Saturday, June 23, 2007

Texas copy editors conference Oct. 21

There's a new Texas chapter of the American Copy Editors Society, and its first conference will be Sunday, Oct. 21 in Austin. Hank Glamann and Paula LaRocque lined up; more details TK on the TXACES blog. Now, if only we knew somebody who could tell us where all the good bars in Austin are...

Seriously; anybody planning on going?

Aggie journalist jokes

How can you tell if a reporter's an Aggie? You ask if his story's going to run over 10 inches and he has to take off his shoes to answer.

How do you know which copy editor is an Aggie? She's the one with white-out on her screen.

And a contribution from my buddy, Statesman columnist John Kelso: You can tell the editor's an Aggie when he makes you put the sheep higher up in the story.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fall JOUR classes

Just keeping track of the course offerings... As noted, the only JOUR class this summer is 484, the internships; here's what's available for Fall 2007:

JOUR 102 - AMERICAN MASS MEDIA (1 section, 70 seats; instructor Ed Walraven)
JOUR 200 - MASS MEDIA INFORMATION (1 section, 18 seats; instructor Ed Walraven)
JOUR 203 - MEDIA WRITING I (1 section, 10 seats; instructor: staff)
JOUR 301 - MASS COMM LAW & SOCIETY (1 section, 7 seats; instructor James Aune)
JOUR 303 - MEDIA WRITING II (1 section, 10 seats; instructor Ed Walraven)
JOUR 484 - INTERNSHIP (supervisor Randall Sumpter)

They always welcome former students and professionals coming to talk to classes, so give them a holler if you're interested (and don't forget the Battalion, where Cheri will promptly put you to work with the students.)

(If you really want to get in the back-to-school spirit, you can wander through Loupot's or Aggieland Outfitters. Oh, the binders, the textbooks, the ... campus information on iTunes?? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that applying to A&M is done online now -- anybody else remember hauling those thick envelopes to the post office to get them postmarked by the mailing deadline? Online is good. And essays are still required!)

Test yourself: AP style, spelling

Here are some well-designed interactive tests, if you're prepping for a job interview or just want to brush up (I take the AP style one occasionally to stay sharp).

This spelling test has a practical level of difficulty. (Many copy editor candidates will face a spelling quiz on part of a paper's copy editing test, and some reporters will too.)

Great interactive quiz on AP style here, with clear explanations.

In fact, there is a battery of great tests at Newsroom 101 -- even specific grammar problems are addressed.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Job survey, mid-June: Dream job alert

I involuntarily uttered an "ooooh baby" when I saw the Dallas Morning News had posted an opening for Cowboys beat writer. Multimedia interest: The position has a high online component; blogging, interacting with fans, generating online content, being "comfortable in front of the camera and the microphone." However, print experience in breaking news, game coverage and feature writing is required.

So where do you get said print experience? Why, perhaps at my hometown paper, the Denton Record-Chronicle, which is looking for a sports writer. They specify a journalism degree and point out that they have excellent high school sports and the University of North Texas to cover. I point out that they have a great music scene, fantastic hamburgers and are but minutes up I-35 from the earthly temptations of Big D and Fort Worth (which also has a strong sports section). The DRC is Belo-owned now, so you'd be in the family when it came time to apply to the DMN. I'm just sayin'.

Also in sports, the Round Rock Leader seeks a sports editor/writer and lists the salary as $20,000 to $25,000. On the plus side: You're right on top of the Round Rock Express. On the downside: Cox now owns that paper, but it's not a daily and I wouldn't expect to jump from there to the Austin American-Statesman, necessarily. (Waco or even Longview to Austin, more like.) Up the road in Georgetown, the Williamson County Sun needs a photo editor/shooter.

Dow Jones & Co. wants an energy reporter in Houston ... Lubbock Avalanche-Journal seeks a director ... Dallas also needs an A-section production editor and a local home design writer.

Midland Reporter-Telegram and Tyler Morning Telegraph both need combo designer/copy editors (here and here); Tyler also seeks a photographer. (McAllen) Monitor needs a GA ... Amarillo Globe-News needs a business editor ... Victoria Advocate needs a managing editor for presentation and a multimedia/graphics editor ... Brownsville Herald needs a news editor/designer.

Fort Stockton Pioneer seeks a West Texas reporter, salary $20,000 to $25,000; Quark experience required ... Marlin Democrat needs a publisher ... San Patricio Publishing wants a multi-community reporter/designer to be based in Sinton ... Herald-Banner Publications in Greenville seeks a managing editor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Aggie interns hit the airwaves

Dr. Sumpter says this summer's JOUR 484 Media Internship students are interning at KBTX-TV, Bryan; MGM Mirage, Las Vegas; Tate Austin Public Relations, Austin; WOAI-TV, San Antonio; USA Radio Network, Dallas; Bryan Broadcasting, Bryan; Houston Family Magazine, Houston; KTVT-TV, Dallas.

"So, as you can see, broadcasters have all the action this summer," he says. "I think it reflects the fact that many of our minors are majoring in Communication or Telecommunication Media Studies."

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Job banks, including PR/Dallas area

Thank you, Kristal, for sending this too!

Also, for students/recent grads interested in working in the Dallas area in PR, a great resource is the PRSA job bank (www.prsadallas.org). Also, the UNT journalism department has a good job bank as well that includes openings for PR, print, magazine, copy editing, etc openings all over Texas. (http://web2.unt.edu/journalism/)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hiring/J-degree: Dallas Morning News

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 Denise Beeber, Assistant Managing Editor for the news and copy desks at the Dallas Morning News, for her answers.

When you hire a reporter or a copy editor, how important is it for an applicant to have a journalism degree?

It's not the first thing I look for.
We've hired people with English degrees, history degrees, sometimes no degree. Journalism students tend to work on school newspapers and pursue internships, and that experience often gives them an advantage.

Why do you look for a journalism degree, or what do you look for instead of that?

Experience. Curiosity. Knowledge of a variety of topics.
The ability to smooth a rough sentence, find a hole in a story, spot structural and organizational problems, write a headline that sings.

Is the picture different for entry-level applicants vs. experienced applicants?

With experienced applicants, there's more work to evaluate so the decision is easier. With recent grads, we rely more on the copy-editing test and how they come across in interviews. Internships are always a plus.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Using your journalism education: PR

For students interested in the field of PR, here's some help from Kristal Goehring '06, a PR account executive:

If you're interested in working in public relations in Dallas, I would encourage you to join New Professionals in Public Relations (Nupros).
Nupros, a Public Relations Society of America’s Dallas chapter initiative, is an organization tailored to meet the needs of younger public relations professionals. It was created for practitioners who have been in the public relations industry less than five years, and provides opportunities for networking and professional development. Membership is free, and attendance to events is open to the general public. To learn more, visit http://www.prsadallas.org/nupros.html.
Check out the website or the Facebook and MySpace pages (search for 'Dallas Nupros') for meeting information and industry updates. Any student or recent grad who wants to check out the events is welcome.

(Their Facebook page inspired me to start one for this blog, in hopes of giving students an easy way to connect, give opinions, maybe ask questions or tell former students what kind of assistance they need.)

Coming soon: Information on the Houston NuPRos chapter.

Also, in our conversation, this came up:

You mentioned knowing AP style - you may already know this, but at bigger PR agencies, it's common to take a writing test as part of the interview process and you're expected to know AP style. I've noticed while coordinating internships that many students who earn a PR/Comm degree don't have a background in journalism/AP style, which can put them at a disadvantage with regard to some job opportunities. My AP stylebook is always with me at work!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

North to Alaska! Bingo Barnes '90

Whoop! This just in, in response to an appeal for news and success stories (send me yours!):

If any old Ags out there from class of '91 remember my wild and crazy years I just wanted to let them know of a former J-school success. After owning and running Boise Weekly, a 35,000 circ alternative weekly newspaper in Boise, ID since 2001 (and then selling it) I am now moving to Anchorage, Alaska to be publisher of the Anchorage Press, a 25,000 circ. alternative weekly. Anchorage Press is owned by Wick Communications, based in Arizona. On the side I run an old-time letterpress studio. Feel free to contact me at bingo (at) bingopress.biz if you're coming to Alaska, need a job, or want to catch up.

Mark (Bingo) Barnes.

Come speak to Batt staff this summer

Batt adviser Cheri Shipman organizes a series of guest speakers at the Battalion staff's Sunday afternoon meetings (usually 4 p.m. And still called the "400" meeting). After the meeting the staff goes to work on the next edition, thus supplying you with a chance to visit the Batt's shiny new "2001: A Space Odyssey" newsroom in the MSC.

She's got openings July 15 and July 29 — contact her if you're interested: cheri.shipman (at) gmail.com

See what the Battalion staff is writing these days: http://www.thebatt.com/
The students are also doing more with multimedia, video, podcasts, radio, etc.

Stuff to do and places to eat in College Station, written by JOUR 490 students.

Just a few of the past 400 speakers:
Michael Landauer '97, assistant editorial page editor at the Dallas Morning News; Michael Mulvey '94, Pulitzer-winning photographer for the DMN; Bryan Butler '95, news editor at the Bryan Eagle; Marissa Alanis '90, formerly in Internet PR/marketing and now at the DMN; and Doug Pils '92, night sports editor/Sunday Page 2 writer at the San Antonio Express-News.

If you'd rather view the beauties of College Station in the springtime, workshop leaders are needed for the April TIPA conference at Texas A&M, helping collegiate journalism students!

E-mail change

Just a notification that I've changed the e-mail contact for this blog from Hotmail to Gmail, which offers a smoother ride and better handling. So, I'm now reachable at