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!