Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fact-checking, a Bilingual Weekly and my Birthday

Access’ teammates must finish their feature story edits and fact-checking this week. Fact-checking is an important aspect in magazine publication because a magazine's credibility can be damaged if it publishes incorrect facts or statements. The editors are calling sources to confirm quotes, checking Web sites and other sources to confirm quotes, etc. The fact-checking process should be completed by April 26.

As far as my experience with fact-checking goes, well let's just say that my writer, Truth Esguerra has once again failed to give me a headache when it comes to dealing with his story. I checked the Web sites that he provided as sources and sure enough, his facts were accurate. I e-mailed his source and asked if their quotes for the story were accurate. To my astonishment, the sources replied within a day and confirmed that what they said in the article was true.

I also got to see the pictures of the King Crew, a break-dancing group, performing. I only wish I could have been there when the pictures were taken.

The front-of-book and back-of-book departments are also busy checking and editing their stories. The titles and decks for each story have also been chosen. A deck is a brief sentence that introduces the story to the reader.

Our online chief, Lesger, has been busy designing the online version of Access magazine. Complete details of the Web site can not be disclosed at the moment but the wait will be well worth it.

In other news, not Access related but still very exciting, I received an internship to work with El Observador this summer. El Observador is a bilingual Hispanic newspaper that focuses on getting the Hispanic community to communicate with each other. I am very excited about this opportunity.

Oh, yeah, there's even more good news!!!!! It's not journalism related, but that's OK. My grand and epic 25th "birrrrrrffffffday" is this Saturday. This extraordinary extravaganza was first going to be held at the Cinebar. But my posse and I go there all the time, so we're pretty much Cinebared-out at the moment. The location of the celebration of my big day is yet to be determined. Either way, the event is going to be a memorable one. Or should I say forgettable :-) NO!!!!! NO!!!!! NO!!!!! Those day are long gone now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only a few weeks left to go

We're nearing the end of the semester and everyone on staff at Access is working hard to keep things moving smoothly along. Class periods are spent checking e-mails and checking facts. Both feature editors and front-of-book editors have been running through lists of sources making sure that all quotes and facts are accurate. Fact-checking can be a tedious job but it is also a very necessary job. If even one misquoted sentence slips through the cracks it could easily ruin the integrity of the magazine.

In other news, all staff members were required to take a copyediting exam to determine who would be in charge of copyediting. The exam was rather extensive but overall everyone did fairly well. Our new head copy editor is Briana Hernandez. She received the highest score on the exam, which isn't all that surprising. What is surprising is that she completed the exam without using an Associated Press Stylebook. Briana will not be working alone however; she has a team of other staff members who also scored high on their exams.

The art and design team have been hard at work laying out pages. Each time we meet they show their most recent designs for the rest of the staff to view. The rough cover design has been revealed and there is no doubt that it is unlike anything Access has ever created in the past. It’s upbeat and modern, artistic and inventive. I would say more but it’s top secret.
There will be a lot of work ahead for our design and art team in the next couple of weeks. The staff has a great amount of faith in their abilities and they’ve already proven their talent thus far with their rough layouts. Also, the online team will be working on putting pages together in the coming weeks. The online edition is bound to be a success. It has been attempted in the past but this semester we are determined to top all other attempts.

Last Thursday after our copyediting exam the whole staff took a trip to Grande's Pizzeria on Fourth Street to take staff pictures and enjoy some lunch and drinks. Evie Smith, our highly esteemed editor in chief bought drinks for of-age staff members (everyone but me), then, pictures were taken of staff members from each section of the magazine. Everything went smoothly until our features editor, Heather Nacht almost went for a swim in the fountain she was posing on. Fortunately she had some friends around to save her from getting completely drenched.

It was fun spending time with staff members outside of the classroom work environment. It’s important to maintain close friendships with fellow staffers; it makes things easier in the work room when we can communicate openly with each other.

Until next time,
Cody Haueter

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Blog from the Online Art Director, Rita Lai

My Suggestive Demeanor

Being a member of the Access team is a new experience for me. What I have been doing here is different from my country, Hong Kong: Peers always expect me to give suggestions during meetings in my home country because I am a proactive person, and I have many creative ideas. The ones that are supposed to be simple and stupid in the beginning and may become useful after being modified by team members, as Scott Fosdick [Access advisor] said in the first week of class.

Morphing Role

My role has changed a little bit in Access: Every time I was in a meeting with my Access buddies, I just sat down, listened and observed. Immersing in a different culture makes it necessary for me to stand aside and observe how SJSU students interact with each other. Since I am, now, part of the team, understanding how the system works is far more important then just giving out ideas without knowing if they suit the San Jose State readers.
(Fortunately, two months have passed and I have more or less adapted to the system.)

Questions are to be Answered, Right?

I still remember in the second class, when I got into the classroom, our editor in chief, Evie, asked me to tell the team what I like. The question: “how to deal with cultural differences when you want to do something good for the team?” was still in my head, and it seemed to be a good chance to share my worries with my team. Therefore I just spit out things like my age, previous jobs and hopes of working with my teammates efficiently even there may be a cultural barrier….”, but not answering the question at all!

It was somehow funny and embarrassing at the same time when Evie led me back to the original question:

“So, what do you like?”

“Hahaha….sorry….” I glanced at other members who were sitting around the table and realized everyone was puzzled, “well, I like reading, watching movies…..”


As time goes by, I become more and more adapted to the Access system and it takes me less time to figure out the situation.

Special Thanks

I have to say thank you to my Access buddies for being patient while explaining everything I am not familiar with, especially Evie , who does care about every teammate; Kaitlyn [managing editor], who edited my assigning memo; Heather [features editor], who has done extra work for getting the articles on track; Lesger [online editor], who speaks for the online team in meetings; Nikki [photo-art editor], who tries her best to handle the photo-taking work for my feature article; Leslie [assistant photo editor], who always gives us good, interesting story during intermissions; Kristin [department editor]; who greeted me when I could not see her walking behind me (I was startled!).

To all Teammates

Actually every teammate’s effort counts, and unfortunately I do not have enough time to know more about you all! But I am sure every little moment I have spent with the Access fall 2007 team will be one of the top three most memorable memories I have in San Jose. You guys are brilliant! Thank you for your professionalism and amazing ideas!

Friday, March 30, 2007

New place, New Experience: A Blogger in California from Hong Kong

Today, it is March 17, which means I have here, in California, for two months. I’m Ian, a foreign exchange student from Hong Kong, and I’m the online photo editor for this semester’s Access magazine.

Within this short amount of time, I have experienced a lot, some ups and downs, but overall, a great learning adventure.

My Frat Brothers and Language Barriers

I joined a fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. There, I have met a lot of friendly people who are passionate about community services. The brothers are helpful and have a strong bond. Joining the fraternity has made my exchange-student life more fruitful. Moreover, at the beginning when I arrived, I found that some people were speaking very fast, and I couldn’t really comprehend much. After a few weeks, I got used to the speaking pace, but, sometimes, I still couldn’t understand. That is the reason why sometimes I wouldn’t join the conversation with others.

Journalism 155, Access

I think that working in this course has widened my horizon a lot because it’s like we are working for a real magazine in the corporate world. Also, this course is practical because the class has been divided into different department, like front of book, circulation, online, features, art and management. The class works like a real magazine production house. Plus, I think that our class would have a good training because we have to cooperate with people from outside of class, like the photographers and writers. In a working environment, it is common to interact with different people from different department or companies. That’s why I think this course is practical and it prepares my classmates for the magazine field.

Hong Kong Culture

In Hong Kong, students are different from Americans: What I have observed is that students here are more serious about their academia. They pay a lot of attention and effort on their schoolwork and assignments.

U.S. students are very hard working. They work on weekdays and relax during the weekend by going parties or clubs.

In Hong Kong, it is a bit different; they don’t pay that much attention and effort. They can have different types of entertainment every day. After classes, they would always find some form of entertainment like having lunch or dinner with a bunch of friends. After going back home, they have different pastimes. For those who live in the dorm, the residents would have fun together, like playing TV games, playing Mahjong (a Chinese game). There is more of a vibrant nightlife in Hong Kong than here. There are karaoke, pubs, pool and restaurants all open 24 hours.

Hong Kong is a small place, it is easy for the Hong Kong people or students to reach their locations since everything is within proximity. That’s why nightlife is common among us: We can still see the same amount of people on the street as in daytime. So, the life of students is quite different between Hong Kong and United States.

As an editor

I’m the online photography editor, and I also edit a feature story about [confidential]. I feel a bit anxious because this is the first time for me to be an editor for an article. At the beginning, I had no idea what to do. As time passed, there was some guidance on what to do, what to turn in; I started realizing the tasks and obligations of an editor. I feel glad for being an editor because I have a new experience under my belt.

Being an editor is a bit challenging because apart from editing writers’ articles, we have to know how to interact with the writer. An editor has to pay attention to establishing a good working relationship with the writer. Otherwise, the writer would not be as willing, and you won’t have articles to put in the magazine. I’m relived that my writer, Mike, can turn in his work on time.

Also, I would like to appreciate the team’s effort in this magazine because I can see that everyone has put a lot of attention and time on. I want to give props to everyone because everyone had met all the deadlines. Everyone has done a GOOD JOB! We are already halfway through the end of publishing spring ‘07 Access magazine. WE CAN DO IT!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jokes, the Cover and Titles

Professor Fosdick proposed jokes as each meeting's icebreaker. Then he places a small black box containing a few rocks, which connects to a rubber-hose pump. "It's relaxing," said Fosdick. A few teammates stretch out their necks to get a closer view of this therapeutic contraption.

He squeezes the pump and water jets from its center with a velocity that made all of us jump back. We nervously laugh pondering if he was serious.

Britney [circulation manager]: "It sounds like a wet fart." We genuinely laugh.

The cover art is complete, and its final touches are being implemented. One word can sum up the cover: phenomenal. Access has been in circa since 1986 and there is not one cover that will come close to this upcoming issue. The art team is exceptionally talented, and the art will far exceed any reader's expectations.

The titles and decks are currently being concocted by Britney and Ryan [coordinator of cover, TOC (table of contents), masthead, titles, decks and captions]. Decks are subtitles that add insight of the article's angle or subject.

A joke from professor Fodick:

Fosdick: "Have you heard of up dog?"

Lesger: "No. Is that a new software?"

Fosdick: "You're supposed to say 'What's up dog?' You know, what's up, dawg? Get it?"

Lesger: "Oh."

I still think professor Fosdick's fountain looked like a manually powered bidet.

[online editor]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Gold Star for Everyone Except...

Gold star: definition: A metaphorical term of endearment for praising a teammate's accomplishment(s).

Gold stars are thrown at teammates like ninja stars in Dwight Bental Hall.

The Access team has an abundance of stars being projected toward the next teammate---and---it has become the reoccurring theme during meetings.

Updates: The features and front-of-book articles have rolled in---the deadlines have been met. We must thank our two femme fatale leaders---Evie [editor in chief] and Kaitlyn [managing editor]---for their proactive involvement and for cracking the whip oh, so gently. Look, no lacerations!

I won't forget to mention [features editor] Heather's perseverance during her midnight surveillance of the anticipated e-mail influx from the editors. She checks her e-mail on her brand-new, state of the art, megabook, super-charged Mac. The notebook's white light mesmerizes all of us during meetings. Luckily, we won't get zapped like other white lights that lure its prey.

Nicole [FOB editor] has done a stellar job collecting all the short front-of-book pieces. These works are usually on a lighter subject with a concise superficiality that spark an interest in the reader. Found in the beginning of the book, tending to be less than 400 words, FOBs are a quick, fun read.

Lesley [assistant photo editor], this gold star is beamed at you; unfortunately, I can't throw your favorite Fosters Freeze treat your way on the Web. She's not only a journalism major, she's also a competitve swimmer and active athlete on SJSU's team.

Oh, so who is the ostracized that won't receive the much-wanted gold star? Well, the reader that doesn't read the blogs.

[Online Editor]

Monday, March 12, 2007

Falling into place

After many weeks of waiting, things are starting to fall into place at Access magazine. Many of the photographers and artists have delivered their work last Thursday to our art department. All the art work should be turned in by Monday.

Monday will also be a big day for the magazine because our writers will be turning in their first draft of their article to their editors. The editors will then forward their article to our features editor, Heather.

There appears to be mixed feelings regarding our writers. Some of us are having a difficult time dealing with them. Getting in contact with them, etc. Others have found their writers to be reliable.

Fortunately, I am one of those editors with a dependable writers. Kaitlyn, Heather and Evie each vow to track down those writers who are lagging and get them to commit to the magazine.

The online department is currently working on designing different layouts for the magazine’s Web site. We will be using InDesign to create the site. The site will feature the same stories as the magazine as well as some additional ones. The site will also have video clips of various aspects of student life at SJSU. This will be the first time Access magazine has an online companion since 2003.