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.

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