that blurry picture of Tallant, our blue president. We needed to fix this in Photo Shop. Why didn't we? Say with me now -WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. Oh, on this page stories were solid but the best things were the ads. The Squirrely's ad is cool. Editorial page had some solid writing and great local cartoon. The edtorial was solid and timely. On sports page, we had one great picture - Billy Martin running. We should have run this bigger. The other two pictures were "stretched." We didn't fix this because, (say it with me now) WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME CAUSE ALL OF US WERE LATE, LATE, LATE AND DIDN'T WORK, WORK, WORK ON THE EXTRA DAYS AND ADDED TIME WE HAD. Oh, congratulations to Jaime on the wonderful prediction record he has. Nice work. And, finally, page 6. it's solid.
Mary Beth's last-minute work (as it was supposed to be) was excellent. Her post-election story was well written, had several quotes and had excellent information. So, she's in the pot again Well done, thanks!

KUDOs Oct. 28 issue

This was a very solid issue with a unique and powerful double-truck editorial page section on the upcoming presidential election. Except for reproduction issues (we had a blue Dr. Tallant again), this could be our best effort this year.
Page 1
On pi, teaser was solid, main stories (Dia de los Muertos and Jav-a-Ride) were informative and trailer at bottom of page on Round Table (by the way, they are capitalized) was informative. Tania Garcia did an excellent job on these stories and is approaching the time when we can no longer call her a "cub" reporter. This girl's a real bear of a reporter. Ha. Well done, Tania, and thanks for your passion and hard work. On the lead art, Bob Pena must be having visions of the Chupa Cabra, or is that "Porkey's" father? Whatever, it's "Forever (Por Vida)!" dude. Our weather "eggs" look like they're fried this time. I guess that means a change in the weather. Don't know? I still think they should be down in the rail and that news should be a the top of this rail. I also think that we need news briefs here for late-breaking news. What do you think? I know, no one will respond and it will be the great mystery of the year at our news desk. Yes, we have a news desk. Can someone find it?
Page 2
Page 2 continues to improve but it is always late and that cuts into our editing time on Monday a.m. Amanda and Patricia had solid stories. Good job. Chupi made some sense. Nice Jeremy. "Focus on Us" still weak. Again, this should be the Chief Photographer's and P2 editor's job. Has anyone told Kiki about this? I know she doesn't read this,but we're still a team. Or, Kristie, are you coordinating this with someone new? If so, this has to be complete, solid, with cutline info, etc. Also, if you need it wider, you can make "By the Day" thinner with a bastard measure. But, you won't know this until you select the paper. In other words, even the P2 formula layout is flexible. Only you can do this, Kristie. The others are busy with their work. You also need to be in the office Monday to finish your page. Please try to do that.
Page 3
Page 3 had two very solid columns and among the best I have read since my time here at the South Texan. Kristie's "undecided" column is provocative, intelligent and inspiring all at once. It's hard being a young voter and it's hard to figure out the issues. Kristie wrote not only from the heart, but here mind and soul. Think about it. Nndy (Is that how we spell it) has a true flair for writing. He is a welcomed addition to editorial page.
Pages 4-5
Simply a wow! This is as good an ed-ops double-truck as I have ever since in college journalism. We could have used more graphics, but it's fair to say that all of the elements stand alone and are solid. The two "cases" (Jaime and Nndy for Obama and Mary Beth for McCain) are among the best essays any one in our university could have written. Wow. Really, wow! The endorsement editorial is also very good. Juan Carlos, this is the type of leadership and writing you have to show to help lead the way. This is serious stuff and your insight and passion for this certainly added credibility to this 2-page spread. Thanks. Please keep this type of "thinking" up. And, the final design came from Angela Palacios. Angela, you need to be a leader in the design area for all pages. J.C., you need to re-think Angela's role in our paper. Well done, Angela. Also,nice cartoon from Jeremy was a nice finishing touch. Guys, the opinion pieces in this edition of The South Texan were solid. Thank you!
Page 6
Sports is solid. It has two strong stories and one good picture. The Peterson picture is also good, but poor reproduction killed it. I still think we need to "advance" stories rather than just report old news, but this works.
Page 7
A good idea for Spanish Page, but there is nothing new here. We need some enterprise stories to spruce this up. This are just translations. It's obvious we need more planning. Let's make sure our next Spanish page is planned appropriately. On the upside, we had three solid pictures.
Page 8
This is a solid photo spread It had just a little too much copy at the top. Also needed more white space. I think the person who did this page is awesome. Who was it?
AS for KUDOs....who get's it? In an edition like this where there is much quality and hard work, it's hard to single out one person. So, my thoughts are that the ed-ops team should all get KUDOs. They are: Angela Palacios, Mary Beth Cleavelin, Nndy Oheri, Kristie Vela, Jaime Gonzalez, Juan Carlos Reyes, Jeremy Martinez, Ernesto Palacios, Kiki Ausbie. You're in the pot. Congratulations. See you at the "-15-" Party.