Saturday, February 27, 2010

Critique for Feb. 23 issue

Much work went into this issue, but I was disappointed with several venues. First, we had a breaking news story with the death of our student in the car crash. Had I not insisted that someone get updates, this story would not have been done. There was reluctance all around to call the Kingsville Police Department and the hospital on the update of the student and there still is reluctance now as we have yet to update the story online. This is poor journalism in the digital age nd just sloppy reporting. I also had some problems with layout and design, in particular for pi and for the Spanish page. Still, it was a good effort. I saw many students,faculty and staff picking up our newspaper which was full of important and pertinent information Now, here is a page-by-page review:

Page 1: Nice use of art and solid front-page story, albeit without updates on status of survivor (they were much needed). Also, we're quoting the Caller-Times.YUK! We do our own reporting. Please, don't be lazy and please don't be scared to call these sources for updates. Amanda, Jaime, Angela you have to lead when these type of stories occur. The photo of the Bears is nice,but what happened to our "Top Story" designation? Amanda, as editor you have to "designate" the story which is the "Top Story." If this is not working and we're not comfortable with it, let's stop this now. Also, the "Early morning crash" and "KTAI celebrates" headlines are competing for attention. Make one bigger than the other. Finally,we are not modular. The "TAMUK makes top 50" headline must line-up with something. Overall, a good effort (not great) on this page. Solid stories. All were well done. All were pertinent. Thanks.

Page 2: This is a very busy and confusing page. What happened to "Blotter?" We need this every week. Please make sure we get this. The "By the Day" feature also needs some way to stand alone and our readers to find easily. Perhaps a screen here would work. Not pleased, sorry.

Page 3: Solid modular layout and one decent photo with some very good reporting make this page palatable from a "Campus News" standard. Still, every story must have a photo. We needed a photo of Dr. Vargas and his book, for example. And, we probably need a photo with the Gottschalk address. Still, nice. Thanks.

Page 4: A good e-ops page. Interesting columns and commentary (you go Michael). Enjoyed the KUDOS editorial. Is this catching on? Should we give certificates and put it on web? Help me think here. Of course, no one reads this so...I'll figure it out later.

Page 5: Best sports page of semester. Good layout. Nice "strong" photos. Still, what's missing is that we used a "staff reports" for the most important story of the week - Soza's 1000 point story. What should we have done? Mark, you should have interviewed the girl and had a solid feature with quotes and a past history. Are you scared to interview people? She's only a girl. Why can't we have "real" quotes from her in the most important accomplishment of her life and one of the all-time performances in Javelina women's basketball history? Mark, please do better on these type of stories.

Page 6: Spanish page layout is very, very poor. Two long vertical columns split the page in half and then the color makes it look even more awkward. A horizontal modular approach would have been much better here. Edwin, try to do this next time, please. This is very disappointing.

Overall? A good job. Many people stepped up to the front this week in spite of several misgivings. There was good work all around, but KUDOs for print should go to Michael Bolman who is "just there" smiling for everything and never complains. Michael had a pi story, covered the South Africa story and had an outstanding column. Good job Michael. Congratulations.

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