Sunday, March 15, 2009

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.

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