Friday, February 29, 2008

Castillo '02 snags press club, Soros fellowships

Mariano Castillo '02 has recently been awarded some prestigious fellowships, in large part because of his reporting work dating back to the Batt. Castillo is a grad student at Columbia, where these scholarships will help fund his master's degree in international affairs.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans provides a $20,000 stipend and half of tuition costs for up to two years to support graduate study by first- and second-generation Americans. The 30 Fellows were chosen from a pool of more than 700 applicants.

The Overseas Press Club Foundation scholarship provides $2000 for aspiring foreign correspondents. The foundation also set Castillo up with an internship at Reuters in Mexico City this summer.

Castillo, who was born in Lima, Peru, served during his senior year at A&M as Batt editor-in-chief. He interned at two South American newspapers, El Comercio in Lima and The Daily Journal in Caracas, Venezuela, as well as the San Antonio Express-News, where he later
became their one-man Rio Grande Bureau, criminal justice enterprise reporter and again a one-man bureau in Laredo, covering the border.

Congratulations, Mariano!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moghe '07: Staying cool at CBS-2 in Iowa

Temperatures finally seem to be getting a little warmer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but many of the top videos on the KGAN-CBS 2 web site still have to do with the very snowy conditions. So we're glad to see Sonia Moghe '07 is bundled up! Click to watch her report on the winter weather (cutting off mail delivery to some residents) as well as on seasonal affective disorder, a two-parter on departing soldiers and a smoking ban on the U of I campus.

J-schools getting accredited/re-accredited

The University of New Mexico reported Jan. 30 that an ACEJMC team recommended its journalism/mass comm programs for accreditation, meeting these standards:

* Mission, Governance and Administration
* Curriculum and Instruction
* Diversity and Inclusiveness
* Full-Time and Part-Time Faculty
* Scholarship: Research, Creative and Professional Activity
* Student Services
* Resources, Facilities and Equipment
* Professional and Public Service
* Assessment of Learning Outcomes
The university's Department of Communication and Journalism recently completed a $5.8 million remodeling of its building.

Indiana University's journalism school and Florida A&M's J-program were also recently recommended for re-accreditation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

JOUR 490: Professionals lead student projects

Richard Oliver '81 is on campus this week, the first of the Spring 2008 Journalists-in-Residence spending a week working on projects with the students in JOUR 490, Journalism as a Profession. The J-i-Rs were kind enough to send me descriptions of their projects.

Richard Oliver '81, columnist/senior writer, San Antonio Express-News:
My assignment for the kids involves having them write a story that incorporates scene-setting, descriptive skills. Simply, I challenged them to track down a topic -- whether it be a city council
meeting or sporting event -- that requires them to be narrative wordsmiths, bringing the reader to the front row. It's pretty elementary, but more and more we've seen journalistic work, online and in print, stripped of any real management of the language.

Frank Smith '87, senior copy editor, Dallas Morning News:
The general topic that I want students to pursue is "A&M ... then and now." They are to identify a social issue, trend, event, group or individual that illustrates a significant change that has taken place in the climate, attitudes or norms of life at Texas A&M over a period of years.

Mike Ward, criminal justice/enterprise reporter, Austin American-Statesman:
Watergate 101: A week-long boot camp in the basics of investigative reporting. Participants will be instructed in how to dig out an accurate story from a variety of public records, how to cultivate confidential sources and how to investigate using the Internet, phones and shoe leather.

Kindle 451: Reading NYT on device isn't bad

Via Romenesko: Peter Osnos of the Century Foundation recently wrote about his experience buying a copy of the NYT and reading it on his Amazon digital reading device, the Kindle.

He describes how you download it, what you see, how much it costs and so on. Generally, he says, the experience was "an acceptable substitute" for a real paper.

He also notes that newspapers are selling well via Kindle:

I purchased the Kindle when it was released last fall and have now read David Halberstam’s The Coldest Winter, mainly during a round trip flight to China, and found that experience satisfying and convenient. Checking the Kindle bestsellers from time to time, I noticed that many of the country’s leading newspapers dominate the list. The New York Times has been #1 and the Wall Street Journal #2, except for last week, when a new Oprah book selection blew them both away. The Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle are steady sellers also.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Still need a summer internship?

There are still some summer internship positions out there that haven't deadlined yet. The journalismjobs.com job bank has a few, including:

Paid intern at a six-days-per-week paper in Sheridan, Wyo., near the Big Horn mountains
Internship (pay unspecified) at the larger Casper Star-Tribune in Casper, Wyo. Deadline March 15
Unpaid intern in sports reporting at the Trentonian in Trenton, NJ
Paid intern in reporting at the Racine, Wis., Journal Times. Deadline April 4
Paid intern in reporting at the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal. Deadline March 10

Another tack is to just call your local news outlets/top choices and ask them if any internships have opened up, or if they would consider one. The good Ags at TV Facts Brazos Valley Community Magazine, for example, are eager to help students, though their positions might be full up right now, I don't know.

A few non-newspaper angles:

Scripps Networks -- Runs HGTV, Food Network, etc., and offers internships.
Wiley & Sons Publishing -- I don't know much about the company, but they publish Frommer's travel guides and their internship is supposed to be a Princeton Review Top 100 program. Interns can work in a number of fields including editorial. Deadline April 1.
Discovery Communications -- Runs the Travel Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, more. If you have some knowledge of television production, for example, there's an unpaid internship for a production assistant.

Job survey, mid-February: Heavy on the D

Gleaned from journalismjobs.com:

The AP is hiring an all-purpose reporter and editor for its Dallas bureau, two years' experience required, and an investigative reporter, also based in Dallas, five years experience required ... The Dallas Morning News is seeking a managing editor for its F!D Luxe magazine and a copy editor, two years' experience preferred ... SMU needs an executive director for its student media programs.

Amarillo Globe-News needs an assistant copy desk chief ... The (McAllen) Monitor needs a copy editor/page designer ... Beaumont Enterprise needs a sports editor, a copy editor, a features reporter, a news reporter and an assistant online content producer ... Waco Tribune-Herald is looking for a bilingual reporter for its diversity beat ... Tyler Morning Telegraph needs an East Texas reporter and a copy/layout editor ...

... Abilene Reporter-News seeks a lead copy editor for both print and online ... San Angelo Standard-Times needs a designer ... The Odessa American has two reporting positions open ... Killeen Daily Herald needs a night news editor, a news editor with online emphasis, a regional editor for a weekly product and also a military reporter to cover Fort Hood, the Army's largest installation ... The Facts (in Clute) is looking for a lead designer/copy editor ...

... The Denton Record-Chronicle needs a copy editor $12.50/hour) and a reporter (J-degree preferred) ... Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel needs an entry-level designer, salary $20,000 to $25,000 ... the five-day Taylor Daily Press needs GAs, $20,000-$25,000.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Journalism groups get $1 million in grants

Last week, an Oklahoma foundation (the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation) announced $1 million in grants to journalism organizations. The amounts ranged from $7,500 to $200,000 and the purposes included seminars, research, colleges' outreach programs to high school students, creating a Web site and expanding an internship program. Read all about it here.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

COMM/JOUR academic advisor post open

Here's part of the posting for the academic advisor job at A&M that includes COMM duties along with working with the journalism minors, coordinating logistics for the Journalists-in-Residence and maintaining the JOUR program Web site. Full details available with the posting on tamujobs.tamu.edu.

Academic Advisor I
Academic duties for Communication: Meets with incoming students during student orientation conferences. Works with other campus offices. Uses SIMS for student registration, degree audit, course pre-requisites. Process course substitutions and Q-drops. Maintains files and completes related paperwork. Receives drop-ins and phone calls from prospective, new, current and former students and their families. Advises on progress toward degree, course choices, minor choices, career/graduate study goals, career preparation, opportunities, and resources available. Coordinates activities with Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising (CUA). ACADEMIC ADVISING DUTIES: Provides students with information concerning financial aid, student services, degree plans, internships, and academic schedules related to journalism minor. Reviews degree plans with students and processes add/drops. Responds to inquiries from students and parents both by phone and through written correspondence. Meets with incoming students during student orientation conferences. Works with other campus offices. Uses SIMS for student registration, degree audit, course pre-requisites, etc. Performs related duties. Solves complicated scheduling problems, monitors textbook orders, creates and maintains files for administration of the journalism minor. Arranges travel and lodging for Journalist in Residence Program. Other duties as assigned.
Designs, produces, and distributes informational and/or promotional literature; updates and maintains a journalism website.
Bachelor's degree. Knowledge of higher education. Mastery of MS Word, Excel, and Access. Web applications. Flexibility. Requires ability to multi-task and work cooperatively with others.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Welton Jones '58: Sandiego.com senior arts critic

Sandiego.com posted a nice lengthy piece yesterday on the 50-years-and-counting career of arts critic Welton Jones II '58, credited most recently with founding and building the arts part of that Web site. It even shows a clip with his mug from the Battalion in October 1957 and reprints the text of that first review.

The article traces his career from the very beginning, from a junior high school paperboy, to the Batt, on to the Lubbock A-J and the Houston Post, to Shreveport and then to San Diego in 1965. He retired in 1999 from the San Diego Union-Tribune as critic-at-large and then took on a new challenge, it says:

In 2000, he began writing for this site, sandiego.com. He's been instrumental in pulling together a team of erudite, enthusiastic and dedicated writers that cover nearly all of the professional performances in town, winning awards in both 2006 and 2007 as the dominant arts reviewing group in the city.

Also provided are lots of links to his work, including his biography of Gregory Peck, descriptions of his theater work including writing, producing and directing, and more. The article mentions he cofounded the San Diego Press Club and sits on the board of San Diego's Save Our Heritage Organisation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The FJSA Hall of Honor: Seeking nominations

The Texas A&M Former Journalism Students Association began in 1994 in connection with the Battalion's 100th anniversary celebration. Each year, it holds either a banquet or reception and, since 1997, has honored a distinguished alumnus or alumna with induction into its Hall of Honor.

Nominations are now open for the Fall 2008 honoree. If you know an A&M journalism grad who has set a shining example of excellence in the business, please send their name, year of graduation, and a brief explanation of why they should be considered to one of the FJSA officers.

The Hall of Honor, listed by year of induction:

2007: Kathleen McElroy '81, senior editor for continuous news at the New York Times
2006: Rolando Santos '78, senior VP for international relations at CNN
2005: Jon Heidtke '81, senior VP and general manager, FSN Southwest
2004: Tom Curl '70, more than three decades in magazine publishing
2003: John Hotard '65, longtime spokesman for American Airlines, cofounder of FJSA
2002: Debby Krenek '78, former editor of New York Daily News, now managing editor at Newsday
2001: Allen Pengelly '53, longtime Houston TV news producer
and Calvin Pigg '54, longtime editor of the Southwest Farm Press
2000: Glenn Dromgoole '66, author and longtime editor in Fort Worth, Bryan-College Station and Abilene
1999: Leroy Shafer '67, chief operating officer, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
1998: Tom DeFrank '67, Washington bureau chief, New York Daily News
1997: Tom Hargrove '66, international agricultural communication specialist whose writings while kidnapped in Colombia became the basis for a book and the movie "Proof of Life."

What's your OQ?

Recently, Poynter's E-Media Tidbits column highlighted a do-it-yourself plan of action from Howard Owens designed to get "non-wired" journalists Web-savvy. It's a cool plan, and going by the comments on his page at least one newsroom has already implemented it.

What levels have you already reached on the plan? Grossly oversimplified, Owens' steps could be stated as:

Level 1: I blog
Level 2: I post stills on an online photo sharing site like Flickr
Level 3: I've made at least 3 videos and posted them to YouTube and another video sharing site
Level 4: I have spent at least two hours per week surfing YouTube, observing trends and favorites, for six weeks or longer
Level 5: I belong to LinkedIn and either Facebook or MySpace
Level 6: I use social bookmarking such as del.icio.us, Digg, Mixx or Publish2
Level 7: I use RSS to keep up with news and blogs
Level 8: I text-message
Level 9: I Twitter
Level 10: I've done all these things plus made a Google map mashup.

I'm a level 5 so far. Then again, perhaps due to ignorance or my own antiquation (I'm 35), I can't imagine wanting to text-message. (Also, I do not play no rock and roll.) But I suppose it's likely that I will wish I knew how to text at some point in my job. That's what the plan's about, to me: giving yourself a reason to learn these things just for the sake of broadening your horizons. (Incidentally, if you're not even at level 1 yet, there could be $100 in it for you.)

What's your online quotient? Post a comment here and let us know. (With your class year! I could do a snazzy chart with the results.)