Monday, March 15, 2010

Review of March 9 issue

We had a major accomplishment last week as produced another edition of The South Texan. We changed from Quark to InDesign. Thanks to Angela Palacios and Mr. Fisher for helping us in this transition. The transition is good because PDFs in InDesign result in a better quality print job. The issue March 9 was crisp and vivid. We are going to stay with InDesign from now on. Angela and Amanda will help us continue to progress with this change. This is important because many of the nation's newspapers, magazines and advertising/public relations firms are now using this desktop publishing tool for a majority of their products. It helps all of our students to say they are familiar with InDesign. Good luck!

The transition was not without its problems, however. As we learned the new program, the time it consumed led to us missing deadlines both on stories and layouts. We barely made deadline and we also did not have a chance to properly proof read our edition. The result, many errors, too many. We will have to do better.

Now, for a page-by-page critique:

Page 1 - Well, first of all let's talk about what we didn't do on page 1. We did not have a story on Spring Fling. This was a major mistake. It's a big story for our students and we just proved to them that they don't have to read the paper to find out what's going on at TAMUK. I know, we did have shorts on it the prior week and even this week, but that's not enough. Now, the coverage on page 1 was very good with the story on the voting, fee increases, Black Heritage Month banquet, car show and Battle of the Bands. The layout and headlines, however, left something to be desired. I liked the "Community News" label but we had a "label head" (a headline that states the obvious) for a very important story. Why? Headlines should GRAB the reader's attention. This was more boring than my grandma hemming her dress in her front porch. And, one of my pet peeves, we did not have a BAP. Why? Oh, never mind, just fix it.

Page 2 - We had a nice ad for TAMUK Roundhouse Movie Club, but that's about it. This is very "so what" page. Too many jumps, not enough substance. Just disappointing.

Page 3 - I know Edwin is very proud of his work, but does he have to have his byline in 14 point? Ha. This is a nice page, layoutwise. Still, there is no BAP. Why? All pages must have at least a BAP! The story are well done. All four stories by Edwin. There is something wrong here. Where are out other reporters? That's embarrassing.

Page 4 - This was one of our better pages, with the exception of the white-on-black revers. The type has to be bigger and bolder. And, we had too many "staff reports." Why? Where are our reporters? And, we ran the wrong story for the ADDYs. Why? We had our own story and it was in the server. Also, why didn't we take pictures of our students with their awards? Why? Okay, the layout was good and the photo at the bottom of the page was sharp. The only thing wrong at the bottom was the dog leg. No dog legs in the layout, please!!!!

Page 5 - It would be difficult to mess up this page. It was a full-page ad. How could we have messed it up? Easy, misspell "Advertisement" on top. Are you kidding me? And, to make matters worse, we did not place the ad in the PDF and now we are not going to get paid. Are you kidding me? Oh, and the mistake at the top with the misspelling is reason enough for us not to get paid at all. Please....every page must be spell-checked. Please! And, I don't like to beg.

Page 6 - Nice. Good columns and strong editorial with an okay cartoon. It's okay overall.

Page 7 - Jaime did a good job of laying out this page. So, why am I not happy? Simple, we have the biggest sports staff in the state and, with the exception of Jaime's column, not a single story was written by our staff. Let's see we have Mark, Artie, Allen, Cody, Jaime, Dondi, Drew and assorted others on the staff. WHY THE HELL CAN'T WE WRITE A SPORTS STORY FROM OUR STAFF. WHY????? I read the Del Mar College paper. They have no sports, but they cover intramurals. They cover it well. They cover it better than we cover pinche baseball y softball. Why? Mark, por favor, make out assignments or just step down as sports editor. We need you to be a leader and we need you to cover stuff on your own or assign it to someone else. Please help us better. Please. And, I don't like to bet.

Page 8 - Perhaps our best page, but now we have a pinche cadet writing stuff for us, why? Why can't we report on stuff ourselves? Why? Claudia's story was good and we have another story by Edwin. Wow. Bueno, we move on.....I think we can do better. What do you think?

As for KUDOs, this is hard. We had some good things happen, and yet we had many mistakes. We had some good writing (oh, sorry, most of it wasn't ours). What I did find was five stories by Edwin and two stories by Claudia. Michael, Mary Beth and Katherine each had one story. Allen had a story and a column. Jaime had a column and a editorial. The rest was very, very weak. Amanda, you have to start writing at least two stories an issue for us to have quality coverage. We also need to spread out the news better.......

So, who gets KUDOs? It has to be Edwin and Claudia. Congrats guys for a job well done.

As for online, the award, it will go to our accounts manager, Jennifer Garcia. She has done an outstanding job of expanding our advertising to our online site. Way to go.

Bueno, we can do better. . . . . . .

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