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.