Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Job openings in Victoria

Being circulated at A&M by request of the editor:

Position: Variety of journalists wanted: Join our quest to be the best
Company: Victoria Advocate
Location: Texas
Job Status: Full-time
Ad Expires: June 3, 2007
Job ID: 771782

Multimedia editor, copy editors, graphics editors, news and sports reporters, photojournalists and front-line editors wanted.
While most of the industry is mired in a downward spiral, we're a progressive, family-owned company that sees the opportunities for growth. We're on a quest to be one of the best community newspapers and digital delivery systems in the country.
You're the right person if you can help us get there. Must be comfortable telling and producing stories in multiple platforms. Ability to speak Spanish a plus. We're a 34,000-circulation daily in south Texas about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. We're close to the beach and the big, fun cities of Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Houston. To join our team, send your résumé, work samples and cover letter to the Victoria Advocate, attention Editor Chris Cobler, at either ccobler@vicad.com or mail to 311 E. Constitution, Victoria, TX 77901. When applying, mention you saw this opening listed at JournalismJobs.com. Job ads copyrighted by JournalismJobs.com - (c) 1998-2006.

To find out more about this job, go to:

Monday, May 28, 2007

Covering the military: James W. Crawley '78

For Memorial Day, as we honor those who have died in our nation's service, I offer a link to the stories of military reporter James W. Crawley '78, an A&M journalism grad who is a national correspondent for Media General and the president of Military Reporters and Editors. Previously he was chief military reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Among his experiences:
For Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was embedded with the Marines’ 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, covering the war from the border berm to Baghdad. He also reported on Operation Enduring Freedom from several naval warships in the Arabian Sea.

Among recent stories (there's a list at the bottom of his bio):

Test your Military Quotient

Admiral says time is short to turn tide in Iraq

Veteran ranks thin in Congress

Wars wearing down Air Force

Guardsmen keep the peace in 'forgotten' Kosovo

FJSA committees need folks

Needed: Help with
  • Mentoring
  • Membership
  • Web site
  • Programs
  • PR
Contact me and I'll put you in touch with the right FJSA folks. The Former Journalism Students Association helps current journalism students at A&M and supports the journalism program. (Perhaps counterintuitively, it's not limited to former A&M journalism students! All welcome.)

Also, watch here for more info on the FJSA fall reception as that's finalized. It's typically a short get-together in the MSC two hours before a home football game. There's a little mingling, perhaps some snacks, and a prominent Aggie journalist is inducted into the Hall of Honor. Good chance to meet folks, including students, and get caught up on the progress of journalism education at A&M.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Owning your own paper: Julie Myers '91

Julie Myers '91 and her husband, Reagon Clamon '93, own the Leader News in Lytle (about 20 minutes south of the Riverwalk), serving Atascosa, Medina and southwest Bexar counties. (Its Web site is under construction)

Here's Julie:

We've owned this little start-up weekly outright since May 2002 when we bought out our last remaining partner. We began working here in November 1999 – four months after two friends of ours started it, and became one-third owners at that time. We love the freedom of pursuing whatever story we want and treating employees the way we always wanted to be treated (health insurance excepted, unfortunately), but find that trying to do journalism this way with small children at home is tough. Family comes first, newspaper second. I stay home with Molly, 2, and Luke, 5, will be a full-time kindergarten student in the fall of '07. I edit and format obituaries and a few other things from home.

We have five full-timers, counting Reagon who is the publisher, two who are almost full-time and a host of stringers, contract workers, etc. we depend on for a lot, not the least of which is enthusiasm. When ours is flagging, they pitch in mentally and physically. They're good as gold! One of them is an Aggie, too. Our editor, Shauna Lewis ('01), has been with us for almost five years!

We do some unorthodox things because we own it, and being a weekly gives us some flexibility that dailies don't have, such as giving everyone between a week, and week and a half off – paid (at least for full-timers) – at Christmastime because we print an edition ahead and just close the office. Our great distribution people come in while we're gone and take papers to the post office and newspaper racks. We know there are risks to that, but we're willing – for now – to risk missing a big story. So far we've been lucky. We hope what we can't offer in pay and other benefits is matched by our generous time-off policy and other perks of working with fun people like us and those we select, in part, based on our judgement of how well they will complement everyone else. We all get along pretty good, thanks to Reagon's steady hand on the rudder and my quaking shoulders when it gets scary (and it has from time to time).

For what it's worth, here are some things I thought were important when I was just starting out with a journalism degree and the few years afterward and what I've learned.

1. Awards.

They're nice, but they're also subjective. You should definitely enter your best work in contests for lots of reasons, but keep them in perspective. Just because you won doesn't mean you were the best and just because you didn't win doesn't mean you aren't doing a bang-up job. What do your readers/viewers think? Do they renew their subscriptions? Do you feel like you're contributing in a meaningful way that excites you (not scares you)? That's what counts.

2. Working at a metro.

C'mon, don't we all dream of this now and then if we aren't there already? When we first moved to this area from Lake Jackson about 12 years ago, I felt I was a good-enough reporter to work at the Express-News. I had worked two years at a respected mid-size daily preceded by two years at a tiny daily and won an award (see No. 1) that I thought would get my foot in the door, and it did. I interviewed with a newsroom editor for a "real" reporting job and ended up sweating over stories that ultimately appeared in the Express-News zoned editions and for which I was paid slave wages. Finally, tired of secretarial temping, I took a step down in expectations and a job as managing editor of a small weekly. I FOUND MY CALLING. I loved being able to put my stamp on a newspaper like that, and unlike my reporter years, I never got sleepy on the job. There was always something exciting I could do for a while when my energy was flagging instead of staring at pages or a computer screen. Eventually, Reagon and I ended up being co-publishers together there in Kerrville and had a blast! I haven't dreamed of working at a metro for years now. Small-town people need and deserve great, hard-hitting journalism as much as city-dwellers!

3. Getting involved.

Reagon has been the president of the chamber of commerce here in Lytle since at least 2003. My journalistic ethics were pretty rigid in college and still are (thank you A&M!). What he does would have been a definite no-no back then, but I've changed my mind on this one issue. Our town is a much better place for him taking that on. He is what was needed at the time. Lytle is a town of 2,300 people so there were few willing and able to step before a very skeptical business community and revive a chamber that had lived and died over and over again in the past. We know the risks, but they're worth it, for now.

4. A clear professional path.

Because both of us had journalism degrees and planned to work for newspapers, we soon realized it wouldn't be easy to be gainfully employed at the same time all the time or even in our profession because of employers' perceptions of the word nepotism and other fears about employing spouses or too-few openings for newspaper journalists in far-flung, rural areas. Partly because we often worked in different towns for different newspapers, we've moved 11 times in almost 15 years of marriage, which counts two months sleeping in my big brother's dining room and my parents' upstairs after Reagon got fired (let go?) in 2002, six weeks after our the birth of our first child. As the years went by, however, we just realized things were working out. We made decisions based on the best information we had at the time, talking a lot to each other and knowing when to seek advice outside ourselves. It doesn't seem complicated now, but it did 14 years ago. Now we look back and realize how everyone had a hand in getting us to where we are now, even the boss who fired Reagon (his only firing) who we thought we could never forgive. We have (and boy, were we bitter). We still party with him sometimes at Texas Press Association conventions. We may have him to thank more than anyone. Three months later, we owned this newspaper free and clear.

We do live a meager existence by the standards of most newspaper owners (or even school teachers or cops), but we live in a town we love, surrounded by a wonderful family and great people in the office and around town, and we have a lot of freedom to choose our own destiny. Life's good.

Job survey, late May

Multimedia interest: Appears to be exploding at the Houston Chronicle, where they are seeking a multimedia editor (basically an assigning photo editor for online video), videographer, online features editor (a manager who will develop online strategy and content) and online entertainment producer (a senior Web producer to develop entertainment channels). The Dallas Morning News needs a home page editor who will compose and update news and sports items; journalism degree or equivalent experience required.

The DMN is also seeking a travel editor and a copy chief/production director for Quick, its daily tab targeting readers 18-34; Rob Clark '96 is Quick's editor-in-chief.

Waxahachie Newspapers, a company I don't know anything about, is seeking a reporter and will consider recent college grads without daily experience... The Facts in Clute (on the coast) seeks reporters and says recent grads are welcome... The Progress Times in Mission seeks an editor who will also write... The McAllen Monitor and Temple Telegram each need a combination copy editor/designer.

Salary note: Texas Highways (the travel magazine from TXDoT; I'm a fan) needs a photo editor and lists the salary as $40,000-$45,000.

Source: Journalismjobs.com

Thursday, May 24, 2007

DeFrank's commencement address

Here are Tommy DeFrank's words to A&M graduates on May 11; there's some fun stuff in here about covering presidents, from A&M President Rudder (who fired him as Batt editor) to President Bush, and words of inspiration as well.

May 11, 2007
Ladies and gentlemen, members of the Class of 2007, it’s been my privilege as a reporter to address the last seven leaders of our country as “Mr. President.” But it’s infinitely more satisfying to be able to use those same words today to salute my friend and classmate, Ed Davis – a great educator, a better man, and a wonderful Aggie. This is none of my business, but as far as I’m concerned, somebody ought to do something about that “interim President” business right away.
After an introduction like that, EJ, I’m tempted to say something dopey like: “That’s an introduction I so rarely receive and so richly deserve.” I certainly don’t deserve it – and there are a few of you here, like Eddie Jo, who also know better.
There’s somebody else who knows better – the President of the United States. When he was campaigning in 2000, George W. Bush introduced me to a fellow governor as “a good man for his ilk.” A left-handed compliment if ever there were one.
Nevertheless, that good man for his ilk is delighted, and to tell you the truth a little overwhelmed, to be here today. In nearly 40 years in Washington, I’ve covered presidents and prime ministers, popes and potentates. But for an Aggie, this is truly the honor of a lifetime, and I want to thank President Davis for making it happen.
I’m especially sorry two people couldn’t be here today. My Dad, Class of 1948, who I’ll see on Sunday in Arlington when our family celebrates Mother’s Day, and the late David Bowers, my faculty adviser here, who more than anyone else inspired me to believe that if I worked a little harder I might have a future in journalism. I’m very pleased Mary Helen Bowers is my official Den Mother today; God knows I need one.
David Bowers was the centerpiece of a strong Department of Journalism, something we don’t have here any longer, and should re-establish, without further delay. In my opinion, a university of this world-class caliber without a full-fledged journalism department is unfortunate.
Inevitably, commencement addresses prompt you to reflect on your own graduation day. I remember mine with great clarity. I was one of eight High Honors graduates that Saturday morning 40 years ago. A new tradition was unveiled that day, mercifully short-lived; the president of the university, who personally awarded diplomas to the high honors graduates, didn’t. As some of you may know, he wasn’t thrilled by some of my stories in The Battalion.
Three weeks ago, at the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents’ Association, I had a pleasant conversation with President Bush, who I’ve been covering since 1987. He asked me what I was up to and I told him about this invitation. He was a little incredulous, but thought it was a nice honor.
I told him it was especially nice since at my own commencement, the president of Texas A&M wouldn’t shake my hand.
He had an idea whose fault that was. “What’d you do?” he wanted to know.
When I told him about writing newspaper stories the president hadn’t liked, he laughed and said, “Well, THAT certainly sounds familiar.”
Then he grabbed my arm and said, “Well, I’m shakin’ your hand,” and so he did - a very clever and thoughtful gesture that I appreciated.
So with that brief detour down Memory Lane, now perhaps you know why this invitation is particularly special to me, and I hope you’ll understand and overlook a modest measure of self-satisfaction on my part for standing here.
But it’s time for me to say that if Earl Rudder were here today, I would definitely shake HIS hand. As I walked around this magnificent campus yesterday, resurrecting powerful and bittersweet memories of what Shakespeare called halcyon days of yore, what an old Texas Ranger captain called “the sunny slopes of long ago,” General Rudder’s presence was everywhere. His vision of what Texas A&M could be is the underpinning of today’s world-class university, and all of us should honor his memory. I certainly do.
Even if I still remember him telling me a couple of years after graduation in a chance encounter in Washington: “If your grades hadn’t been so good, I’d have thrown your butt out of school.”
We all know about commencement addresses: I’m supposed to say things like “the best is yet to come,” “the future is in your hands,” “you’re embarking on an exciting journey,” “dare to dream,” etcetera.
A little corny, perhaps, but all of that is true. Especially the part about the future being in your hands.
I’m sometimes asked by journalism students how I got to where I am from where I was. I’m the first to admit that a lot of simple, dumb luck was involved, but the story begins not far from here, in the basement of the old YMCA Building in the spring of 1966.
I was reading a student magazine with an ad from Newsweek bragging about how they were the only newsmagazine with its own campus correspondents. I sat down at my typewriter at The Batt and wrote a letter offering my services as the Texas A&M campus correspondent.
Deafening silence for eight months – then a phone call from Newsweek’s Houston bureau chief accepting my generous offer.

at’s how it started. Forty-one years later, I’m blessed in still being able to do something I love. So when you hear guys with gray hair claim you have something to say about creating your destiny, believe them. If a fired Battalion editor can stand here today, anything is possible.
I know I’m supposed to impart some special wisdom now, but alas, I’m not a pundit, or an oracle, or a sage; I’m just a working reporter. But here are a couple of quick suggestions:

  • Don’t be afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom. It’s frequently wrong. A mind is like a parachute: it functions best when it’s open.
  • Don’t believe everything your government tells you. Sometimes you’re being spun.
  • Similarly, don’t believe everything you read in the press. Sometimes we get it wrong. Some of us have compromised our standards. But most of us try our best, most of the time.
  • Never forget the sacrifices and encouragement of loved ones who helped make this day happen for you. You can never fully repay them, but never stop trying.
  • Cherish the memories of your days here. Billy Joel sings, “These are the times to remember, for they will not last forever.” True enough. But the older you get, the more you’ll recognize just how special these days were. Maintain the bonds you made here. President George H. W. Bush, who reveres this place as much as we do, likes to say: “Where would we be without friends?” Nowhere. Trust me on that.
  • Most of all, pay no attention to the hand-wringers who claim America’s brightest days are behind us, that your children and grandchildren, or my beautiful two-year-old granddaughter Madison, won’t enjoy lives as full and fulfilling as ours. That’s baloney.

No question: these are troubling times for our country. I’m stunned by how little good will exists at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue these days. The spirit of acting in a bipartisanship fashion in the common interest seems to have died. I’ve never seen such poison and corrosiveness in Washington as today. In my opinion, the country is sick of it, and those politicians who continue to behave as though there must always be a winner and a loser will pay a well-deserved price in November of 2008.
And whatever we may think of the Iraq war, we all know it’s difficult and above all, heart-wrenching. Once again, the Long Maroon Line has answered its country’s call, as it always will. Including Bob Gates, I might add. If any one person can make a difference, it’s Bob.
This is a proud and resilient nation that has survived much travail in 231 years. In my relatively short time in Washington I’ve been an eyewitness to two assassination attempts against a President, covered the resignation of another, and the impeachment of a third. Other grave challenges lie ahead: today the scourge of international terrorism cannot be underestimated.

Yet our democr
acy endures, and will again – but not without your help. All of you have something to say about that.
A famous politician once called Aggies “doers, not booers.” He also said this amid another moment of national turmoil, words which resonate today:
“The government in Washington isn’t about to sink…it is and will continue to be about as good as concerned and conscientious citizens make it. The Constitutional processes are working as the Founding Fathers intended, without riot or repression, without as yet seriously weakening our strength at home and abroad.”
The man who spoke those calming words was Gerald R. Ford. He was the vice president of the United States at the time, later to become our 38th President. And he made those remarks right here at Texas A&M – at another commencement exactly 33 years ago today – May 11, 1974.
Accompanying the Vice President on Air Force Two from Washington that day was a 28-year-old apprentice reporter who had no idea how the rest of his career and life would turn out, but who was very excited to be covering a big story, and thrilled to be home.
A third of a century later to the very day, I’m still thrilled to be home – and very humbled.
Thank you again for inviting me; heartiest congratulations to all the graduates and their families, and I wish you Godspeed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lost to the dark side

In his "College Life 101" column for the Palestine Herald, UT sophomore Robert Rich writes:

For practically the entire length of my childhood, I had convinced myself that I was going to be an Aggie when I grew up. Texas A&M was my home and that would never change. Well, it DID change, all because the Aggie journalism program came under harsh scrutiny for being too easy and was eventually phased out of the college’s curriculum all together. Just like that, my college of choice was no longer an option because I couldn’t major in the field I wanted to if I went there. Enter the University of Texas at Austin, a school that still has a journalism program, and a very good one at that. One year later, and I’m thankful that I didn’t go to Texas A&M. VERY thankful.

He is gracious about A&M in general, though of course clearly
incorrect about journalism being phased out altogether.

Disturbing to find such a view of A&M journalism being published, but sadly it's not an uncommon view now.

Also disturbing, but again probably not uncommon: Somebody who was determined to be an Aggie and a journalist just a year ago was so discouraged that he went to another school. (In any case, I'm glad he's found a fit that's right for him and wish him the best!)

Melton joins Houston newscast

Earlier this month, ABC13 in Houston gained a new anchor on its top-rated 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. newscast -- Sharron Melton '91, a speech communications and journalism grad, returning to Texas from Miami. Welcome back!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hiring/J-degree: Houston Chronicle

Part of a series in which professionals answer the question that students often ask me: Do you need a journalism degree to get hired in the field?

Many thanks to Paul McGrath '78, Assistant News Editor at the Houston Chronicle, for his answers:

Well, for the Chron, you have to have a degree of some kind for sure -- or you have to be in the process of getting one. The company has been good about giving folks time to finish their degrees and about providing financial assistance to those getting degrees (even advanced degrees).

The company also pushes a variety of "ongoing" educations programs, both on-campus and off.

Those with journalism majors are preferred, but it's not absolutely required. Applicable experience in the business is certainly not discounted. A journalism background is considered extremely important even for artists, photographers and online staff. We have a few folks here with specialized majors outside of journalism (like Latin American studies), but nearly all of those in that group have journalism courses in their background.

So is a journalism major a must? No. But you better have the requisite journalism experience to make up for it, and it's getting harder to earn that experience without a journalism education.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Job survey, mid-May

(I have an ulterior motive here: This kind of information tends to vanish as soon as the positions are filled. By recording some of it I hope to build up data on salaries; experience levels required; comparisons among reporting, copy editing and designing; multimedia changes; and any other trends that emerge.

Also, even if a reader is not actively seeking a job right now, doesn't hurt to see what's out there! I'm a big believer in knowing what your options are, visualizing the next stage of your career and what you need to get there, learning information you can use in negotiation, etc.)

Gleaned from journalismjobs.com:

The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung seeks a news editor, its No. 2 position in the newsroom, a night job that includes assigning and copy editing/design duties; salary listed as $30,000 to $35,000.

The Waco Tribune is seeking a copy editor/designer, college experience required, at $25,000 to $30,000 (same range the Marshall News Messenger gave recently, though Marshall is much smaller; both are Cox papers, like mine, but I don't know if that's significant).

Multimedia interest: Internet Broadcasting is hiring what they call a "managing editor for KXAS-TV" in Dallas, but this is a person to run and apparently create the content for the KXAS Web site; 3-5 years at TV station or daily paper and a degree in journalism or related field required. I don't know anything about McKinneyNews.net, but it's looking for a cops reporter with two years' beat experience. Also, in its ad for a city government reporter, the Dallas Morning News says candidates "must be able to demonstrate strong beat coverage, and daily and enterprise reporting. Multimedia skills are a plus."

More multimedia: Killeen Daily Herald is looking for folks with both copy/design skills and online skills for their "continuous news desk." (And doesn't THAT sound like a fun shift? Actually, I'm kidding: I believe Web news might be a great development for copy editors who love news but also like to have a life... there should be more opportunities to work days. If there are still copy editors, that is.)

The DMN is also hiring copy editors, and though they ask for 2 years' daily experience, they note they will also consider candidates with college experience and an internship at a major metro daily.

Killeen, Fort Hood's hometown paper, is also hiring for its most prominent beat, the military, and seeking an education reporter with two years' daily experience, as well as a features editor... McAllen Monitor needs a photo editor... Amarillo Globe-News needs a features editor... Del Rio News-Herald seeks a managing editor, $40,000 to $45,000, to manage a staff of six, take an active role in the community and head up a redesign... Houston Chronicle seeks an assistant news editor to help lead a copy/wire/online desk of 30.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

DeFrank, Santos to speak at commencement

Talk about your distinguished speakers: Tom DeFrank '67 speaks to the liberal arts, science, medical and Council of Deans grads at 9 a.m. Friday, and Rolando Santos '78 has the architecture, engineering and George Bush School grads at 2 p.m. Friday.

Santos is CNN's vice president for international relations and DeFrank is Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News.

Details in Rick Rojas' story for the Batt include why you may not want to play cards against Santos.

Also, DeFrank bears the distinction of having been canned by General Rudder when he was editor of the Batt:

Before a career spanning nearly four decades covering presidents and politics, DeFrank, Class of 1967, was the editor in chief of The Battalion - and a controversial one at that.

After working in various positions for three years, he became the top editor in the fall of 1966. But President Rudder wasn't pleased with his work, because - as DeFrank said - The Battalion did actual journalism, not public relations for the University as Rudder wanted.

"(Rudder) wanted a student newspaper that only reported good news," he said. "Any self-respecting journalist wouldn't do that."

So, Rudder fired him.

"Each year, the censorship and repression got worse," DeFrank said.

Though, he said he understood why Rudder acted the way he did: The University was in the midst of an evolution, and the stalwart president represented a dictatorial generation.

"It was a different time, a different era; it was a time of transition for A&M," DeFrank said. "President Rudder was a great man, but of a different generation."

Meet Dave Thomas '93, Austin American-Statesman

Dave Thomas
Class of '93
Austin American-Statesman (5+ years)
Copy editor, designer, blogger, infrequent reporter (I hope to join the maintenance department this summer so I can be the first journalist to write a story, edit it, design the page, mow the grass out front and blog about the whole thang)

I wanted, desperately, to be a columnist for The Battalion. I applied semester after semester. Finally, as my college career was winding down, I checked "copy editor" as my second choice on the application because I wasn't really sure what they did. By the time I made it back to the dorm the phone was ringing and here I am today. I'm still not a damn columnist.

I began at the Batt in the summer of '92 on the day I turned 21 (cue Merle Haggard tape) and found that both journalism and being of legal drinking age suited me well. And to think I spent 75% of my college days as a very serious Corps of Cadets guy. The Batt didn't prevent me from finishing out my Corps senior year in a respectable fashion, but that legal drinking age almost did me in.

The copy desk must have suited me well, because I stayed on the desk in the basement of the Reed McDonald building for Fall '92, Spring '93, Summer '93 and Fall '93. This is the spot for the obligatory shout-out to fellow Battalion folks: So I give my thanks to Mack Harrison, Kyle Burnett and Sue Owen for putting up with me. Also a howdy to Chris Whitley and Heather Winch. The rest of you folks know who you are.

My career continued, post-graduation, at the San Angelo Standard-Times, where I was a copy editor, designer and unofficial music writer for 2 years and 4 months. I then moved to Austin to become a freelance writer. After 2 months of blissful unemployment and 2 months of construction work, I became a graphics editor at the Victoria Advocate. For 6 months, I played a lot of basketball and pretended to have graphical skills. Then fellow Ags Todd Stone and Jay Robbins convinced me to come to Beaumont. I spent a year as copy editor and, after everyone else bailed out, a long year as news editor.

It was then that my career path pointed toward, say, the Dallas Morning News, the New York Times, the Daily Planet ... but no, I went back to San Angelo. For another 2 years and 4 months, I was news editor (and music columnist! unpaid!) there, until Scripps Howard convinced me that they had no intention of letting me happily do good journalism at my (adopted) hometown newspaper.

I came to Austin in January, 2002 and my first day at the Statesman was the day that Dave Thomas died. No, that's not a metaphor. I'm talking about the hamburger guy. Whee.

I married a San Antonio girl who has a Missouri journalism degree and works on "The Dark Side" -- advertising. They have "Beer Fridays." I've been wondering which side is the Dark Side. We have one child (that's the first time I've ever typed that ... he is 3 weeks old). (editor's note: I'm late posting this and the little guy is now more than a month old./sue)

I did sort of model this introduction on Doug Pils' bio, so I have to admit here that I am not currently doing anything useful to help A&M journalism. But, once my boy is sleeping through the night, I promise to be more helpful.

You can reach me at dthomas (at) statesman.com.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Almost there!

It's the middle of final exams and commencement's May 10-11. Good luck to all concerned!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Business school dean to be interim provost

(Just keeping an eye on the big administration changes.) Story from the Eagle here

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Survey of job openings

Trolling the Texas openings at journalismjobs.com reveals the following nuggets:

The Marshall News Messenger is looking for a page designer/copy editor, college experience required, salary range listed at $25,000 to $30,000. ... Killeen Daily Herald needs a designer/copy editor and will consider recent graduates with internship or college experience... Aransas Pass Progress needs a combo news/features/sports reporter who will also take a leadership role in the community, starting in June.

The B-CS Eagle needs a sports copy editor... McAllen Monitor needs a GA/beat reporter... Madisonville Meteor needs an ME, a position which includes layout, reporting, photo... In Lubbock, the A-J is looking for an experienced reporter (two years daily) with FOI knowledge to cover law enforcement... Waco Tribune-Herald needs an education reporter...

The Victoria Advocate is hiring for absolutely everything: "Copy editors, graphics editors, reporters, photojournalists and front-line editors wanted."

Multimedia interest: The Odessa American has an interesting position: a "Readership Editor," described as a "web-savvy reporter to drive readership from our website to our print product and vice-versa."

The Houston Chronicle's ad for senior copy editors specifies "metropolitan editing experience" and "editing clips that show an eagerness to challenge content and ensure accuracy or design clips that show a flair for news planning and visual leadership. Experience in management, story assignment and rewrite is preferred."

And Sam Houston State is looking for a broadcast journalist to hold the Dan Rather chair.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Student says: Your bios are helpful!

Former students, thank you for the bios you have sent in, and please send more. See kind words from current student below:


My name is Matthew Watkins and I am a student and aspiring journalist at Texas A&M. I was checking out this year's journalist-in-residence page and stumbled upon your blog. I just wanted to shoot you an e-mail and let you know how much I appreciate you taking the time to help us current Aggies out!

It is true that motivated, talented Aggie journalists are around Aggieland, but we need all the help we can get. I was in Dr. Sumpter's class last year and it was without a doubt the most
beneficial course have taken since I have been here. If they would let me take it again I would sign up in a second. I really believe that classes like that and the time I spent at the Batt (I worked there for about a year and a half, now I work part time for the Eagle) are providing me with a strong journalism education.

However, there are still voids that need to be filled. I think I am not alone among students wishing there were more places for to go for guidance. A blog like yours is very helpful in that way. I was encouraged just to see the bio's of some other Aggie journalists who have already been so successful in the business. It makes me feel a lot less alone as I am beginning to start my own hunt for one of those elusive journalism jobs.

Anyways thanks again for the blog!

Matthew Watkins '08