Sunday, August 31, 2008

A&M Student Media honchos teach seminar

(Thanks to Bob Wegener for sending this!)

Three members of Texas A&M University’s Student Media Board will teach a First-Year Seminar (FYS) on the First Amendment during Fall 2008.

Dr. Carol Binzer, director of Student Life and chair of the Student Media Board; Dr. Deb Dunsford, senior lecturer and program coordinator, Agricultural Communications and Journalism, and Bob Wegener, general manager of Student Media, will teach Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: The First Amendment and College Students.

This seminar is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the First Amendment and the five freedoms therein; to share contests to those freedoms throughout history, especially in higher education; and to explore legal, moral, social, technological, and cultural perspectives on the Constitutional protections.

Texas A&M’s new FYS program applies "seminar-style” teaching in a learning community setting to provide intellectual and social transition into the university under the guidance of faculty/staff in classes of 20 or fewer students. Courses are designed to encourage students to participate in their learning through critical inquiry; by listening and contributing to class discussion; in reading broadly from research sources, and writing original works. The one-credit courses are open only to first-year freshmen.

In 2005, Binzer and Wegener completed training at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bob Rogers enjoying well-earned retirement

Bob Rogers, former A&M Journalism Department head and longtime journalism prof at A&M (did he retire twice? three times?) is "perking right along," to quote his ownself! I love him to bits and I know many others out there do too, so I asked him if it was OK for me to put this update about him up on the blog. I also have his e-mail address if anybody wants to drop him a line. Here he is, the man whose red pen has struck fear into so many hearts:

Thanks for inquiring about Pattie and me. We are doing reasonably fine for old folks (80 for me and 76 for Pattie) and continue to enjoy retirement. For sure it's the best job either of us ever had. Pattie has had a long-running problem with pain that makes it difficult for her to walk very far at a time or even sit for an extended time so we don't make the long car trips we once did. Just as well with gasoline prices over the top. The doctors can't seem to figure out what the pain is all about despite assorted tests and guesses. I am having a bit of a hip problem at the moment but nothing serious. Other than that we are perking right along.

I have attached a picture taken on July 4 of me with my son Brad, daughter Mickey and granddaughter Carla. Brad lives in Dallas and Mickey just outside Mexico City. Carla graduated last month with a BFA in design from UT. It was great to have them here. Mickey gets here once or twice a year so her visit is always special. Also attached is a picture of Pattie in one of several new dresses that Mickey's dressmaker friend in Mexico made for her, a near-miraculous feat since Angelica has never even seen Pattie. Great work.

I try to keep up with what's going on with FJSA through the newsletter and through Kelly Brown at the Eagle. ... I still have hope for a rebirth of the department. I suggested to someone that maybe you should haul all the Hall of Honor plaques over to Madame President and say, "See what you are missing? We sure need more like them."

Good luck in your continuing efforts. I continue to feel so fortunate to have known all of you. Those were great years. -- Bob

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Watch Martin '91 interview Michelle Obama

TV One has posted the interview that Roland Martin '91, our 2008 Hall of Honor inductee, just did with Michelle Obama.

Click here to watch Martin talking about the interview afterwards on CNN.

More Martin news: The Friday after we celebrate him at the Oct. 11 Fall Reception, Martin will give the keynote speech at the 14th annual African American Business Achievement Pinnacle Awards in Houston, an event held by the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce. To this we say Whoop!

Meet the 2009 Aggieland yearbook editors

(Thanks to Bob Wegener for sending this item and pic!)

From left, Doug Klembara ’11, general studies, photo editor; Meredith Collier ’10 telecommunication media studies, sports editor; Margarita Cavazos ’09, chemistry, greeks/groups editor; Kalee Bumguardner ’11, agricultural communications and journalism., academics editor; Rachel Hardman ’10, general studies, the other education editor; Alex Hamley ’11, international studies, Corps editor; Alyssa Peña ’10, interdisciplinary studies, editor in chief, and Kenzie Barnhart ’09, human resources development, managing/traditions editor. Not pictured is Lisa Rios ’10, economics, copy editor.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NACE Intl seeks technical writer in Houston

(Many thanks to Roberto for sending this along)

NACE International, a professional technical society located in West Houston, seeks a Technical Writer to work with NACE members to develop new printed or electronic education programs or products; to develop career positioning strategy for each new course or product; to develop course content; and to coordinate initial instructor selection and training, course logistics, pilot programs, and subsequent course reviews and revisions.

Position requires a four-year degree in business, adult education, English/writing/editing, or a related field with 0 to two years of related work experience. Strong technical writing/editing skills required. Experience with Framemaker 7.2 or higher is preferred.

Please send cover letter including salary requirements and resume to .

Dan Kurth ’93
Training Development Manager
NACE International
dkurth (at) nace.org

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Classes start at A&M, more news a-comin'

The fall semester has begun and new journalism instructor Dale Rice just taught his first classes today. Whoop! We'll be linking here a little later in the semester to his students' blogs in the Political Blogging class -- they will be publishing to the entire world, so feel free to comment.

Our 2008 Hall of Honor inductee is CNN analyst Roland Martin '91! Many of you have been e-mailed about this already; there is much more info up at www.aggiejournalists.com/pressroom and I'll do a longer post here soon. He'll be joining us at the Fall Receptiion on Oct. 11, so get them K-State game tickets now.

Coming up in the next few days, I'll post the new Aggieland editors and an update on longtime, much-loved A&M journalism prof and former department head Bob Rogers.

Good luck and good writing/editing to all our journalism and ag journalism instructors, professors and most especially students! And please keep sending all your news items. They are much appreciated.

Neighbors '54: Book editor/agent, freelancer

Received from Charles Neighbors '54 -- he's reachable at ccneighbors at gmail dot com. Thank you, Charles! (Note to eds: Has political convention time peg :)

Howdy, from the founding editor of The Texas A&M Journalist, as well as a member of the committee that induced SDX to accept A&M journalists to its roster. There weren't too many of us back then, but some of us went on to score effectively: my first job was as a business editor at McGraw-Hill business magazines in NYC, where a few years later I was president (dubious honor) of the Texas A&M Club of New York; mainly because none of the high-ranking CEO's had time to spare. A few years later, after I founded the first Texas Aggie literary agency, Frank Manitzas of CBS News asked me to help out during the 1968 presidential nominating conventions in Chicago and Miami Beach. Provided you're interested, more on that experience later.

Having edited almost 200 books, writing and publishing two novels of my own (okay, so they were paperback originals) and representing more than a hundred writers before I quit agenting,
I'm still active as a free-lance editor and occasional book marketer.

Thanks for letting me know about the mini-reunion this fall. It would be a pleasure to visit College Station again. My constant companion, Angela Phelan is the former food editor of Family Circle, who is now a food service consultant. She is proud to announce she's been to at least two Aggie Musters, the most recent in Manhattan this year (2008), her first was at West Point (where she designed the kitchen facilities for the famous Jewish chapel at the USMA) in 2006.

We were thrilled to attend the A&M Wind Orchestra concert in December '07 at New York's Carnegie Hall. I'd love to hear from any '50s grads, but especially from Wayne Dean.

Charles "Chuck" Neighbors '54, former managing ed The Battalion

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Measley '08 writing, blogging at Decatur paper

Travis Measley '08 is reporting and has started a sports blog at the Wise County Messenger in Decatur, with another blog to launch later this year. Right now, he says, he's writing hard news and features, with high school football and other sports to be added in the fall.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vinnedge '75 starts EditorForRent.com

30-plus-year print journalism veteran Mary Vinnedge '75 has launched a new venture: EditorForRent.com offers an array of writing and editing services.

Vinnedge says: "There will be five of us to handle all types of freelance editing and writing, from news releases and articles to resumes and books.... Each of us has about three decades’ experience, so around 150 years total!"

Spread around the news and give her some word of mouth if you can! Contact info's on the site, and I have her e-mail if you need it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Granger Smith: Singer and ... astronaut?

Country singer Granger Smith '02 (at one time a journalism student), dropped by NASA's Johnson Space Center recently, where he made this little video tale with the help of public affairs officer Josh Byerly '99 (who makes an appearance as well). Check it out. Thank you to Josh for sending!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Eagle: Murano reviewing journalism at A&M

The Eagle has a great report on the state of journalism right now at A&M. More on this TK; it provides an important update on both the program and its possible future. Here's the top (it's a pretty lengthy article!)

Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano said she is reviewing the current journalism program to determine what -- if any -- changes need to be made in order to better serve budding Aggie journalists.

University officials acknowledged that it could be some time before a formal review is complete and it remained unknown if any changes would be made.

Jeffrey Vitter, the incoming provost and executive vice president for academics who starts this month, will be tasked with studying the issue as he spends the next year developing a campus academic master plan, A&M officials said.

"This is a very important issue to Texas A&M and for Dr. Murano, as well," A&M spokesman Jason Cook said Friday, stressing that the president has made no promises about the future of the program.

"She is committed to beginning a dialog about the program: past, present and future."

Friday, August 8, 2008

A&M Student Reporter Project apps due by 29th

Received today from A&M Liberal Arts' director of college relations, Leanne South. This program should be a great way to work directly with Dale Rice (who has years of experience both reporting and working with reporters), earn a little cash and get valuable feedback and possibly clips. They're looking for this to be a competitive applications process:

I am pleased to announce that the dean's office is currently accepting applications for a project designed for students interested in a career in journalism – the Liberal Arts Student Reporter Project.

This project is an opportunity for students to work with veteran reporter Dale Rice in producing feature stories that will be published in an online news journal as well as sent to the university news office for possible pitches to the mainstream media.

Students will earn $50 per story and be required to produce one story a month for three months during the fall semester.

Application deadline for the fall 2008 semester is Aug. 29th.

Students can read all about the project and apply at http://clla.tamu.edu/studentreporterproject/.

Good col on journalism ethics from Reddell '72

From the Bay City Tribune today, Mike Reddell '72 has a nice piece titled "Journalism's code of ethics more than guide," which closes with this heartfelt statement:

To disregard those principles is tantamount to shedding your honesty, your accountability to the reader and, most importantly, your creditability.

I love this business too much to lose those and you, the readers, with them.

How to get your application to top of the pile

Spell your future boss' name right, spell the name of their publication right and don't send them stuff from your sexbot458 e-mail address.

Seriously. Apparently -- sadly -- that is all you have to do to instantly vault past a certain percentage of the journalism-job-seeking masses. This from a screed worth reading at Joe Grimm's Poynter column.

(Note: This is not specifically in reference to the Student Reporter Project post, but rather general advice!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One Aggie blogger signs off; more sought

They say that all good things must end: Dave Thomas '93 has hung up his Bottlecaps and Wingnuts hat, noting that the blog morphed away from its original intent. I can well imagine there is a little less Lone Star and bar-stool-anchoring in his life these days, what with the little one and all (see very cute pic of "the boy" up on his last post). But he did get in a review of this year's Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic before he turned out the lights.

Other Ags out there blogging, please send me links -- would love to add you to our blogroll over there in the rail!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

UT-Arlington seeks newspaper advisor

With Chris Whitley '94 departing for a post at Tarrant County College (where he will teach journalism and advise the student paper), UTA is looking for a newspaper adviser and assistant director of student publications. The Shorthorn staff has won a lot of awards under Whitley's guidance, and (warning: subjective personal bias imminent!) TCC is dang lucky to have him. More about the UTA job opening here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A&M football writing/photos sought

Received last week. I've linked the PDFs he mentions to this text (let me know if they aren't working) and he is reachable at scott at thegameextra dot com. Note: This is open to current students!

My name is Scott Gramling, and I'm the Editor-in-Chief of a new magazine called THE GAME. The magazine's mission is to offer a fun read for fans at each of Texas A&M's seven 2008 home games. THE GAME focuses on the lifestyles, players, coaches, places and products that are of interest to Aggie fans. The projected print run is 25,000 copies per game, and the magazine is distributed free of charge (revenue is advertising-driven).
Because capturing the distinct tone, flavor and spirit of TAMU football is so important to the editorial content of the magazine, I was hoping to get in touch with recent graduates who might be interested in becoming contributors to our publication.
Attached is a pdf containing bios for members of THE GAME's staff to give you an idea of the experience behind the project. I've also attached a one-page flyer that summarizes the contributions we're looking for.

...We're looking for both writers to contribute individual articles as well as people to whom we can commit to reporting for the season. (We're looking for contributing photographers as well.) I'm also open to the idea of handing over some editing duties if I can find someone with some editing experience and a strong knowledge of A&M football. And I would certainly consider working with current students as well as recent grads.

...Our pay rate for writers is 25 cents per word... I've attached PDF files of our prototype cover and two internal pages (we're doing versions of the magazine for Nebraska and Oklahoma as well, and the prototype was done for Nebraska . . . please don't hold that against us!) to give you an idea of the look, tone and spirit of THE GAME.

...The length of stories we'd be looking for varies from 300 words to 1,500 words (with most falling toward either end of that spectrum as opposed to in the middle).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Batt in Princeton Review Top 10 college papers

The Batt came in No. 8 in the nation in the Best College Newspapers category of the Princeton Review, as determined by popularity with students surveyed at 368 universities and colleges.

From the A&M release:
Texas A&M ranked first in the nation in the “most conservative students” category and placed second for “best athletic facilities.” It also garnered “top 10” ranking in categories for best college newspaper and “future Rotarians and Daughters.”