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.