Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bernsen blogs, deploys

An update from James Bernsen '94, received this morning:


In a couple of hours, I depart to Kuwait, en route to my year-long deployment in Iraq.

Here’s the link to my blog: www.aalan94.blogspot.com

There you can find updates on what I’m doing and about life in Iraq. I’ve already posted some on my experiences at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Job survey: Web producer jobs

Gleaned from journalismjobs.com:

Special feature: Web producer jobs. These were found under "Producer," a search that also turns up lots of various broadcast jobs, but I'm sticking to an online theme this time.

The New York Times is seeking producers for food/wine and home/garden content as well as travel/real estate content ... Washingtonpost.com seeks a part-time sports news producer; news judgment, understanding of sports news and "facility with online editing and publishing tools" required ... The New York Times seeks a home page producer to work with editors and watch the wires to update the home page, create packages and layouts, crop and tone photos, write headlines and captions in NYT style; "demonstrable passion for journalism," experience running a home page and knowledge of HTML, CSS, Photoshop among the requirements... The Baltimore Sun seeks a news producer, requiring background in editing/reporting and HTML/Photoshop knowledge ... Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeks online producers, bachelor's in journalism or related field preferred ... The Washington Times seeks a content producer ...

Orlando Sentinel wants a content producer to oversee communities, sports and special projects parts of the Web site and notes these jobs are more tightly integrated with the newsroom now ... The Roanoke (Va.) Times is looking for a multimedia producer to shoot, produce and post a video presentation of the news every day ... The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel seeks an associate content producer to update the site overnight; previous writing or editing required; previous online experience preferred. Also, Smithsonian Magazine is seeking an unpaid Web production intern (well, you get $750) to help launch Smithsonian.com.

In regular job news, here's a mid-August Texas roundup:

The Houston Chronicle seeks a managing editor ... the Dallas Morning News seeks an assistant government editor to lead a cluster of five reporters (with a "recognition of the Web's importance"), and an enterprise education reporter ...

The Amarillo Globe-News seeks a page designer and will consider recent graduates ... The Beaumont Enterprise seeks a features reporter ... The Waco Tribune-Herald needs a copy editor, notes that it's transitioning to a universal copy desk and says applicants "should not be afraid of editing sports copy" (hey -- I've done it and it scared me) ... The Texarkana Gazette needs a reporter ... the Killeen Daily Herald (hi Candace!) seeks a features editor and a GA/cops reporter ... the Temple Daily Telegram is looking for a managing editor, journalism degree required, with 5 years daily newspaper experience who can manage and motivate staff ... The Terrell Tribune needs a reporter, salary $25,000-$30,000, and so does the Kerrville Daily Times, salary $20,000-$25,000 ... Del Rio News Herald needs a staff writer/designer and a sports writer/designer.

The Round Rock Leader, a thrice-weekly, seeks a reporter who knows Quark and can shoot their own photos, salary $20,000-$25,000 ... the Colorado County Citizen (Columbus) seeks a managing editor to write, shoot and lay out pages, salary $20,000-$25,000 ... the Moore County News-Press (Dumas) seeks a sports reporter.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Roland Martin '91 hosts CNN special Monday

Tune in! Thank you to Roland for the heads-up:

CNN’s Roland Martin Hosts “God, Sex and Greed” on Monday Aug. 20

Excerpt of CNN’s God’s Warriors to air during special

CNN’s Roland Martin tackles the issue of some societies’ insatiable appetite for money, lust and power in an hour-long special airing at 8 p.m. (ET) on Monday, Aug. 20, “God, Sex and Greed” leading up to the premiere of CNN’s God’s Warriors on airing Tuesday, Aug. 22 through Thursday Aug. 24 from 9 p.m. to 11p.m. (ET).

Martin will explore whether or not modern society is caught up in such lust and greed that eclipses its spirituality with diverse guests including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Author Irshad Manji, Dr. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Martin will examine the decadent trappings of American society and the historic role of religion in our culture. Hedge fund manager Timothy Sykes along with adult film star Savanna Samson will provide their unique perspective on society’s views of greed and sexuality.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

FJSA Fall Reception to be held Sept. 29

The date's been set:

3:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 29 (kickoff of the Baylor game is at 6 p.m.)
In the Stark Galleries, MSC (next to the Flag Room)

A distinguished former student will be honored, current students will be on hand, FJSA types and those interested in getting more involved can meet and schmooze. Also the whole shebang is quite close to the shiny new Batt newsroom, which is worth a tour. (It's in 032 MSC, near the Frame Shop.)

Read about last year's honoree and reception at FJSA.com

More details TK. Watch this space...

Texas papers by circulation

I couldn't Google up a list of Texas papers sorted by circulation, so I made one, in hopes it can serve as a resource for people seeking to get oriented. This is by no means all the newspapers in Texas; it's mostly TDNA member papers. For all 524 paid-circulation Texas newspapers, sorted alphabetically, go to the TPA database and search for "all" with a blank search field.

If you'd like to be listed as a contact for your newspaper (somebody willing to help students or other prospective Aggie applicants with general background info or advice), just e-mail
, and thank you!

Circulations and intern contact e-mails are as reported to TDNA unless asterisked. Format is (Sunday/daily).

(#X) is paper's position in 200 largest newspapers nationwide according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

(#11) Houston Chronicle (692,557/518,819) Hearst. Intern contact
(#15) Dallas Morning News (649,709/475,488) Belo. Aggie contact
(#35) San Antonio Express-News (349,842/228,633) Hearst.
(#39) Fort Worth Star-Telegram (321,322/222,476) McClatchy.
(#54) Austin American-Statesman (222,644/179,570) Cox. Aggie contact / Intern contact
(#140) El Paso Times (90,753/73,430) Media News Group.
(#156) Corpus Christi Caller-Times (71,273/51,705) Scripps.
Amarillo Globe-News (62,378/50,065) Morris.
(#190) Lubbock Avalanche Journal (59,461/51,132) Morris.
(McAllen) The Monitor (56,457/48,876) Freedom Communications.
(#200) Beaumont Enterprise (55,968/50,324) Hearst. Intern contact
Waco Tribune-Herald (50,000/41,000) Cox. Intern contact
Tyler Morning Telegraph (44,407/38,850) T.B. Butler Publishing.
Abilene Reporter-News (39,944/31,157) Scripps.
Victoria Advocate (35,486/33,863) Victoria Advocate Publishing Co.
Wichita Falls Times Record News (34,836/30,772) Scripps. Intern contact
Longview News-Journal
(34,627/29,174) Cox.
Texarkana Gazette (32,444/30,836) WEHCO Media.
San Angelo Standard-Times (30,032/26,057) Scripps.
(Harlingen) Valley Morning Star (29,500/24,500) Freedom Communications.
Odessa American (28,883/26,182) Freedom Communications.
Bryan-College Station Eagle (28,865/26,270) Evening Post Publishing. Aggie contact
Galveston County Daily News (27,382/27,361) Galveston Newspapers. Aggie contact
Killeen Daily Herald (24,514/18,808) Mayborn Enterprises.
Sherman/Denison Herald Democrat (23,927/23,000) Stephens Media.
Midland Reporter-Telegram (23,403/19,781) Hearst.
Laredo Morning Times (23,369/20,993) Hearst.
Temple Telegram (23,300/20,300) Mayborn Enterprises.
Brownsville Herald (19,764/17,636) Freedom Newspapers. Intern contact
(Clute) The Facts (17,669/17,392) Southern Newspapers.
Lufkin Daily News (17,538/14,423) Cox.
Port Arthur News (17,001/15,186) Community Newspaper Holdings. Intern contact
Denton Record-Chronicle (16,345/13,366) Belo.
Conroe Courier (12,300/11,200) Houston Community Newspapers.
Paris News (12,000/11,000 Southern Newspapers.
Pasadena Citizen (11,082/20,049) Houston Community Newspapers.
Baytown Sun (10,880/10,540) Southern Newspapers. Intern contact
(Nacogdoches) The Daily Sentinel (10,858/9,100) Cox.
Kerrville Daily Times (10,446/8,879) Southern Newspapers.
New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (9,886/8,099) Southern Newspapers.
(Greenville) Herald Banner (8,500/7,800) Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Marshall News Messenger (8,200/7,000) Cox.
(Rosenberg) Fort Bend Herald (8,149/7,766) Hartman Newspapers. Intern contact
Palestine Herald-Press (8,050/7,150) Community Newspaper Holdings.
Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (7,590/5,750) Echo Publishing.
San Marcos Daily Record (7,500/5,600) Community Newspaper Holdings.
Brownwood Bulletin (7,230/5,601) American Consolidated Media.
Cleburne Times-Review (7,225/6,300) Community Newspaper Holdings.
Henderson Daily News (7,206/6,039) Hartman Newspapers.
Corsicana Daily Sun (7,100/6,500) Newspaper Holdings Inc.
McKinney Courier-Gazette (6,644/6,114) American Community Newspapers.
(Brownsville) El Nuevo Heraldo (6,638*/7,776*) Freedom Newspapers.
The Huntsville Item (6,560/5,677) Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Gainesville Daily Register (6,500/5,500) Community First Holdings
Seguin Gazette-Enterprise (6,278/6,038) Southern Newspapers. Intern contact
Weatherford Democrat (6,249/5,603) Community Newspaper Holdings.
Terrell Tribune (6,200/6,200) Met Publishing. Intern contact
Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune (6,000/5,300) Palmer Media.
Snyder Daily News (6,000/4,950) Snyder Publishing Co.
Brenham Banner-Press (5,957/5,957) Brenham Banner Press LLP. Intern contact
Plainview Daily Herald (5,907/5,199) Hearst.
Orange Leader (5,844/5,189) Community Newspaper Holdings.
Borger News-Herald (5,798/5,137) Horizon Publications.
Waxahachie Daily Light (5,626/5,004) American Consolidated Media.
Athens Daily Review (5,304/4,961) Community Newspaper Holdings.
The Pampa News (5,200/4,700) Gray County Newspapers.
Big Spring Herald (5,200/4,400) Horizon Publications.
Taylor Daily Press (5,200) Granite Publications.
Del Rio News Herald (5,188/4,889) Southern Newspapers.
Stephenville Empire-Tribune (4,500/4,375) American Consolidated Media.
Vernon Daily Record (4,500/4,100) North Central Texas Publishing Co.
Alice Echo-News (4,450/3,925) American Consolidated Media.
Sweetwater Reporter (4,276/3,275) Horizon Publications.
The Hereford Brand (4,200/3,400) Roberts Publishing Co.
Kilgore News Herald (4,010/3,360) Bluebonnet Publishing.
Ennis Daily News (3,930/3,930) Ellis County Newspapers, Inc.
Jacksonville Daily Progress (3,900/3,600) Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Mineral Wells Index (3,500/3,330) CNHI Community Newspaper Holdings.
(Marble Falls) The River City Daily Tribune (3,406) Victory Publishing.
Mexia Daily News (2,600) Community First Newspapers.
Pecos Enterprise (2,225*) Buckner News Alliance.

Sources: Texas Daily Newspaper Association 2007 directory, the Texas Press Association's online database and this list.

Starting a new beat: Resources

The entry-level opening at the newspaper you want may not be a beat you're experienced with. Before you interview or as you're getting settled in, these links can help you get to thinking along new lines.

Cops and courts: Ten solid tips on getting started and a list of useful links here. Poynter's NewsU offers a free online course: On the Beat: Covering Cops and Crime. Also see the Criminal Justice Journalists' guide to "Covering Crime and Justice."

Education reporter: Find a guide to Standards for Education Reporters and briefs on major issues here from the National Education Writers Association. And here's one basic, but practical walkthrough on getting and using data.

City council: View material from the Western Knight Center's seminar on "Game Plan for Covering City Hall." Among tidbits: Spreadsheets are your friend, and secretaries should be. Also read more about investigating local government and writing about budgets. Some tips on getting to know your community here.

Working any beat: Some general advice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Out standing in their fields

Important update: Join our LinkedIn group for an even longer list of Aggie journalism grads and students.

Current students -- Stay in touch! When you graduate, send us your info.

Former students -- Rat out your friends! Tell us of your Aggie compadres' whereabouts.

(Boilerplate: Information is not posted or given out without the individual's approval. If you want to reach somebody on the list, e-mail us and we can forward your message. Please report any misuse of this information. This list exists solely to assist
Texas A&M journalism students and former students and the Student Media of Texas A&M.)

Please send to aggiejournalists@gmail.com: Name, employer/position, any personal info you might want to include. Also, mention whether you would like to receive the aggiejournalists monthly e-mail.


Marissa Alanis '99 Staff writer/news assistant, Dallas Morning News, malanis (at) dallasnews.com or malanis_77 (at) hotmail.com

Holly Becka '91 Staff writer, Dallas Morning News, hbecka (at) dallasnews.com

Kelly Brown '89 Managing Editor, Bryan-College Station Eagle, kelly.brown (at) theeagle.com

Amy Chism, Marketing and Communications Rep at Memorial Hermann in Houston

Reagon Clamon '93 Co-owner, Leader News in Lytle

John Churchill '91 Manager, Internal Communications, Alcon Laboratories phoenix4 (at) hotmail.com

Brady Creel '03 Writer-editor, media designer and Webmaster, A&M University Writing Center; wedding/freelance photographer

Cyndy Davis '84 Strategic Staffing Consultant with Microsoft

Kristal Goehring '06, public relations, Hill & Knowlton/account executive, kristalgoehring (at) yahoo.com

Carol Meyer Hartzog, '78, Owner, Carol Hartzog Communications. Specialize in media relations, public relations and community relations. Oklahoma City area. carol (at) hartzogbiz.com or chartzog100 (at) aol.com

Jay Janner '91 Staff photographer, Austin American-Statesman jjanner (at) statesman.com

Roland S. Martin '91 CNN contributor, special correspondent for Essence magazine, Creators Syndicate columnnist, host of 'Roland S. Martin Show' WVON-AM/1690 Chicago, TV One commentator roland (at) rolandsmartin.com

Paul McGrath '78
Assistant news editor, Houston Chronicle superag1 (at) yahoo.com

Stew Milne '94 Freelance photojournalist, Providence, RI

Michael Mulvey '90 Sports/Business Photo Editor, Dallas Morning News

Julie Myers '91 Co-owner, Leader News in Lytle

Harvie Nachlinger '70 Instructor, Broadcast Journalism, University of South Carolina

Jeff Osborne '92 Assistant city editor, Waco Tribune-Herald

Sue Owen Whaley '94 Features copy chief, Austin American-Statesman aggiejournalists@gmail.com

Douglas Pils '92 Night Sports Editor/Sunday Page 2 writer, San Antonio Express-News dpils (at) express-news.net or dougpils (at) aol.com

Michael Plumer '94 Vice President, Lockton Dunning Benefits Company mplumer (at) lockton.com

Dr. Douglas Starr, Texas A&M AGCJ professor, teaching copy editing, news writing/print and broadcast, PR principles and practices

Ken Sury '86 Community editor, Waco Tribune-Herald

Richard Tijerina '91
Deputy sports editor, Austin American-Statesman rtijerina (at) statesman.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Q&A with a Web editor: Austin American-Statesman

Statesman.com editor Kristi Kingston, one of my colleagues here at the paper who has to put up with me on a daily basis, kindly agreed to answer some of my pesky questions about the job of a Web content producer (at least here at the Statesman) and what she looks for when hiring (which, currently, she is - hiring, that is). Thank you, Kristi!

What is the job of a Web content producer in our newsroom? What does a Web content producer do during their shift, what kinds of shifts are worked; what are the actual tasks carried out? What software or languages do Web content producers typically use?

Serves as the site's news and wire editor (posting stories, making decisions about story and art display, writing headlines and cutlines)
Responds to breaking news (in some cases planning for breaking news)
Builds out centerpieces and packages using photos, graphics, video and other multimedia
Suggests and builds content for the site (multimedia, reader-submitted, etc.)

Web producers most typically use:

Content management system
HTML editing software

I know that you said you'd rather have people who can learn than people with any particular skills. But if you had two candidates in front of you, both were smart, both had journalism backgrounds, but one of them had experience with certain Web-related applications and publishing methods, you'd hire that one, right? What would those skills be? Or are the needs simply changing so fast that it's moot?

For technical skills, I would take the person with HTML (CSS) and other programming languages, strong Photoshop skills and experience with content management systems.

But increasingly the needs are on multimedia skills, particularly Flash, and javascript (for scripting in Flash and elsewhere) and databases.

You said that you'd absolutely require a journalism background. Can you tell me a little more about what you'd consider to be a sufficient background in journalism, and why it's so crucial?

A solid understanding of the principles and ethics of good journalism (and good taste).
A solid understanding of libel laws and the ability to spot it.
Headline, cutline and editing skills.

There are plenty of folks out there with the technical skills to do the mechanics of the job, but it is much harder to teach news judgment. That is something that is developed over time. We could easily convert our site to Us Weekly and see page views skyrocket. We walk a fine line between hard news and entertainment. That old saying "you have to know the rules to break the rules" applies.

These journalism skills do not guarantee a good content producer. They are a minimum. You also have to have someone who is highly organized, able to multitask, responds well to deadline pressure and has the ability to spot a good story when they see it.

Statesman seeks Web content producer

If you’re interested in this position, contact Kristi Kingston, kkingston (at) statesman.com. See the post above for an interview with her about the job of a Web content producer, what she looks for and why. (The interview predates this opening and was not intended to be specifically about this job, but as you’ll see quite a lot of it applies!)

Statesman.com is seeking a full-time content producer to help steer site coverage through the early afternoon and mid-evening hours. We are seeking someone who is committed to growing readership and has a good understanding of the differences between print and Web audiences.

The producer serves as the site's news and wire editor, responds to breaking news, and builds content for the site. An interest in learning or experience with multimedia programs and databases is preferred. This position would be Monday through Friday.

Background and experience:

— Four to six years in newspaper and Web publishing environments

— Previous work in technical programs, demonstrating an aptitude for learning technical programs


— Excellent organization skills and the ability to simultaneously juggle multiple projects at once

— Strong editing skills (sensitivity to libel, ability to quickly write headlines and cutlines, knowledge of AP style)

— Familiarity with design concepts (either through formal training or practice), with experience in Photoshop

— Experience working quickly and accurately in times of intense pressure

— Initiative, tenacity and diplomacy. You will have ample opportunity to demonstrate these qualities

— Solid understanding of HTML and CSS

— Knowledge of Flash, audio and video editing software, databases preferred