Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Retirement party Jan. 13 for Mayes '69

Thank you to Diane Bowen for this item! Note: Mayes is also a former Battalion editor.

Former journalism professor Dave Mayes is retiring from Texas A&M AgriLife Communications. A reception honoring him will be held at 5–6:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2010, at the Community Center, TAMU Student Apartment Complex, 202 Charles Haltom Ave., College Station, Texas

Cards and letters to be included in a memory book may be sent to Judy Winn, TAMU 2112, College Station, Texas 77843-2112 or j-winn2@tamu.edu, 979.845.2808.

Contributions toward a gift may also be sent to Lonnette Ray, TAMU 2112, College Station, TX 77843-2112, 979.862.1460. Please make checks payable to Texas AgriLife Extension.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

B-CS Eagle seeks full-time copy editor

Talented copy editor needed

Primary responsibilities include headline writing, copy editing, layout and design on deadline. Must have an eye for detail and a passion for grammar, usage and style. Familiarity with newspaper design preferred, as is knowledge of AP style.

Must have solid grasp of a design program (ex. QuarkXPress, InDesign), be proficient on Macintosh platform. Should have some experience working with photo editing and graphics software (PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator) and have a working knowledge of Web publishing.

Must be willing to be part of a collaborative team, take the initiative but also follow directions and must be willing to work nights and weekends.

The Bryan-College Station Eagle is a small newspaper that thinks like a major metro, which is where many of our staffers go from here. Our award-winning reporters and sports writers cover an eight-county area. Our community is home to two colleges, including Texas A&M. The area offers an active nightlife and arts scene, great schools and all that Texas A&M University and Blinn College have to offer.

We highly value our community and our employees, who are compensated with a good benefits package (health insurance/401K) and competitive pay. Send cover letter, clips and resume to Kelly Brown, managing editor, 1729 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, 77802 or e- mail her at kelly.brown@theeagle.com. No phone calls please.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Reporter gets local angle on faraway story, fast

Wherever you are in the country, sometimes national news will happen that affects your readers. The best journalists quickly find what's relevant for their particular audience and present it usefully. In this case, I was so impressed by a story turned around quickly by the Austin American-Statesman's Helen Anders that I asked her to write me a little bit on how she put the story together.

It's perhaps a fairly ordinary type of story -- as I said, it's standard practice to find the local angle on a story, or to produce helpful "If you go" information -- but to me, it's the expertise and authority Anders musters that make this piece noteworthy.

The news event here is the UT Longhorns earning a spot in college football's national title game. Anders covers travel. Are the two connected? Oh, yes. Lots of our readers in Austin have suddenly decided they really, really want to be in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 7.

Earlier this week, Anders put in a few hours' worth of work and produced a story so packed with insider-ish detail that I actually went over to her desk and asked if she'd ever lived in Pasadena. Nope; she's just a good reporter. Here's how she describes it:
I knew a little about Pasadena to start with -- a couple of restaurants and museums I'd been to. Then I e-mailed a woman who had posted a comment on an earlier blog about Pasadena who obviously was a local. Got her recommendations. Then I chatted with a woman at the Convention and Visitors Bureau and got her recommendations, which I couldn't attribute because a CVB always gets in trouble if it recommends particular establishments. Still, these people know what's good.

Then I called a local museum and chatted with the PR guy about where he eats. Then to get more information on the Rose Bowl area specifically and getting to the game, I googled "Rose Bowl transportation" and got that really helpful link and info that I posted on parking and such. Kayak.com and the CVB Web site gave me leads for checking flights and hotels (which I will update again momentarily, by the way).
Even if I'd never been to Pasadena, I could've gotten a good feel for the place from my desk.

The key here is to make sure all your info is current. For example, if you read about a shuttle bus on a Web site, make sure that shuttle hasn't been canceled by budget cuts. (Some publications are still writing about our Dillo, alas.) That's a matter of checking Nexis or, if you don't have Nexis, going to the official Web site of whatever entity runs the shuttle bus.

How long did all this take me? A few hours.

Oh, and she filed early enough that we got it on the Web before all the plane seats were sold out -- then revised and updated it twice before it ever saw print.
Thank you again, Helen, for writing this up!