Friday, May 29, 2009

April 26: Dr. Starr writes about journalism for Waco paper

Our own dear Dr. Douglas Perret Starr wrote a great column for the Waco Tribune-Herald about the importance of journalism for the future of the United States. Dr. Starr, I wish I could give you a virtual hug, and I'll let your powerful words speak for themselves:
COLLEGE STATION — The United States is in jeopardy. Many newspapers have gone out of business and the rest are in deplorable condition.

If the news media shut down, the United States will no longer boast government of the people, by the people, for the people. The government will be in charge, and the people will be its pawns because there will be no free criticism of the government, no uncensored report on what the government is doing.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

April 20-24: Journalist-in-Residence ruffles Aggie feathers

Washington Post columnist John Kelly served as one of the Spring 2009 Journalists-in-Residence at A&M, teaching JOUR 490 for a week and getting one of his students' columns into the Post.

He also blogged about his experiences during the week at A&M, including a description of Muster that roiled up some of the ongoing emotions about A&M traditions: People often don't get it, and even those who do don't always admire it. The discussion is preserved in the columns and comments from that week in Kelly's Aggie Files.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

April 5: Peters '02 to cover education at Abilene R-N

Emily A. Peters '02 became the Abilene Reporter-News' education reporter in April. The Reporter-News wrote:
She worked for nearly four years as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Alexandria, La., where she was recognized by the Louisiana Press Association for her coverage of eight area school districts with more than 75 schools.

"We are very excited to now have on staff an individual with the credentials of covering education that Emily has," Reporter-News Editor Barton Cromeens said. "We believe she will provide our readers with an outstanding look into education in Abilene and the Big Country."

Peters most recently has returned from West Africa, where she traveled extensively and produced coverage of mission work for Christian Web sites, magazines and videos.

"After three years overseas, I'm looking forward to living back in Texas, where you can't beat the Mexican food and people appreciate the role of the community newspaper," Peters said.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Feb. 12: Journalism career of Kinslow '55 remembered

Jon Pare Kinslow '55 of Grand Prairie, a journalist and educator whose passion for journalism began at Texas A&M, where he was managing editor of the Battalion, died in February.

The Dallas Morning News, where Kinslow had been a reporter, editor and computer systems administrator, wrote:
Earlier this week, Mr. Kinslow received a banner signed by many of the students and teachers at LBJ Elementary School in Grand Prairie, where he had worked for seven years, said his brother, Roy Kinslow of Dallas.

"On the banner it said, 'We Love You Mr. Kinslow,'... which made him feel good," his brother said.

Mr. Kinslow found his calling to journalism at Texas A&M University, where he intended to study aeronautical engineering, his brother said. Roy Kinslow urged his brother to study liberal arts, and he discovered his passion for journalism, which he would practice the rest of his life.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jan. 15: A&M journalism student wins computers

Texas A&M sophomore communications major and journalism minor Macie Rushing wrote an essay that won an entire computer lab for Quitman High School, her alma mater. The contest was part of Samsung's Hope for Education program.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph wrote:
The contest wanted entrants to explain how technology has educated them on helping the environment and how or why it had changed their behavior to be more environmentally friendly. She answered five essay questions in a 100-word essay, which she said was difficult to do. Ms. Rushing knew she would not receive anything from the contest and she thought that she would remain anonymous.

"I am really excited for Quitman High School," she said. "Technology is really important in school and it's important to keep up with the rest of the world. It is a great opportunity for students to gain technology skills."
Quitman High School will receive a portable computer lab with 25 laptops, a flat screen television to be used in the cafeteria for announcements, video cameras for classroom projects and software.
"I grew up in Quitman and I will always love this town," (Rushing) said. "I am happy to give back to the community. I think it's important for everyone to give back."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dec. 18: Alexander '01 to be Biden's press secretary

Texas A&M poli sci grad Elizabeth Alexander '01 became Vice President Biden's press secretary, a job in which she recently has gotten to clarify his remarks on the location of Cheney's secret bunker and traveling in the time of swine flu. The joys of being a spokesperson!

This story gave her background with Biden and other Democratic leaders:
Elizabeth Alexander began working for Vice President-elect Biden in 2006, first as Press Secretary and then as Communications Director in his Senate office and for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Previously, Alexander served as Press Secretary for the United Nations Foundation, creating media campaigns to highlight UN causes around the world. During the 2004 general election campaign, she traveled the country as DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe's press secretary. During the 2004 primary campaign, she served as Rep. Dick Gephardt's South Carolina press secretary. Prior, Alexander was Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) Communications Director and Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Alexander hails from Cleburne, Texas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University. She will soon receive her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dec. 14: Pearson '85 becomes Tyler business editor

Brian Pearson '85, formerly assistant managing editor at the Beaumont Enterprise, moved to the Tyler Morning Telegraph to become business editor. Tyler's story notes that he runs marathons and that he coordinated hurricane coverage:
Pearson joined the Beaumont paper in 2001, moving there from the Killeen Daily Herald, where he was managing editor for four years. Prior to that, he held reporting and editing positions on the Williamson County Sun in Georgetown, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Midland Reporter Telegram, Odessa American and Pasadena Citizen.

Pearson has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism, with minors in English and geology, from Texas A&M University.

He is a marathon runner and has competed in 17 events - including the Boston Marathon - in nine states in a quest to run a marathon in every state.

In Beaumont, Pearson coordinated news coverage for a nine-county area, including coverage of the recent hurricanes. The paper's coverage of Hurricane Humberto received a sweepstakes award in the 2008 Associated Press Managing Editors contest.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm back! Catching up with Aggie journalists in the news

Greetings everybody! I am back on the job, both professionally and here at the Aggie Journalists blog. Thank you to everybody who sent me kind wishes and good vibes as I was laid up recovering from back surgery; the operation went really well and I am getting stronger every day, it seems.

I'm getting caught up on my Aggie journalism news as well. There will be much more to come soon -- and please keep sending me yours!

In the next few days, I'll be running a few items I missed over the past few months that I think deserve their own headlines. Also, look in coming months for updates on the A&M journalism program, on the $10,000 gift to FJSA from Roland Martin, on the upcoming Fall Reception and more.

So: I'm back in business, and send me your stuff!