Sunday, November 22, 2009

A great November, thus far!

November 3 Issue
The Nov. 3 issue was short and sweet, a four-pager that had our printer questioning if pages got lost and and students wondering if our budget had been cut. It was neither. Every now and then we need a small issue to catch up, budgetwise.The key is for us to have not only a small issue, but a good one. I feel like we did that with the Nov. 3 issue. The front page had some strong stories and a solid BAP on pi. I also liked the "Out and About" notation and wonder if we can incorporate this into our permanent layout of this page. Perhaps this is better than the teasers at the bottom of the page? I like page 2, but not sure why. Adolf's review was entertaining and the headline on the ROTC story was eye-catching. "ROTC spooks run without uniforms"? Wow. And we have someone that looks like Darth Vader on the same page and wonderful teaser with a half-naked young man and a young woman in bondage of some sort. Yep, it caught my attention.The Ed-Ops page had some good material, but a very weak cartoon and a design that was just too grey made this for a not-too-exciting page. Sports was short and sweet. Just the facts, thanks. Nice action shot by Artie. That's it. Who gets KUDOs? It goes to Amanda for holding down the fort while many of us were at a convention and/or in Abilene, Adolfo for solid review and Jaime for continue great coverage. Well done guys.

November 10 Issue

A very busy week and one which finally had our football team achieve something, thus they deserved front-page coverage for the first time this season. Nice photo, nice teaser, good and solid stories...great front page. Some mistakes on how to display headlines, but minor.Overall, a nice page 1. Now, page 2 will always be solid because of Erika's column, the Green Tip and the UPD stuff. A good second page. Page 3 was a solid campus news page but lousy cutlines. The photo of Christin Rycroft of KTAI should have been properly identified. I don't know how to say this, but any time any other program within our department does something good (like KTAI in this case) we need to play it up big. That also goes for our drama productions. I think page 4 missed the point on the Veterans' Day celebration and the Ricardo Sanchez sidebar was weak. I didn't like this page. Still, good campus news. And, anytime you have a picture of Dr. Goswami on the page, well it's special. The man is worldly and one of the best professors we have. Good job. Nice job on Page 5. We salvaged some very busy photos with some solid cutouts. Stories were okay as well but sort of repetitious. Need more quotes. Page 6 - Ed-Ops - was probably the most read page of the year. The "Attaboy Atterberry!" headline and accompanying editorial was extremely popular. I saw it cut out and pasted in several bulletin boards, including those in McCulley Hall and the Athletics Department. Everything very nice on this page. Sports pages were solid.Sports stories were very good. So, who gets KUDOs? This time it has to go to the Sports staff which includes Katrina Alejandro, Jaime Gonzalez, Mark Molina and Artie Leal. Also, KUDOs goes to the Online Squad with Michael Bolman, Claudia Garcia and Noe....nice job. Can you repeat this effort? We'll see.

November 17 Issue

I can't remember when I have had more fun as an adviser for a student newspaper as I did when I saw our staff produce an excellent newspaper and an even better website with our coverage of the NCAA Division II football game at Javelina Stadium that week. While the layout and design of the paper was disorganized because of illness to key personnel, the online staff coverage was outrageously excellent. Yes! The staff of the print edition kind of got it together - thanks in a large part to the work of Adriana Garza - and we were able to produce a very solid 8-pager. Page 1 - Very nice. Nuf said. Page 2 was as nice as a jump page could be and had solid elements, again. Page 3 was a little too tight. We forgot our margins and we had a few too many unnecessary boxes. Where did they come from? Headlines, too, were too tight. Don't do that. Give them room to breathe. Give them leading and never have the descenders from a top line touch the ascenders from the line below. Page4, Ed-Ops, not great designwise but awesome columns and editorial. That will do. Jaime and Nndy, wow. You're stuff could be syndicated. You two have blossomed during the last two semesters. Your political insight is very mature for a college undergraduate student. You can do this. Page 5 was one of those that we just pulled out of our !@# and it looks great. Good headlines, solid stories nice's okay. We just didn't line up ads but it was way past deadline when Jaime said, "Hey, what's on page 5?" Answer: "Whatever you guys and Adriana can find." Well done. Page 6 was well done except for the column that was too wide on the volleyball team. But, nice save, guys. Page 7 excellent except for the box around Coach Atterberry. Mark...great story. Artie, good picture. Katrina, good feature. Page 7 was very well done. We did not have a BAP, but in a game like this, what is the most important element? Sabrina, well done. Jaime, great job with copy. Adriana, great work as always. You are marvelous, hita. Thanks. And, even as I say that, the work by the online staff was even better.

Mr. Fisher and myself are very lucky. We have very talented and wonderful students with passion and a desire to learn and do well. We are so very proud of you. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your effort and thank you for putting up with a couple of old men like us. Adriana, that goes triple-double for you...thanks.

KUDOs - Well, this week, it's toda la familia. All of you on the staff who contributed to the football game coverage in some way get in and all who helped cover for us when others were busy also get in...we proved, the last two weeks, that we're a team. Well done. Well done. Thanks. Thanks!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On Homecoming activities and online postings - a true formula for a quality newspaper

It's almost too much for an old guy to take - Homecoming, Halloween and a winning football team. There's too much going on in our ol' campus but we had to rise to the occasion to cover all events and, for the most part, we did an excellent job. First things first, I've said all semester that we have to think online first, print second. This past two weeks, we have done that. Our online postings have been excellent and Mr. Fisher and his group have done an outstanding job. In particular, I would like to single out Noe and Mike. These two young men have taken what they have learned and taken our online production to another level - and they've only just started. Wow. Thanks guys. Now, on the print category and online, too, I guess) it would be hard to top the coverage Adolfo Castillo had on the protest at the A&I alumni luncheon. He was on top of the story from start to finish and updated it as needed. All we missed out on was an update on Teresa Remelius' comments. We need to do that soon. At any rate, some pretty good work by a bunch of young and spirited journalists. Well done. Now for a page-by-page breakdown of the regular ol' print edition.

Page 1: Nicely done. Newsy. Good photos. Great photo of Homecoming Queen and King. Thanks Claudia. Story by Adlof excellent. Claudia and Katrina did a good update on the prisoner. Homecoming story could have been stronger, but it was functional. No interviews with king bio on them...weak, weak, weak. On the layout, basic modular was good. No real BAP, was bad. Also, we had a label headline on the lead story - Javelina Homecoming 2009. What does that say? It should have said something like Houston, Tello chosen as Homecoming royalty or something like that. We missed a chance to have superb page. Stories okay, layout okay, photos okay...not great. Understand? But, well done. Funny how that works. Ha.

Page 2: Nice jump page. Pretty standard. It's a little too grey.

Page 3: Another very functional inside page.

Page 4: Colorful and functional page. Nice. I wish we would have had a stronger photo for College Night Out. I also wish we would have promoted our melodrama a little bit more and stronger. It could have been pi and the ROTC think in here as a package, but there is nothing wrong with t his page. Just a little weak.

Page 5: Good page. Nice, colorful, informative. One thing here, when we pdf our pages, we have to check to see if everything worker right. Our ad on St. Martin good messed up because of fonts...can we run again? Thanks.

Page 6: A solid sports page with two good stories by Mark and a excellent news feature by Katrina. Mark, I know you don't read this but (can someone tell him) check into the office every day at least by phone or in person. Artie, you too.

Page 7: Ed-Ops page is shaping up. I like the different layouts we have tried. Jaime's column rocks...we will get responses on this one. Editorial a little weak, but it's homecoming. Tejano Award forum needed to be marked off with a photo and explanation of when and why we use forums.

Page 8: We almost pulled this page off. A good effort.

Now for KUDOs. Well, I pretty much explained this at the top of this post. For a newcomer and a cub reporter, Adolfo did very, very well with the protest story. So, he's in the pot for the $100. Well done Adolf and well done all of you in both the print and online editions of our little South Texan experiment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breaking News, Crime Report and Homecoming Festivities make Oct. 20 edition solid

I think I have been remiss. I have stressed from the beginning of the semester when we implemented Plan 21, that we must think "Online First" and "Print Second." I have not done that in my reviews (which really doesn't matter cause no one reads them) and I apologize. This past week, I had a striking reminder of what it is I said and what I have not done. As we had the prisoner escape story unfold right before our faces as we neared deadline for the print edition, it occurred to me that we couldn't possibly cover the story on print. Online was the answer and online we galloped toward a great job by a group of solid young reporters and online web techs. Great and courageous job guys. David, Mike, Claudia, Katrina, Sabrina and others (including the irrepressible Adriana Tapia Garza and the indomitable editor Angela Palacios, and Mr. Don Fisher, among others, too many to name) you are the bomb! Is that good? Ha, don't matter. What I am trying to say (if anyone reads this) is that we did as good a job possible with our training and equipment in covering this story as well as any staff (university or professional) in the nation, really! The coverage was excellent. Imagine if we had waited til today (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday) to report on that story. In today's media world, it's old. Old news is like stale fruit that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. You all did it right. We (myself, Mr. Fisher, Adriana and Angela) are all so proud of you. You can't imagine. So, right off the bat: KUDOs goes to the online techs who posted our stories and updates and to the courageous reporters who went out, literally, to get the story. Well done. Those people are: David, Mike, Claudia, Katrina and Sabrina, as I recall. If I missed someone, please let me know and I will update this posthaste.

Now, as for our last print edition....not bad, not bad at all. Stories did come in late, as usual, but I couldn't tell if the delay in finishing the pages was due to our being late or our preoccupation with the breaking news story. I saw the look in Angela's face as she made a decision to tease it at the top of pi and just go with the story online. In the past, ol' Fisher and I would have yelled "Stop the Presses." Ha!!!! In today's journalism environment, there is no need to stop the presses, because even little old South Texan has 24-7 news capability now with the web. Wow, things have changed.

There is, however, one glaring mistake on our pi and it is one that has been there since the first issue of the semester. Our folio on pi has our website wrong. It's not It's only southtexan. Let' fix it, okay? Now for a page-by-page critique:

Page 1: This is a solid page with a solid news feature on the crime report, a good update on the SGA by-laws and good reporting on Tejano Heritage Awards and 2009 Homecoming celebrations. Crime story by Angela is particularly good and we seem to have gotten lucky with photo. It's an actual photo of a student actually filing a compliant with UPD. It's too bad she looks like she is being arrested, but that has been cleared up and thank God someone wrote a good, solid cutline. The best thing about this page, however, is the teaser at the top with Homecoming and the prisoner escape notice. Well done. Thanks.

Page 2: This catch-all page is a solid design but art is too heavy down the right side. We needed some art on the other half of the page. Also, disappointed on story on the serpentarium. We need a stronger story and better pics. Perhaps we can fix this next week. On the UPD column, we probably need to consider doing a bigger story on the car burglaries (but no one will read this and it won't be done). Sigh!!!!

Page 3: Well,we finally got the words "Ta Ta" on a headline. Yea! Good stories on campus events here and very appropriate for Campus News page. Only disappointment, no real BAP.

Page 4: Nice, very nice. Who did this page? Nice BAP. Good solid stories. Good color, good ads...well done. Solid Campus News page.

Page 5: Spanish page is a bit crowded but the photos do give us a look of all that happened during the previous month. We have only one Spanish page per month and Edwin did a good job with this one. Also, good story on Sigma Delta Pi. Perhaps, we should consider running this in English? (But no one will read this and it won't get done). Sigh!!!!

Page 6: Sports is again our weakest page. There is no BAP. I know, I know, we didn't have room. The good news is that Mark did a solid advance and Jaime had a good game story. On the charticle on the Javelina Homecoming, we lost the dog....let's make sure the reproduction is there by checking our PDFs. Okay? We can do better here. There was no advance on Javelina Cross Country. Oh, and the teaser, let's spice it up. Think! Think! Think! What would have made this teaser better? Duh, a photo. Let's get to work sports guys and gals. Let's lobby for more pages. Angela is a nice young woman. She will listen to you and if you have a good argument she will move ads around of give you another page. Really, she's a nice young woman.

Page 7: With the exception of the cartoon, everything strong here. Good play on Homecoming events editorial. I don't know if we had an influence on the change back to the old ways, but they did change it...hooray! You know what would have been nice, on the pi story or even here, a photo of the old king and queen and a comment from them about how they felt. We need to plan these things out. Perhaps, next time. Sigh!!!! Oh, and I never like the university to have a column on our space. Kenny did a good job as SGA President, but I don't like this. It gives us an aura of us not reporting things well (which we don't sometimes) and also that we are a mouthpiece for the university and its SGA. I don't like that. Who started this anyway? Oh, I hear it's a tradition. Well, let's just make it work. Don't let the SGA president use this piece to get on a soapbox and try to influence results of an election or an issue. All we need is info....okay? But, we can still have a forum if there is a need for that and that is determined by the editor, managing editor and ed-ops editor talking about it....okay?

Page 8: A good page, not great. This should have been designed earlier and should have been more solid. It has a good ad. Oh well. Still, good info and we got pictures of all the candidates. I remember when that used to be a chore.

Overall, a good issue. However, there is no mistaking, our best reporting and effort this past week went to our online edition. I applaud all of you for thinking "Online First" and "Print Second" and if we continue on that route, we will become better 21st century journalists. Plan 21, seems to be working, no? And, if you have a chance, give a hug and a thank to Adriana Garza and Jaime Gonzalez for planning this over the summer. Their brainchild has grown wings and is working. Thanks Adriana and Jaime.

And, also, a big hug (abrazo) and thanks for all of you who make time to produce and publish the print and online editions of The South Texan. Most of you are volunteers and we know you have to make sacrifices from your regular school work and campus lifestyle to become an integral part of our staff. And, one last note. Newcomer Adolfo is stepping right in there with the rest of the staff. Good job Adolfo and welcome to our silly crew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dead Man and Tejanos and another thrilling Hoggie football win make for interesting Oct. 13 issue

Catastrophe almost struck this issue when one of our staffers, who was overworked with three stories, called and said she could not have those stories ready for us in time for deadline. While the call came late (Monday morning by the time we verified it), we did not panic and thanks to the leadership of our editor, Angela Palacios, and our publications lab director, Adriana Garza, we were able to salvage the issue, make deadline (sort of), and have another informative edition of The South Texan available to our students and readers. Of course, the added pressure and approaching deadline meant some things had to suffer. In this case, we did not read our material very well and we had some typos, including a story I helped with late but was sure someone would read or spell check. No one did. Still, overall, an issue about old men, Tejanos, Dead Man's phones and football came out, OKAY. Thanks for a job well done. Now, here's a page-by-page review.

Page 1: - We salvaged this page. We had a definite strong photo of the play with a very strong headline. Oh, by the way, the story and headline are right, technically. We got complaints about the "cast" not advancing but only three of the cast members advancing to regional. The publicity they got was awesome on this and the story clearly says "three" cast members. The complaints probably stem from our review. Nevertheless, good play on an important story to our university. The folklorico picture also well done. It beats all the other mugs of old men that we have on the page. Only disappointment here was that we used a "canned" PR story of Dr. DeLeon's presentation. I would have like our own story, but at least it got covered. As far as layout is concerned, the "Tejano Heritage Awards" story and the "DeLeon" story should have lined up to make it true modular. Still, it's a nice blockish format a la USA Today and it works. Teasers (both top and bottom) still need help.

Page 2: Cute (I don't really like cute but there are so many young women on the staff that cute seems to be the thing to do this semester), well-designed page that flows well. UPD column text is much too big. Let's not do that. Let's try to stay as close to body text as possible. And, why not use more items? I'm sure we have lots of interesting stuff to use here. Please tell our reporter, Raymond, to send us more items. We can always cut them if we have to for space reasons. Nice page and nice tweet. Green tip of the week turned pink - cute. Ha. Oh, nice "tweet." I, too, tweet blue-and-gold.

Page 3: Nice modular page with good art work (Javelina flag always helps, ha). Wish we would have had a solid story on Arnold Gonzalez. Still, nice play with photo. However, he is not an attorney. His son is the attorney. Can we correct this? A short explanation on p.2 next week would suffice. Everything else here is very nice. Don't really have a BAP but modular layout makes it all work. Also, Arrellano story needs to be broken up at bottom. It's a little too grey.

Page 4: This is a "wow" page. The color is overwhelming. We must have gotten every color in the color wheel for this work. Our previous printer just could not have pulled this off and our layout editors knew that. Wow. Green, blue, pink, dark pink, red, yellow, aqua in the It looks good and the Cortina story makes it newsy. Well done.

Page 5: This was the "Flores Page" - Ha! Still, it was the photo of Ronnie Jordan that made this layout complete and workable. It's the perfect use of a BAP, even though it's a publicity photo. Only thing happened is that when we PDFed the page, the headline changed and we had two ol' big dots for the ellipsis on the deck. We need to double check the PDFs before sending them. Hope this is a lesson-learned. Also, the photo of Marcos Flores should have been to the right of the story to avoid bumping photos. Okay? Lesson-learned. I don't know who that handsome man is on the bottom of the page speaking about vaqueros, but it sure made the page solid. Don't you think? Ha.

Page 6: This is always my favorite page because it shows what our staffers are thinking and feeling. From the editorial cartoon, to the columns and editorial, this page is full of life and vigor. This issue was no exception, but we failed our staffers in some way, which I will explain at the end of this post for this page. First, Katrina's column was heart-warming. It's an all too common story for South Texas, but Katrina found a way to tell it differently and with a passion and sense of purpose few could have. Well done, Katrina. Now, believe it or not, this could have been stronger. We failed Katrina because we (including myself who was too busy trying to salvage pi) did not proof read it thoroughly. The ed-ops page should be the first to be ready and its pieces (since they represent OUR THOUGHTS) should be read must be the cleanest page in the issue. Claudia please have this page ready first thing Monday (at least) so that we can read it thoroughly. Also, Amanda, can you please help read this page. Thanks. Now, the editorial on the Chicano monument was well done and timely, considering it's Hispanic Heritage Month. The Obama Nobel Prize editorial is very well done. Thanks. Solid stuff with a cute (I don't like cute) cartoon. This page could have been stronger, but the material carries it, in my opinion.

Page 7: Our sports pages still need work. However, a nice strong photo and great headline carry this page. The story was okay, but not great. We need great now. We can't stand for mediocrity. Also, it's time, as the games have more meaning, for us to do a complete advance on Monday and not just put it into the game story. We have time on Monday to do a through review of the next opponent. Mark, can we do this? You are the sports editor, right? I've asked you to this for the past month and there seems to be no movement toward doing a complete advance separate from the story. Also, with all the "pinche" sportswriters we have, why do we not have stuff on the cross country team and why do we not have solid features and columns? Oh well.

Page 8: Well, we almost got something right. Page 8 is the sports package on Billy perhaps qualifying for the Harlon Hill Trophy. This was supposed to be a story validating Billy Garza as a Harlon Hill Trophy contender. A story uses stats to verify. There are no stats in the Mark's story. Instead, there are implications of opinions. Therefore, what we had, was a column by Mark Molina on his views as to why Billy "The Kid" Garza should qualify for the Harlon Hill Trophy. Turns out, it's a good column. It's the first one ever this year. Are you kidding me? Jaime's stat story and the whole package with Artie's Johnny Bailey Story makes this a complete and very good package, but it could have been much better. I know, Mark probably let Jaime tell the stats....which he did. But, Mark needed to say just how Billy compared with other notables across the nation. By the way, Artie, good job on your story. One. more thing, the PDF bugaboo got us again on this page. When we did the PDF, the headline on Alfie's story got longer and we wound up with an incomplete headline. Angela, Jaime and Adriana, can we please double-check the PDFs for any changes from the original quark layout? Thanks

Well, that's it - from a Dead Man's phone to old men photos on the front page and a good attempt at sportswriting, this issue had a little bit of everything for the reader and our students. Question is, who gets KUDOs? It's very hard, especially since this issue almost fell apart. Sometimes, however, KUDOs is about consistency. Over the past four weeks, as we celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, we have had one student consistently, accurately, and in a timely matter cover a myriad of presentations and activities solidly. That person is Angel Flores. His coverage of Hispanic Heritage Month is exemplary. He met deadline every time, asked for guidance when needed and then turned in solid stories that needed little editing. For this effort, he gets KUDOs. Congratulation Angel. You are in the pot for the $100.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our 'pink' issue was a hit, postgame interviews were better

Last week, as I made my way through the campus, I could not help but notice how many students had our paper in their hands. I know that having a winning football team makes people hungry for news, but I felt it was more than that. Then it struck me! Most of the students with the paper in their hands were young women. Why? Well, the pink headline and the topic - breast cancer - had caught their attention. The article at the top of pi - the strip, if you will - is a perfect example of the WIIFM (What's In It For Me?)Theory. Later that week, breast cancer activities, including the DIGG IT Volleyball game were filled to capacity. As an old fuddy-duddy professor, I can't always gauge the news value of students. I'm glad we at The South Texan have such insightful leadership from young women like of Adriana Garza (our pub lab director, the best), Editor Angela Palacios, Amanda Marcum, Sabrina Reyna, Katrina Alejandro, Claudia Garcia, Mary Beth Cleavlin, Erika Hernandez, Sabrina Salinas, Tania Garcia, Jacque Hutton and Jennifer Garcia to make sure that we cover issues pertinent to young women and women in general. If it was up to Fisher, myself, Jaime, David, Mike and Adolfo, we would be happy with just football and we wouldn't even care if the football was pink. Hahahahahaha! Again, good job.

As for our paper last week, it was as good as it could be with the exceptions of the sports page and the photos - which were pixelized in some cases. Mr. Fisher has worked with our photographers to remedy the photo situation and sports just has to do a better job. Mark, you are your own man now. Fix it! We need more features, more photos and more pizzaz. More stats,perhaps, would also help. We have one of the best teams in the nation and our coverage is flat. We should be making heroes and role models for our students. The advance should be our main story, not the game story. How many times do Fisher and I need to tell all of the sports staff guys about this? Fisher is mad. I'm just about ready to give up.

In spite of all these, your sports coverage was still a better than average effort. I don't think you all realize this, but for the past three years we have had the best sports staff in Division III of TIPA and have consistently won more writing awards than all the other 68 university schools at TIPA. In the past we have had people like Rolando Flores, Ted Briggs, Jaime Gonzalez and J.C. Reyes as our stalwarts and all knew that when the Javelina sports staff arrived, we were the best. So, you have to live up to the tradition. Do it!

Now, here is a page-by-page review:

Page 1:
A very nice modular layout. Good use of Nieto mug. We should use a photo or a mug on every story. Audit headline, too small. BAP weak. Football package had a good idea and worked. And, on the subject of sports on the front page, I don't like it unless we achieve something significant. We haven't won a conference championship and are not even playing for that yet. Sports on pi should be reserved for "real" stories, not game stories. And, if we're going to have a game story on pi, then the advance of the coming game is the lead story on sports. Mary Beth's story on Round Table was excellent, but we had to rewrite the lead to help it make sense. Mary Beth, when all else fails, think summary lead. And, we should have used a mug of Tallant here, don't you think? Teaser was nice and the pink think was awesome, as I said earlier. That is the prettiest pink that we have ever run in our newspaper. Wow, I like pink. Who would have "thunk" it?

Page 2: Good job Erika! Wonderful, informative column! Nice page Strong elements with "Green Tip" and "UPD" columns. "Tweet of the Week" cute.

Page 3: A solid, newsy page with a solid mug of me, yea! No, just kidding. The one thing wrong with many of our inside pages is that we have a problem putting the BAP to the top. The BAP is "family weekend" and it should have been featured higher. The stories are well done. And, the review on Dead Man's Cell is solid, in spite of some misgivings from the Drama Department people. We have been doing reviews of university drama productions since 1926 and have always stated our opinion. We will continue to do this as long as the editor feels that the reporter doing the review is qualified and properly prepared to do the review. ROTC story posting also well done. Disappointed n Dr. Baker's fuzzy.

Page 4: Again, a very newsy page with plenty of information for our readers, students. Again, no real BAP. I agree, however, it would have been hard to have a BAP with these stories, but we have to try. Perhaps the ROTC story could have gotten bigger play? Good story on Goswami and the photo of him, which we had to scramble to get, and I'm sure pleased many of his fans.

Page 5: Layout here is weak. Material is strong in some places, weak in others. Katrina's "football" column is a tear-jerker for old fuddy-duddies like me. It would have worked better on sports page (which reminds me, where have our sports column been this year?). Editorial cartoon is bit weak. We can do better on this page. Let's work on it.

Page 6: Gosh darn it, guys. Our sports page is weak. Photo weaker, although a nice save with cutout. This is a color page and we have no action pics, no provocative columns and not even a real story. What's up? This is lazy reporting and not with the tradition of The South Texan sports staff. We started the page with a jump. Why? Never is the lead story on our feature page, the last page, a full-color page, a jump. And, we need an advance on the significance of the game with Commerce with interviews from both coaches. Yes, you can do this on Monday morning! Why don't we. Angela, you have to be a leader here. You have to tell them that is what you expect. Mark, you need to think. Remember, WIIFM! Poor effort. Disappointed. Please do better.

As for KUDOs, well the print edition was excellent but, like the Hoggies' win last week, it was a team effort. This leads us to The South Texan On Line where new things are been tried and quality material is been posted. The post-game interviews and video of our players after that exciting win over Tarleton State were excellent. Mr. Fisher, Ms. Adriana and I were very pleased with that posting. We understand that Noe the Nomad and Sabrina Reyna were responsible for this. So, they get KUDOs. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's a dog's world after all and, on the road with Hogs helps solidify Sept. 29 effort

The Sept. 29 issue of The South Texan had some excellent stories and features, but lacked photo and design quality. However, don't get me wrong, this was a solid paper and we are very proud of you. Let's talk about the highlights first and then we will do a page-by-page review. The highlights included: (1) Excellent news coverage and advances, (2) wonderful columns and editorials, (3) great features and a great headline on "All Bark," and (4) good sports coverage and great road trips (yes we had two - Canyon and Corpus Christi). Nice, very nice. Now, let's look at this issue, page-by-page.

Page 1: Great picture on teaser. The determination on Billy's face evident. Wow, I know some of you (young women) would want to blow this up bigger. Perhaps we should have it on the sports page? The lead story about the A&I alumni well done. However, we had a hyphen in the headline. Let's not do this. The package on flu shot very nice, but label head (Being Prepared) does not do justice to the story was well done. Katrina's story on flu well written and Mary Beth story on alumni is just as good. Nice work on Tejano features. A suggestion use more decks (more decks, more decks, more decks) and more charticles (more charticles, more charticles, more charticles). Short brief info with information that is pertinent to the reader is how to describe a charticle. Also, mugs on the speakers would be good. The "Teasers" at the bottom look better every week. Let's "lighten" the pictures to make sure they reproduce. Layoutwise, a very good modular format. Headline font use could have been better.

Page 2: I think our Page 2 is pretty solid now that we anchor Erika's column at the top. I didn't like this at first, but it's the best thing there. I still feel we should use a photo with the jumps, just to break up the grey. Some of our "additions" on the page - like the Arnold Gonzales and Ishmael Soto exhibit and the Family Weekend - need "real" stories. They look like ads. UPD and Green Tip very well done. Finally, the "Focus On Us" photo is again a sideshot. We can't use sideshots or backshots. Okay? Let's work on this.

Page 3: Nice tease at top on the South Texas Archives cinema exhibit. Good story and photo by Edwin on art exhibit. Poor play and photo (no cutline) on Dead Man's Cell. This should have been on pi (page one).

Page 4: A nice color page with a great ad. Wow, have we collected for this? Photo of Ricardo Martinez excellent. The story on "Wall" documentary well done by Angel. Thanks, Angel. Jason Justice had another good story, but missed lead. Don't take for granted it's "ready for print." The editors must read the story and edit it just as any another story submitted by any other staffer. On the story on the "Wall," I think we missed the assignment. We were supposed to get student response and opinion. We missed that.

Page 5: Excellent feature page with some excellent photos. The kitty on the top left is a wow photo. The lead photo of the volunteer (he is a volunteer right?) with the cat nuzzling up to him is also wonderful. Good charticle on the bottom right and a strong story. Overall, very well done. Great headline. Who thought of this? Also, could tease on "Cat Nap." Wow, well done. It's one of the highlights of the year.

Page 6: A well done ed-ops page. Only problem is the gutter going down the middle. We need to work on this. Amanda, Claudia...good commentary. Editorials, especially the "Wall," are well done, too.

Page 7: This page lacked some cohesiveness. First, when we travel to a site to cover a football game, we need a dateline. In this case, it should have said CANYON -. Also, we need to look at style. Are we AMK or TAMUK? Angela and Mark (maybe Jaime, too), please review this and choose a style. Perhaps we need an editors' meeting to decide which style we want. Mark, the story you wrote was good for Saturday morning but was not good for Tuesday. The news in this story is old. We need an advance on the biggest game at TAMUK this year, the undefeated teams of TAMUK and Tarleton State clashing at Jav Stadium on Saturday. The sports staff totally missed this. We are disappointed. Think, THINK, THINK! THINKTHINK!! And, please don't be lazy, get quotes on injuries and coming games on Monday. You have plenty, Plenty, PLENTY of time to do this. I don't like lazy people. Javelina game week for volleyball should not be on top. Not important any more. Photo by Artie excellent. Too much space on the top.

Page 8: A very nice feature on Kristin Chancellor and a very nice story on cross country by Katrina...well done. Page layout was weak. There was no BAP. Cutout was good, but should have been higher and bigger. The photo of cross country kids should have been to the top and dogleg on ad on cross country story should have been avoided. Still, a good effort here. Well done.

So, who gets KUODs. It's tough. Lots of good efforts, including Claudia's pet story and photos, Artie's coverage in Canyon, David Brott's help on Saturday, Katrina's all over the place reporting and Edwin's reporting as well. Angel, too, did a fine job and Amanda had several worthy items as well. By sheer count, Katrina has three stories and went out of town on her own time to cover cross country meet. She also has two photos. Claudia has a column and a story plus five photos. Artie's online work, along with Mark's help, while travelling to Canyon, was also quite a "volunteer" effort. Amanda had a very good front page story, layed out and designed several parts of the paper,and a solid column. We could go on and on. What's an adviser to do? Well, time for multiple awards: Katrina, Claudia and Artie. Good job guys. Thanks. You're in the pot for the $100. Good luck.

Friday, September 25, 2009

From down on the farm, to art and a documentary on "The Wall" - Sept. 22 issue had plenty of good stuff and surprising KUDOs winner

The Sept. 22 edition had several good campus event stories and showed why it is important for The South Texan to report on campus events. The front page shows it all - teasers of the Hispanic Heritage kickoff on the teasers, an article on the coming documentary "The Wall" to our campus, a report on the Mayan art exhibit at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery to fun by the ag kids ant the farm. this was a very newsy front page. The inside pages had even more campus coverage. From that standpoint, this was a very good issue. Now, let's look at this issue page-by-page:

Page 1: Nice teasers, much better. Thanks. We do need, however, to identify, at least, what these people are doing. You need to say what the girls is chewing on (jalapenos), especially with the expression on her face. And you need to identify the girls all pretty all in a row. And, you need to tell the reader who the girl singing is. The story on "the Wall" was well done and a good effort by Angel Flores. It could have been better if the date and time would have been higher up on the story. Literacy summit story had great info and a was a solid story, but lead is too long. Why? Probably 'cause it was late and the editors did not have an opportunity to ask for a rewrite or even rewrite it themselves. Edwin's Mayan story was a bit better, but he subject matter made it confusing. The Ag Olympics story by Claudia was very functional and made for a good package. I think the photos could have been stronger, however. Also, please, PLEASE get names of people in the photos. I know, no one will read this. Finally, the TAMUK engineering story by mary beth had some great information that could be found no where else. Well done. Teasers at the bottom were better, but not great. We have to be able to see things. For this to happen, we must blow-up the photos. And, if we do that, like we did on Miss Hispanic Heritage, we have to identify who the person about that?

Page 2: This was a very busy page with several elements competing for attention. I'm not sure that Erika's column should have been the lead story. Erika's column is very solid. Is she serious? Only the women known. Hahahahahahahahahaaha! Angela's Cheech Marin story also had some good information. When we have material like this that no one else has, perhaps we should use a deck to inform the public. In fact, we should have used a deck. The UPD Files story is solid and well done. However, when we have a student robbed at knifepoint, it calls for a separate pull-out story. Why didn't we do this? And, who does this? The page editor. The page editor will call the reporter and say "Give me a story on this." Green Tip of the Week again very interesting. Good job Sabrina Salinas.

Page 3: Who is that handsome devil who spoke on Hispanic contributions to the U.S. media? Perhaps we should have run the photo larger? Ha. Just kidding! Page 3 could well be our best page. It's got beauty queens, kids dancing and ROTC cadets taking oaths. It's almost a slice of Americana. Problems? Yes. to begin with, we had another label head on "Celebrating Diez y Seis de Septiembre." Why? Tell me something in the headline. Something like: "More than 400 attend opening Hispanic Heritage event" would have been nice. And, the photo of the kids - poor crop. And, always show the dancers' feet! Claudia did well with this straight news story. Sabrina had an outstanding short story on Miss Hispanic Heritage. Not bad for her first real journalistic effort. Edwin, Katrina and our ROTC guys also had good stories. Nice page.

Page 4:
Some very provocative columns and editorial. However, this page still needs to be better organized and planned. Also, Claudia, please try to break up the gutter all the way down the page. Let's try to break this up with a story across the page or at the bottom. On the content, Angela Palacios had a very strong column on Dr. Hector P. Garcia. I certainly hope the powers that be at TAMUK read and heed her message. Carlos' "Customer Service" column also had some provocative moments and just barely escaped the whiney factor. It was nice, Carlos. The editorials should be together, not separate. They should be side-by-side of one on top of the other. Content wise, both editorial were solid. Cartoon was little weak but our resident journalism guru - Adriana Tapia Garza - saved it. Ask her how she did it. Well done!!!!

Page5: Sports guys did well to cover volleyball and cross country. Nice work on photos, Adriana Perez. Best thing here is the cross-eyed cat. Did we adopt it?

Page 6: Page 6 is typical sports page. Okay. Nice photo by Artie.

And, now, KUDOs. Who get's this prestigious student journalism award this week? There were many good candidates but we are going to give it to Claudia Garcia. Claudia's energy and passion to learn, take on challenging stories and just do whatever she can to help are contagious. Claudia, you get it this time and you deserve it. We are very proud of you. Now, it's time to tighten up your stories and editing and swing for the fences. Well done.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From dry to wet in less than one week, Sept. 15 issue led to interesting KUDOs decision: Katrina Alejandro rocks

In spite of heat, rain and some unexpected lack of passion for journalism by some of our staffers, we were able to complete our fifth issue of the semester this past week. The Sept. 15 issue was full of informative and important stories about our university and community. That means that we accomplished one of the most important goals of a newspaper, covering and reporting issues about the community. Now, let's look at the issue page-by-page.

Page 1: Very well designed. Nice package on 1959 team. The type on the blue should have been at least .5 bigger and could have been 2 pt. bigger if needed. When we run type over screens of any color, we run the reverse type bigger than normal. If I have one complaint about this page is that it needed some decks. Also, the enrollment story at the top should have had a better lead. The "diez y sies" story headline is a "label" head.We need a real headline for every story. Finally, on the Zambrano story, I'm not sure what happened but we forgot to read it, I guess. There were some elements in the Zambrano story, particularly in the jump, where we just didn't read the story before it bot published. This is the job of the editor, managing editor and page editor to read every thing that goes in the page or paper. Every story must be read in its entirety. Let's set up a system that will make that work. Angela, please take care of this. One other note, a word of praise for Rebecca Cepeda for her work on the "Swine Flu" article. Well done for a freshman.

Page 2: This is one of the better Page 2 layouts in recent memory. the only problem, layoutwise how great the bottom half of the page looks. Nice "Focus on Us", nice "Fall fashion" story, wonderful "Tweet," but let's put more tweets and use twitter symbol. I like the UPD stuff and "Green Tip of the Week" also nice .

Page 3: Nice layout. Bumping photos, don't! Edit the ROTC story, just don't run it like it is turned in.

Page 4: Nice sports page with very good photo of Billy scoring on a 70-YARD TD RUN! Great photo, Katrina.

Page 5: good rain photos that kind of lost luster with the ads. Perhaps just running the spread on top and using the last two photos on the right for a story would have been better.

Page 6: A nice editorial page but evidence that no one reads this blog abounds. Keep your editorials, together. In other words, one on top of the other. Nice opinion pieces, but we have done better.

Page 7: Enjoyed this page. The photos were weak, especially the BAP. The stories were solid Camps News material.

Page 8: Strong and well-designed page in EspaƱol.

Overall, this was an excellent paper that showed we had some gaps in our organization. Many of the stories showed up late, too late. Also, we forgot about our new mantra - online rules and print follows. When we cover an event, the story must be written the next day, it must be put on the web the next day and then maybe rewritten for the print edition which comes out on Tuesday. Online rules, print follows.

As for KUDOs, there were plenty of worthy candidates. They include staffers like Amanda Marcum, Mary Beth Cleavelin,Edwin Vasquez, Claudia Garcia, Rebecca Cepeda, Mark Molina, Artie Leal and Tania Garcia. However, the work of Katrina Alejandro has been consistent through the year and her work in this issue was exemplary. Katrina had the story on the 1959 national championship team, the healthfest and her great photo of Billy made her the recipient of this week's KUDOs. Well done Katrina, you're on the pot.

The Heat was "ON" and now the rains have come; KUDOS for Sept. 9 issue were "a little wet"

Well, we now have proof that God does read The South Texan. After more than 90 days of drought and a month of August with 10 dates with 100 degrees temperature or higher, the staff of The South Texan decided to do a package (feature story) on how the heat had impacted the area. Mary Beth Cleavlin did a wonderful story complete with sources and scientific data and Katrina Alejandro and Angela Palacios worked on doing a front page story with a jump to feature page 8 to make it look as enticing as possible. It was nice. The day the paper was delievered, it rained. I mean, it RAINED! More than 3 1/2 inches of rain fell that Sept. 10, most of it right on good ol' AMK. It was gratifying, however, to see student used our "HEAT WAVE" issue to cover themselves from the rain. It's enough to make a grown man cry! But, hey, after God saw our headline about the summer drought, he must have said, "Well let's just let it rain down there fellas. It's all fine. We'll take care of you." The downpours were needed and we thank God for little relief from the heat, not to mention the comic relief from those who reacted to our story while trying to escaped the rain.

Still, it was a good issue with plenty of readable and informative stories. Let's look at this issue, page-by-page.

Page 1: Katrina finally got the layout down with the burnt grass in from of College Hall as a backdrop and the headline worked, sort of. We could have done better, but this package, which jumped to page 8, worked well. Jacque Hutton's story on the Town Hall Round Table meeting was very informative. Good lead and plenty of good information and quotes. Story needed help, but that's what we have editors for....good job Jacque. Carlos' story on the Sabrios and Claudia's story on the new risk management leader were well done. Teasers at bottom look better but I still can't see the VBall photo and the maracas (they are maracas, right?) look like Indian pottery. We could have found something better than this for Hispanic Heritage. Specking of Hispanic Heritage, who is working on the "bug" for the upcoming features?

Page 2: Erika is the bomb! Really. Wow. She knows how to strengthen the bond with man. Yea. It's simple really feed us, love us, leave us along and pretty much we will be like loyal puppy dogs waiting for our next treat. But, excellent, Erika. You are getting better at this and this has syndication potential. Let me work on that on my time off. Theatre story was weak. We needed photo and a real story. We did not need a rewrite from a flier. Blotter was good. Let's develop this with a little better format. "Green Tip of the Week" well done. Nice Focus on Us page.

Page 3: Claudia tracked down the Cheech Marin story, good job. I would have suggested calling Cheech. Why did we not call him? Next time we are doing a story on a celebrity, we should try to make contact that celebrity. The Miss Hispanic Heritage story by Tania had a killer headline: "Hola Chica!" Que cute. Adolfo's story on the Poli Sci Pi Sigma Alpha chapter well done. Godd stories. Good campus news. A well-deisgned campus news page. KUDOs.

Page 4: Color on an inside page. Wow! Nice photo package on "Distant Light." Jumps well placed, but we always need to have some type of art with these many jumpbs. We should have planned this better. Nice page, for one that is inside. However, a suggestion. Let's make the color inside page our Best Campus news page and use the other black and white Campus News page for jumps. What do you think?

Page 5: This was a very newsy Campus News page and also in color. Yea! Excellent ROTC features. Where did you find this guy, Angela? His story on the Victory Cannon and the new commander were excellent. Let's use him some more. Let's talk about potential stories. Only thing bad here was the lead art on the "topping out" lunch. Surely, there was something "topped out." That was the photo we needed. Still, nice page.

Page 6: This ed-ops page was a little dull. Still, it had some poignant commentary by Nndy and Sabrina and Angela had a good column on how an editorial page works. Also, editorial were well done. A suggestion: let's keep our editorial together on this page. Claudia, you are doing a good job designing this page but you need to develop your own style and look. That includes having a solid editorial cartoon and a letter's to the editor section. Let's see if you can generate some letters.

Page 7:Sports page is weak. We need big headlines and big photos.Photo by Artie, good! Volleyball story was very well done. Where are volleyball photos?

Page 8: An interesting features page, to say, the least. Good effort on graphics, but we can do better. Sabrina's photo was excellent.

So, who gets KUDOs? Well, we can't go wroing with the rainmaker. KUDOs goes to Mary Beth Cleavelin. Great story, good sources and well designed. Good job Mary Beth. We missed you last spring semester. So, you're on the pot for $100.

Friday, September 4, 2009

KUDOs Sept. 1 issue

Our venture into social media via our Plan 21 Project is off to a great
start thanks to the efforts of the Football Online Reporting Team
(FORT, ha) for the Javelinas football opener last Saturday against nationally-ranked Delta (Miss.) State.

Behind the leadership of David Brott,
online editor, and the supervision of new journalism instructor Don
Fisher, the team was able to give us quarterly updates on the progress
of the game. Those updates included photos by ArtieLeal, quarterly narratives by Adrian Trevino, and game and summary reviews by Mark Molina. In addition, David Brott
downloaded quarterly stats. It was a good solid package. As a result,
our hits from last week went up from 50 the previous week to more than
Well done FORT. And, to make it better, theJaveinas won, 28-17. Go Hogs!

As for the Sept. 21 issue, it was another strong effort for this early in the semester. The experience of staffers like Angela Palacios,
Jaime Gonzalez, Tania Garcia, Erika Hernandez, Carlos Alvarado, Edwin
Vasquez and Katrina Alejandro came through and the enthusiasm of new
staffers like AmandaMarcum, Mary Beth Cleavelin, Caludia Garcia and others really showed.

Page 1 - Nice reader at the top. Poor photo with it. SGA
election story well done. Too bad we could not promote it more. Mark's
game story was excellent effort. Lead photo great but not ours. Please
do not run photos that were not taken by our staffers.
We probably needed a mug of Upshaw. Hughes/Gines story well done. Teasers at bottom need to be fixed. Too many, too small. Chose 3 or 4 at most.

Page 2 - Nice teaser at top. Focus On Us weak. Weak photo. Weak play. Serna story solid and also good photo. Well done. Erika's column is "bitching." Ha. Bottom of page too great.

3 - A very nice, very modular page. Lead BAP a little too far down the
page and was too dark. Every B&W photo must be lightened in Quark
or PhotoShop . Okay? the lead headline on the Blackboard story needed to
be bigger at top and smaller at bottom. We also needed info box
explaining whatBlackBoard truly is.....but not bad. Engineering story was well done. Lots of quotes and good info.

Pge 4 - Lead photo needed to be cropped. Girl eating popsicle cute but, not needed. Ice Cream social and music students stories were well done. James Guidry play was good but what was he doing? Not good! Jennifer sold lots of ads and they were pretty. Good job, Jennifer.

Page 5 - Can't read teaser. Needed to lighten backgroun. Flutist story well written and color helps here, but the Stop, listen in . . was hard to se.
This was a good idea. Let's play with it. Life Wellness picture very
good (good job), but tell my what it was? Why did they win. It needed
more info.

Page 6 - The lost page surfaces. Through no fault of
ours, the printer ran the wrong page, one from last week. We got 500
copies of the do-rights and it looks very good. Lots of good stuff on
this page. Amanda, wow! Jaime, double wow, wow! Claudia, excellent.
And, to boot, a good editorial by Jennifer, I believe.Laout is okay. It's modular. We need some letters to the editor. You guys are not controversial enough. Ha.

Page 7 - Sports page is good, not great. Nice story on top. Good use of archved photo of Vball girls. Jump needed to be in two columns and it doesn't look like body text. Is it? The charticle on the Javelina Game Day needs more info like season records, last week, etc. Can we do this?

8 - This needed to be a photo spread. And, the headline at top needed
to be bigger, Bigger, BIGGER. Nice stories by both Edwin and Mary Beth
and good, strong photos by Amanda and Artie.

Overall, guys y gals, good job. A nice issue.

KUDOs....everyone, as usual did well. But this week we must give it to the Football Online Reporting Team. So, KUDOs to David Brott, Mark Molina, Adrian Trevion, Artie Leal, Amanda Marcum and Angela Palacios. Oh, give ol' Don Fisher a big ol' pat on the back. Well done.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Off to a great start in Fall 2009 - KUDOs go to Adriana Garza, Jennifer Garcia, Mary Beth Cleavlin and Claudia Garcia

We are doing so many new things this semester as we adjust to the changing media landscape that I will keep this critique short and sweet.

First, welcome back to Texas A&M University-Kingsville. I hope you have a wonderful year and an enjoyable communications/journalism experience. We expect great things from you as you learn the nuances of the new world of communications. We expect you to be serious students and journalists/communicators. We want you to know that you represent not only yourselves and your family and parents, but also the legacy of many great South Texan staffers who have come before you. The South Texan has regained its reputation of being an informative, intelligent tool of communicating with our students, faculty and community. We will not tarnish that reputation. Understoods.

As I write this on Saturday prior to the first football game of the season, I can't help to be proud of our first two issues - The Back to School (BTS) edition and the first South Texan of the year. Wonderful job.

Angela Palacios, our new editor, has taken the proverbial bull by the horns and, with the help of key staffers, has overseen the production of two quality issues. A special thanks to all who showed up early to help Angela.

Now, let's look at the two issues.

The BTS issue was solid with good information, especially for incoming students, and some key stories that tell the story of our university from a historical perspective. It was a key component on our WIIFM efforts. What's WIIFM? It stands to "What's In It For Me?" That's the question every reader asks as he or she picks up a print newspaper or visits a website. Definitely, we had information that filled that need in this issue. So, good job. Let's keep WIIFM in mind as we produce each edition of The South Texan. I was, however, not as pleased with the design. It was too "common," for lack of a better description. In particular, I feel like we missed a chance to have outstanding layouts in athletics and traditions. Still, good effort.

We also had some label heads (i.e. "University Traditions"). Every story needs a clear distinct headline. The cover was excellent, but a little confusing. The use of color throughout, well, excellent. Good planning on that part.

One of the highlights of this issue was the advertising. We sold enough ads to pay for almost half the issue. The fact that we started late in the summer to sell this issue and we wound up with a good package is commendable. The ads were sold by our new and very efficient advertising manager - Jennifer Garcia. This was facilitated by the work this summer by our Publications Lab Director Adriana Garza. Adriana sent out letters to prospective advertisers and answered many of the early phone calls before Angela and her staffers arrived. Not only were the ad sales "good" for the BTS issue, this has set the standard for the rest of the semester. So, who gets KUDOs? And, what is KUDOs?

KUDOs is our weekly effort to recognize outstanding performances by our editors and staffers. While there were many good performances in the BTS issue, the work of the advertising team was exemplary. So, KUDOs go to Adriana Garza and Jennifer Garcia. They are in the pot for a $100 scholarship which will be given out at our "15" Party at the end of the first semester. What is a "15" Party? It's a mid-year celebration of our excellence. In journalism, the No. "-30-" has traditionally meant the end. So, therefore, "-15-" is the midpoint and we use it to celebrate the end of our fall semester. Congratulations to Adriana and Jennifer.

Now, for the first issue. Good job. This is as solid a first issue as I have seen in the past three years. Package on front page was excellent. I would have preferred to use the photo with the dad as the lead photo, and bigger. I really didn't like the top photo. It was unflattering and did not really tell a story. All photos must tell a story. The "reader" - that's the story at the top of the page which must never be deeper than 3 inches - was very appropriate. We had a solid picture of Dr. Tallant. I would have like a quote out, but this worked. The story on the Bishop Hall cafeteria had solid photo but it was dated. When we have a file photo we must say so and not fool the reader into thinking it was taken this week. The story on Upshaw was a good touch and definitely deserved front page play. The convocation story, for some reason, was lost. Why? Do you think it could have used some art work to attract attention? Don't know. This is one incident where the editors must look at the layout and say, "Hey, how can we improve this?" But, hey, this works. Nice.

The inside pages are very nice and I think we have a good design with the teasers at the top. Page 2 is a little "grey" at the bottom, but has some excellent stories and art at the top. Erika did a good job with her column. Page 3 had some interesting WIIFM type stories and good, solid layout. Photos are a little weak, in particular the photo of the band. Certainly we can get better photos of "bandies." As for Dr. Gandy, well, we did the best we could. The "Doggone It" headline works. It was almost cute. I don't like cute. Page 4 had useful information, but again our photos were weak. The freshman dinner photo barely worked. Editorial Page solid. It had a good pro and con feature, which I don't like. I want us to have opinions, even we ruffle some feathers on our own staff, including mine. Angela, nice work on column. Mark, your column had some nice point but make sure you write, re-write and make it as good as you can before our editors see the final product. You made a good case of TAKS being "meaningless." Sports page was a little weak but you had little space and not enough action - yet. Action starts this week and I can't wait to see next week's issue. Oh, guys, on sports page, do not use Sport Information material unless it's a last resort. We write our own stories. I don't want this to happen again. OKAY?

Finally, PLAN21 is off and running. Mr. Fisher and his crew have planned some excellent elements for our first football game coverage. We will have quarterly photo and stats updates as well as running reports on progress of the game. In the meantime, we're tweeting, MyFacing and MySpacing (whatever?) and using social media well. A key to this Plan 21 effort is the work of David Brott and Noe Longoria. Good work by both and, I guess, a hearty congratulations to Don Fisher. We welcome his expertise in this area and looked forward to great accomplishments in this area.

KUDOs for the second issue? We had many outstanding efforts, which is what a staff is all about. Mary Beth Cleavlin had three solids stories (including a solid editorial on healthcare). Mark Molina had a front-page story and a column, Carlos Alvarado and Edwin Vasquez both had solid pi (pi in itals is short for page 1 in journalism) stories. Tania's story on the comedian and her layout on page 2 showed her hard work and passion. Sabrina Salinas again had a good "Green Tip." Claudia Garcia had a good story on the "bandies" being "Zepped" and another on the freshmen dinner with the president. Jamie Gonzalez had the greatest story of all on some perro named "Bandit." Wonder who it belongs to? He also had a solid editorial on healthcare. So, it's difficult to pick one district winner. Still, because of the passion that Claudia Garcia showed and the commitment Mary Beth Cleavelin showed upon her return, we are going to honor both these staffers. All of you did well on this first issue, but Claudia and Mary Beth just had a little edge. Congratulations. You are both in the pot for the $100 KUDOs cold cash scholarship during our "-15-" party.

From myself, Mr. Fisher and Adriana, thanks for your effort.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


The South Texan has it's own twitter account. We will start using it in August but all of the staff members are asked to sign up now. Contact Adriana Garza at the office (593-3700) for more information. Also, we are going to have a social media editor this year as well. Check in about this and other exciting news. Stay in touch. I know, no one reads my blog.
Dr. Flores

New Journalism Instructor Due This Summer

We are in the process of hiring a new journalism instructor to help with new media and assist with the production of The South Texan. A Communications Theatre Arts Department Search Committee headed by Mr. Eric Ramos narrowed the list down to three finalists. Mr. Ramos and committee members Dr. Patrick Faherty and Mr. Corey Ranson have interviewed the three. The three are: Dr. Stuart Lenig (from Tennessee), Mr. Don Fisher (from Ingleside) and Mr. Mike McIlvain, who currently teaches at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. We will make our announcement early next week.

Our Interns are out there -JC HAS A JOB!

Just a note to check in and remind all of you to be sure to call The South Texan in late July and early August. Please check in with Adriana Garza, out publications lab director, and myself. We need you to help us produce the back-to-school (BTS) issue and of course to plan for the fall semester. It is rapidly approaching. In the meantime, I hope all of you are having a great summer. We have several students doing internships and we are very proud of the J majors as well as RTV and theatre arts majors who are out there in the "real world." Of course, if you all have not heard, last year's editor, Juan Carlos Reyes, is now gainfully employed at the Fort Bend Herald Coaster in the Houston area. Good job, JC. It's hard to land a job in print journalism nowadays but you did it and, from the reports we get, are doing well. I know, you should "giggle" about now.

For the record, here is a list of interns that we have:

Carlos Alvarado, SODEXHO Administrative/PR Internship, Washington, D.C. Area
Amanda Marcum, Institute of Political Journalism, Washington, D.C. Area
Angela Palacios, Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi, Dallas, TX
Devina Arredondo, Coastal Bend Thunder Baseball Team, Robstown, TX
Savannah Martinez, KIII-TV, Corpus Christi, Texas
Katrina Alejandro, TAMUK Sports Information, Kingsville, TX
Noe Longoria, TAMUK Sports Information, Kingsville, TX
Christin Rycroft, KTAI-91.1 FM, Kingsville, TX
Katherine Robinette, Kingsville Bishop Record News, Kingsville, TX
Priscilla Meadows, BTS issue The South Texan, Kingsville, TX
Jacque Hutton, The TAMUK Communicator, Kingsville, TX

We are very proud of all our interns. We wish them well. Good luck.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angela Palacios selected as new S.Texan editor

Angela Palacios, Corpus Christi senior, has been chosen as the editor for The South Texan for the 2009-2010 academic year. Ms. Palacios has served in the university's student newspaper in various capacities and has won more than 20 state or local journalism awards. This past spring break she completed a shadowing internship in Washington, D.C., with the National Hispana Leadership Institute and this summer she will be doing an internship with the publications department of the Dallas Catholic Diocese. Ms. Palacios brings a wealth of experience to the position and we are looking forward to another great year for The South Texan print and online editions. Angela officially assumes her duties as editor on Aug. 1. She is currently finalizing her staff for the coming year. Any one interested in serving on the staff of either the print or online editions of Texas A&M University-Kingsville's student newspaper is encouraged to contact her at 361-593-3700 or apply on line at Those interested must be enrolled at TAMUK during Fall '09. Journalism, communications and radio-TV students are preferred, but all are welcomed to apply. Congratulations, Angela!

Friday, May 8, 2009

KUDOs May 5 Issue

Well, we made it.

Our last issue arrived on campus May 7, two days late 'cause we missed deadline with our new printer.

It's okay. For the most part, it was a quality issue with good stories, solid reporting and decent art work. We had some busts - headlines on police blotter (again - we never did this right) and index pages were not correct. Still, we managed to produce our 31st "miracle" of the year. In spite of all the problems and the different activities all of you are involved with, we come together Sunday and Monday and produce our little weekly's a miracle, I tell you, but one which is very significant. Are we great or what?

Let me just say that I feel we're good...we're very good and for that Adriana Garza (our South Texan Lab Adviser) and myself are very proud of you. We did many things right this year and the credit goes to the staff and its leadership. Leadership comes in many forms and characters.

There is Juan Carlos Reyes, our editor, a pearl of a young man with a loving heart and incessant giggle that personifies him as a big teddy bear. But JC can be tough when he wants to and without that stern side of him, we would not have been as good as we are or had the "pockets of excellence" that Adriana often refers to when discussing our newspaper. JC was a good leader and he got us to where we are today - one of the most-awarded student newspapers in Texas. Thanks, JC, for a great job.

Leadership, too, comes from the quiet, resolute and passionate mindset of Jaime Gonzalez. He is like a beacon that lights the way when stories falter or assignments or missed. He picks up the load where no one else cares to do the job and when it is essential someone step up. If you ever are in a battle - the real kind where people are being hurt or shot at like some of you who have been to Iraq know about - you would want someone like Jaime O. Gonzalez by your side. He would make sure you would be safe. He did that with class and dignity for us.

Leadership also comes in the quiet "Let's get the job done" attitude of Bob Pena. Without his leadership, many of the things that make The South Texan very, very good, would not have happened. Bob is like the seasoned old veteran who listens intently and then, when he speaks, every one pays attention. Thank you, Bob, for your patience with all of us and for providing quiet and unassuming leadership.

Leadership comes also from unexpected places as young people grow up into becoming young men and women and understand that they have it within themselves to step up and be counted on. Angela Palacios grew up a lot this year. She became a quiet leader, willing to train others and passionate about her role with The South Texan and with our department. Because of that, she will become editor next year and now has two solid internships under her belt. She did well and we are very happy for her. In one way or another, all staff members (those who were here part-time or full-time) showed leadership capabilities.

But, where there is only leadership and no one wants to do "the dirty work," the paper won't get done. These leaders, and others, made sure we worked as a team. The result was a solid university student newspaper with a good online edition that touched not only the students, faculty and staff of TAMUK, but alumni statewide and nationwide. We made a difference.

Those who helped us make a difference included reporters and staffers like Erika Hernandez, Kristie Vela, Edwin Vasquez, Amanda Marcum, Tania Garcia, Adrian Trevino, Claudia Garcia, Katrina Alejandro, Lorraine Rodriguez, Sabrina Reyna, Sabrina Salinas, Mark Molina, Colton Williams, Lorraine Rodriguez and others.. You are too many to mention but be aware that we know who you are. These students were the lifeblood of our reporting.

You see, we had many stories to report and we reported them well this year. This last issue is a testament to that dedication. From the "Size Does Matter" concluding series on retention by Kristie Vela, to the "Swine Flu" story by Edwin to the A&I/AMK controversy on pi, this was about us (The South Texan) staff reporting on the issues that mattered to our readers. Good job, very, very good job. Thanks.

Page 2, too, was a synopsis of our work this year. From Erika Hernandez's controversial column to the steady but significant "Green Tips" report, this was a solid page and told as much about our staff's commitment to our community as it did about us.

Page 3 covered three very important areas to our university: The Student Government Association, The Campus Activities Board and the TAMUK Engineers. These three areas of TAMUK are often in the news and more often than not we are there to report their activities. Good stories, all.

Page 4 was our final opinions page. It had three letters to the editor and two solid columns along with an excellent cartoon. JC and Bob...good job and some solid words of wisdom and reflection.

Page 5 had a review of the year....well, it shows why the heck we've been so busy.

Pages 6-7 point to the future of our university....there is lot of construction going on and it reflects the future. Are we ready for it?

Page 8 was sports and it was fitting conclusion to our sports coverage, which was, for the most part, excellent this year. Good job Jaime. And, hey Jaime, great, great farewell column. Thanks for the kind words and right back at you big guy, okay?

Page 9 had the BSM feature. This was good because it showed a part of the campus we don't often cover. Also, it was good because it showed there is new blood coming to our staff. Amanda Marcum seems ready to step up and take the lead, here. Wow. Katherine Robinette remains solid in her classes and may be ready to step up. Still, it's good to see new names on the byline. Thanks.

Page 10 talks about the coming blockbuster movies for the's an excellent last page for a very interesting academic year we at The South Texan had. We had a blockbuster year with a whole lot of news and we covered most of it fairly, objectively and with class and dignity. We did a good job, a very, very good job. Thanks and God Bless all of you....
bueno bye
Dr. Flores

Sunday, May 3, 2009

KUDOs - April 28 issue

A very solid issue and good job of chasing down the Senate vote story on the A&I name change. We also witnessed, thanks to the hard work of Adriana and JC, a story progress from a bottom of the page selection on the front page to a top of the strip page on pi. Thanks to modular layout, this was not as difficult as it has been in the past. This was also a good experience for our editors-for-a-week students. We actually were a "real" newspaper there for a while. Well done. In spite of that hard work, we still could have had a stronger story on the Senate. but it got the job done and we managed to scoop everyone else on this. The paper was being scooped up almost as soon as Edwin put it out there. Another provocative story was Kristie's second story on retention. The lead bothered many administrators and faculty members and had them emailing me about lack of vigilance on my part. Oh well....the truth hurts sometime. Kristie is doing an excellent job on this series, but we need to finish it out strong with an editorial and some solid graphics. We also did a good job on the Relay for Life story on pi and inside. On Page 2 we had a solid review...good job Claudia...and Erika's usual strong column. Page 3 had some good campus news. My only dissapointment here was the lead art and story on the Sigma Delta Pi student presentations. The editorial page had some good columns by Tania , JC and Mark and a solid editorial that should have been played next to the cartoon. A cartoon should be linked to the editorial. JC, you have to monitor this. Claudia did a good job on the photo essay. Story was "good" - not great - and photos adequate. Katrina had a solid sports feature on the the shot putter, but sports lacked substance and we had some head busts. Guys, it's too late in the year to be having head busts. Our second campus news page was a catch-all, but it had good info. Finally, good job on sports rewind. Thanks. KUDOs...well, this time it goes to the editors-for-a-week: Claudia and Mark. Congrats.

Monday, April 27, 2009

KUDOs April 21 issue

This was a solid 8-page issue with a good, crisp lead art on the front page of the new Miss TAMUK. But, hey guys, now that we have a new printer, let's make our lead art big and to the top so that it will on top of the fold. How about it? Let's try it at least once before the semester is over. Special recognition on pi goes to Edwin, who took time to do the first part of the "Wrestling With Retention" series. Edwin worked very hard to get proper quotes and to investigate story. His reporting was excellent and, with some editing, his story was solid. Thank you Edwin. One thing, the graphic was good but I can't read the letters on "Wrestling With Retention." For next week, let's make this white type with blue outline, or something like that. Okay, Angela? JC did a good job with the layout and design and the Miss TAMUK story led people into the inside of the newspaper. Good job. As for disappointments, there was one big one which I am just embarrassed by - the SGA I'ts a Tie story. It wasn't a tie and we had no numbers on votes. Why? We have to be more dogged reporters - dare I say be more like Edwin - when stories like this arise. Page 2 looks very crisp and solid and Page 3 had some good local stories from the cheerleaders by Katherine Robinette to Unity and opera. Wow. Nice mix. Photos, however, are still lacking and we misspelled "tophey." Page 4 is nice and modualr but does not have that newsy loook t o it......we can do better. Page 5 design on Miss TAMUK is nice, but could have been better. A photospread such as this has one "BAP" and a scene setter. The photos are much to the same size to make this layout sparkle. The Ed-Ops page had some good columns and a solid cartoon. "Hoggie, I am your father!" Wow!. Sprts is its usualy solid self with the exception of credit lines on sports, which were also a problem on page 8. Let's try to resolve this prior to the next issue. This issue was very good. There were some things that could have been better, but overall we should be very pleased. KUDOs this week go to Edwin. Thanks.

KUDOs April 14 issue

Wow...a good-looking print job. Finally. Gold was gold and not puke brown and blue was blue and not passion purple. What a change. And, in spite of this just being a 4-page issue, it looked good. The print job makes a big difference. And, also, the stories were newsy and decent. The "A&I Day" story was very well done and, with our usual exception of not having quality photos, carried the layout. Ericka, too, did a good job with the SGA presidential election story. We probably could have done a better job here but space limitations hurt. Katrina's Miss TAMUK story also looked good and we had sharp, clear, mugs of all of them inside. On page 2, the BSM story by Angela was excellent and probably deserved more play. Good quotes, good story. We probably need a folo on this. Page 2 is a good page except for "TAMUK Week at a Glance." We can do better with this. Not much to say about Page 3 - it's the Miss TAMUK candidates along with JC, Jaime and Edwin in! Enough said! Sports is solid and a good page. KUDOs any one? This week we would like to feature the staffers who did stories while the main staff was gone. KUDOs go to Katrina Alejandro, Angela Palacios and Colton Williams. Thanks for your help. Because of it, we had a solid four-pager.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

KUDOs April 7 issue

This 8-page issue had much potential. It had a very nice teaser, some good inside stories, and a couple of good lead items that should have attracted much student readership.

Unfortunately, the reproduction was just terrible. It was so terrible in fact that it was embarrassing. This was especially true for our layout and design on the Legacy Ball. The reproduction was horrible and left many who attend the event wondering what the hell we were doing. Well, it was not our fault. It is the printing company's fault. It's very poor reproduction. We have stayed with the current printing company as long as we could. We were not allowed by Student Development to change printers, unless there was a breach of contract. Poor quality and the inability to heed our cries for a better print job led to my decision to change - immediately. Next week we will print elsewhere and we will see where that ends up.

As for this issue, there were some good and bad things. Good things first.

Good: It was nice to see the staff scramble to come up with clear and well-written articles on the AMK and A&I vote both for the student vote and the South Texan poll. It was also nice to see the summer school schedule on the front page, but I was disappointed we didn't write it...WE WRITE ALL OUR STORIES!

The "Relay for Life" story on page 3 was excellent. The history of the university was a nice touch on page 4. Ed-Ops was super. Sports decent. The Legacy Ball feature on page 8 was a lot of hard work and we had some good photos but, because of the poor print job, we missed the mark. Katrina, good job on this assignment.

Angela's teaser was beautiful. Too bad no one could see it on the print job. Are you kidding me?

We had several good columns and editorials throuhout. Good job Erika, JC and Jaime and others who contributed.

Bad: Our photography was poor, at best, overall. The best pictures were of the Legacy Ball and sports. Other than that, a 3rd grader could have snapped the shots with a auto focus camera. We can do better. Also, the summer school schedule story which was assigned three weeks ago turned out to be staff reports. Why?

Jav-A-Style is one of the fresh new features on our paper. This Jav-A-Style was very weak. It was just a guy with t-shirts and jeans. He has no style. JC has more style. Perhaps we should feature JC or, as several of you have suggested, some professors in town. This feature must single out what is "different" about the subject we are interviewing. It can't be some one's friend or acquaintance. It must be a student with a singular dressing style.

The layout on page 3 was too horizontal modular. We can do better if we plan ahead.

KUDOS: Well, who gets KUDOs. My vote is for Staff Reports, who had three front-page stories. What do you think? Any suggestions? Of course not. Few of you will read this blog. If you do, please post a suggestion on the comments section of this blog or see me personally.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

KUDOs March 31 issue

Well, we came back from Spring Break 2009 with a bang. What a wonderful edition of The South Texan Juan Carlos Reyes' and his staff produced for our March 31 issue. It was EXCELLENT! More importantly, we worked very well as a staff. In my three years at TAMUK, this is truly the first time that the staff work this well and this close, together. Congratulations J.C. We had a very good looking front page...nice graphic...nice refers to the online vote...well-written stories....what can I say? All of the pages were nice. Carlos did a wonderful job with his I love Paris story and Lorraine did a great job with the story on Angela and Tania. The Spanish page by Edwin was solid, well-written and, may I say, provocative. Erika was her usual self, Angela had an excellent story on Chavez, ed-ops page had letters to the editors and more So, who gets KUDOs? When an issue is as solid as's a true team effort. All of the staffers who worked on this get KUDOs, all of them, even JC. Way to go JC...thanks

Sunday, March 15, 2009

KUDOs - March 10 issue

It was nice to see the March 10 issue. It was solid. We had a solid front page and several good layouts and we had some very good stories. It was also good to go on Spring Break with a solid issue. I think we showed much class and dignity by running the SGA story at the top of pi, along with a photo of the SGA president. The fact that there seems to be a rocky relationship between SGA and The South Texan should never preclude us from covering a story properly. SGA did a good job, it was big news and it go proper play. Well done.
And, here we have another sports story on pi. Well, it was even bigger than the other story and the fact we had the word "Madness" on the front page attracted many readers who did not realize that Division II had its own version of "March Madness." Page 2 had its usual standing columns and there is not much to say, except "good job." Adrian's column on gaming was interesting. We should consider making it a regular feature. Pages 3 and 4 had some good stories, but they were not well-written. The TV2 story should have been more powerful. Both pages, however, were very "newsy" and it shows we are trying to cover the campus as well as we can.
The Ed-Ops page had a great cartoon by Robert Pena as the ol' A&I logo is scolding the new A&M logo. Ha. This is not necessarily true, but it gets the point told very well and coincides well with our editorial below. As for Nndy's column, well, I agree with it. It's daily newspaper level quality. Really! The Athletic Fees editorial also very well done and researched. Nice page. Sports has some very solid stories and excellent pictures. Again, my grip, run at least one photo BIG!
Pages 7-8 also have interesting stories.
KUDOs....that's hard this week. Everyone was working to get the stories in on time. KUDOs goes to Tania for her front page story and for working on improving our advertising.

KUDOs - March 3issue

The March 3 issue had a sports story on the front page. We usually don't do this, except for rare occasions. Is this a rare occasion? Well, we're back in the conference tournament after being absent one year....and we had a good lead photo to go with the story...and, well, it was a slow news week. Most of our news happened outside of our campus - like the death of Mary Kleberg and the action by the Kingsville City, basketball was our lead "campus" story. The only thing wrong was our headline, which was sort of grammatically incorrect. It should have said, "Basketball Team on Its Way." That being said, it was also a weak headline. We really need to work on our headlines. Oh, well. Kristie's story on the Rhode Hall bat situation was solid and cute (I don't like cute!) and added spice to the issue. The last section on pi was the teaser and therein lies a story all by itself. The teaser points to a "Gonzo-style" story on the Talent Show by Juan Carlos Reyes, our editor. Seems as if JC had a vested interest in this story because he was a participant. He lost, badly, according to the judges, but not according to JC. Now, I feel foolish 'cause I asked JC to do the "Gonzo-style" piece beforehand and felt it would be a good opportunity to continue our practice of using this type of article when the occasion called for it, and it seemed like this one did. Well, at any rate, it became another formidable confrontation between The South Texan and SGA. There is a lesson to be learned from this, and I am the one to blame for the controversy. While there is nothing wrong with Gonzo-style reporting and it is in fact an accepted standard of journalism and has been for a long time, we are not an "alternative newspaper." That being said, when our readers see this type of reporting, they misunderstand our purpose. It's not a column, it's not an editorial and it's not even an analysis. So, why the commentary and personal reporting? Well, the lesson is this: whenever we are covering an event in which we plan to do a Gonzo piece, we must also plan to have a solid news story. If you look at page 3 and read JC's piece, I think you will agree with me. The photo spread accompanying the Gonzo piece makes it look as if it's straight reporting. It's not...thus the confusion. Add to this the fact that JC blasted some of the members involved in his MySpace page, and you further complicate the situation. JC should not have done this and this is his personal mistake. That being said, witnesses at the talent show did say that JC should have placed in the top 3. He didn't, but that still doesn't excuse us not covering the event properly and with class, dignity and respect for all involved. We didn't do this and this truly saddened me and gave me some sleepless nights. Next time, however, we know better and if you are ever in a similar situation you now know what to do. I won't go into it, but SGA also had some blame here....they, too, were lacking class, dignity and respect in this instance and it continued for several days when they confronted us about the story. This, too, saddened me, but I didn't lose sleep over it since we at The South Texan now expect these attacks.
Speaking of classy, Page 2 was full of "good stuff" with Bob's and Serbrina's "Green Tip of the Week" , Katrina's and Savannah's "Jav-A-Style" and Erika's column. Very nice. I think this was our best page this issue.
On Page 3, nice photos and an interesting Gonzo piece by JC make this page very readable. Tania's Black History Month coverage also deserves mention.
The Ed-Ops page was attractive and had some very poignant issues, including a guest column by TAMUK Foundation Board Member Hector Farias. This Forum is a good example of the editors making a decision to run a "letter to the editor" which was too long. Every time we to this, however, we must understand that the other side also deserves to be heard and when the other side sends in their forum, they will be given "equal time." It's only fair. On this occasion, we had tried several time to hear the other side but the other side never responded to our comments. Wow, we had two letters-to-the-editor. This is a solid
editorial page.....nice layout, too.
Sports had some great photos. Sabrina Reyna, good job. Guys, next time we have some good photos let's run one BIG. Okay? Remember...BAPs.
This brings us to the last page.....superb job by Edwin Vasquez with the photos and story. Very well done and very strong. It's worthy of KUDOs. Edwin, congratulations.

KUDOs - Feb. 24 issue

This was a very "newsy" issue with a solid front page in one the most important moments of the 21st century in TAMUK - Dr. Steven Tallant's inauguration. We covered this story well with a solid story by our editor and a good color photo spread in the back page. On Page 2, "The Green Tip of the Week" was really good. Thank you. Bob. Edwin also had a solid story on Chuy Negrete's visit. And, that Erika, wow! Katrina had two solid stories, one on Javapalooza and another on the Bell Tower, according to the bylines. Opinions was again solid. Nndy's "The reasoning behind Black History Month" is certainly powerful. Sports again solid. A good, small 6-page paper. Solid in several ways. As for KUDOs, we go with Nndy this week. Congratulations.

KUDOs - Feb. 17 issue

An interesting issue with an interesting BAP on page one and a quality story on Michael Nava make this edition of The South Texan, well, an interesting one. If that wasn't enough, the Foundation story by Jaime on pi was excellent. Quality reporting like that is hard to find, but Jaime found a way. This story is not over....we will be reporting more on this issue and Jaime should be on top of it. . . . . On pi, it was also good to see the brief on Tallant's inauguration. I still think that we missed an opportunity here by not playing this up bigger in the last two issues. Carlos and Angela also had good stories. Page 2 was solid with one of the most interesting Green Tip of the Week. Well done, Robert C. Pena. Erika's column again is interesting. She has great potential. Focus on Us, still lame. Juan Carlos Reyes' take on author Michael Nava's visit to the campus was solid and the photo very interesting. I also enjoyed Adrian Trevino's "Gonzo piece" on "Singled Out." While I don't encourage Gonzo-style journalism, we need to take advantage of opportunities to "practice it" and Adrian did a good job with this piece. Ha, he did better with the journalism work than with his chances on "Singled Out!" Juan Carlos continued his busy and well-done work with his Black History article on Dr. Angela Stallworth. The Ed-Ops Page was solid with a great editorial cartoon and a very provocative column by Nndy Oheri. The editorial on the proposed sports fee, while not solid, makes a good point. It's silly to spend money on sports with the economy in the shape it is in and also with the prospects of increasing student fees with this and other proposals for our university. Jaime's column is also well done. While the ed-ops page was a lot of fun for its column and editorial, the most fun were the two letters. Ha. Sprinklers....really." Sports had good action photos, good writing and solid stats....all essential for a good sports page. The Espanol page was well designed and well-written. Thank you Edwin. Edwin and JC each wrote four stories for this issue. Yes, indeed, a solid little issue. Pi carried it well. As for KUDOs, well I don't know. At this point I would say it goes to Edwin and J.C.

Friday, March 13, 2009

FEb. 10 Kudos

This was an excellent issue with good photography, good reporting and decent layout. Page 1 set the scene with the coverage of the nearby Kingsville fire by Greg Stelfox. Greg took excellent pictures and we were able to run three of them. The picture of the cross amidst the burned debris is excellent and the photo of the inferno that was a series of houses also shows the ferocity of the fire. I wish we had shown more of the cross and run the photo bigger, but space constraints and breaking news stories kept us from that. Speaking breaking news stories, Jaime Gonzalez's story on the TAMUK scholarships being safe for now was very well done. Jaime tracked down some sources from the TAMUK Foundation and he and J.C. Reyes talked to President Tallant about the consequences of funding these scholarships to be able to come up with a solid story. Well done Jaime. J.C., thanks for the help. Kristie Vela's " batty story" sprung up at the last minute and was covered well. J.C. also did a very good story on the name controversy. In short, a solid and crisp page 1 loaded with news and information and just the right graphics. Angela did a very good job with layout considering the amount of news we had for pi.
Page 2 was a well-designed, again. The standing features - Green Thing and Things Your Mama - are starting to look crisp and permanent. JC's review on "The Boss" was well done. The only thing wrong here was the "Focus on Us" photo. Again, we have people's behinds. Why? Perhaps it's time to abandon this feature. Good campus news on page 4-5. We need to do more of this type of reporting the every day events of our campus. Opinions was a wonderful mix of opinions and columns and, I must say, quite readable. Kristie's column is sure to draw some controversy. Wow Kristie, that took some courage. JC, sprinklers....really? Sports had one great photo by Greg Stelfox and good coverage. Jav-A-Stats help. Mark Molina and Adriana Trevino (albeit with some help from the old pros JC and Jaime) combined for a g ood story on recruits. Nice graphic, also. The features page on the "Hardy Man" as a good touch. Perhaps it was a bit much, but it was the introductory article and I think it's well done. Jav-a-Style should be a keeper, but I'm not sure if every week should be the norm. Try every other week? Katrina and Savannah did a good job with this. As for KUDOs, this week it goes to four staffers who contributed significant articles to our publication. The winners are Adrian Trevino, Mark Molina, Katrina Alejandro and Savannah Martinez. Well done and congratulations.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

KUDOs Feb. 3 issue

This is an excellent issue with a good front page and an excellent spread on Super Bowl. The sports writing class from both TAMUK and the System Center San Antonio did an excellent job. There are many students to thank for this but suffice it to say that some of the work was of daily newspaper quality. Page 1 was well-designed. However, I had a problem with the "tudent Fees Increase" headline. It should have said something about the SUB design. Another weak point on page 1 was the "Celebrating Tallant" should have been a bigger spread and had more play. Bob did a good job with the interactive survey. I wish it would have reproduced better on our paper. Bob, excellent work. Page 2 saw a continuation of the Green Tip. I predict this will be one of the most read features for our paper by the end of the semester. Bob and Serbrina, again, are doing an excellent job. And, speaking of excellent, Ericka Hernandez may be the new Abigail, as in Dear Abby. Well done, page 2. Page 3 is a little weak, but has a functional layout. The "gaming" column has potential....god job Adrian. Pages 4-5 (the Super Bowl spread) is excellent. Good writing, decent layout (the Boss) and good opinion columns. But, I really think the best thing about this layout is the art work by is award-winning material. Thanks again, Bob. The sports section was its excellent well-written self on pages 6.. Watch the headline...don't split up the score. The editorial page had two excellent columns - one by Jaime Gonzalez and the other by Serbrina Reyna......These style of quality columns will go a long way to help us win awards. Good job, Serbrina. Page 8 was a continuation of the Super Bowl stories. All in this section were well done. I really enjoyed Katrina's column and Carlos and Sasha's analysis was well done. And now we come to the selection of the KUDOs award. In an issue that had so much good writing, it's ironic that the person who gets the award would be an artist. Bob, because of his work on the green story and also the design for the Super Bowl graphic gets the award. Good job, as always, Bob...keep it up.