Thursday, February 26, 2009

Guest Speaker Today - Feb. 26 Class will be in San Antonio

NOTE: Some of you may remember the assignment this day from San Antonio was to listen to long-time San Antonio Express-News sports writer and columnist David Flores. Mr. Flores did not make it to class that day. I had talked to him earlier in the day and he said he had an important meeting to go to at his office downtown. He told me how happy he was that he had been spared by the cuts at the Express-News and how many of his friends had not survived. I could tell, by his voice cracking, that he was sure he was totally safe from the "cuts" and "lay offs." He apologized but said the would love to return another day. Shortly after that talk at 1:45 p.m., Mr. Flores was told he was among the last batch of Express-News employees to be "laid off." Of course, he was devastated, but handled the situation with class and dignity. Today (March 21) his last column appears on the San Antonio Express-News website. It's a tough one, for me, who saw him grow up from a cub reporter at the Kingsville-Bishop Record News to one of the most respected sports writers and columnists in the state and nation. Now he's gone.....but his legacy will live on. Visit his website (you have to complete your assignments) and check out his writing. His personal style of writing and ability to convert every thing into a human interest story with poignant personal comments, was singular here in Texas sports writing. He will be missed. Buena suerte, senor Flores.

Class, we will have a guest speaker scheduled today. If he does not show up, we will discuss column writing and you will be assigned to read some of his columns. More on this at class. His name is David Flores. He is the senior sports columnist for the San Antonio Express-News. He has a long and varied career in sports writing and has covered every facet of sports, from local high schools to the professional level. An alumnus of Texas A&M-Kingsville, David Flores is known for his crisp, no-nonsense style of writing. His columns are very respected. While his game day reporting is excellent, his column writing is superb. If he shows up (there have been some serious setbacks at SAE-N this week), I will ask him to talk about his columns and how he reaches out to his readers. It's interesting, while he has had many columns of praise for the heroes of sports and life in general, he also is not afraid to write a critical column and ask for change. That is the power of a good column writer. Please be early to class. I will be having class from San Antonio.....bueno, see you soon.
Dr. Manuel Flores

Kingsville students, good job

Just a note to thank the TAMUK students who attended the basketball doubleheader at the Steinke Physical Education Center (SPEC) last night. You all saw two good games and were part of a very enthusiastic and large crowd as both the men's and women's team tried to advance to the Lone Star Conference playoffs. I was pleased to see how "professionally" you behaved. You didn't cheer. You maintained your composure. You waited patiently for the coach to talk to his players before the interview sessions and you asked questions that related to the game. The games had many angles - senior night for both teams, last game at home this year for both teams, a serious injury for the TAMUK women, and making the playoffs. Also, the game started late cause the officials did not show up in time (why?) and the men's game lasted until almost midnight. But, the important thing is the game and what it meant to the players and coaches, our university and the community. George Vondracek, senior sports writer for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times wrote an excellent story. He decided to base his story by singling out the performance of one player. Is this right, or was this a "team win?" Is there such a thing as a team win? At any rate, Mr. Vondracek's lead and take on the story is one way to write that story. He also took time to get quotes - good ones - and incorporated them into his story expertly. Visit website to see his story or, in Kingsville, get a free copy of the paper today at the SUB. Also, look at the box scores he prepared. Bottom line: Good Job. You didn't cheer or get excited and it was even hard for me to maintain my sense of fair play and objectivity.
dr. flores

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Basketball game assignment

Remember, the basketball game assignment is due at the end of next week, at the latest. You are to cover two games - one men's (boys) and one women's (girls). At the high school level they are boys and girls. At the college level and above in its men and women. Okay. Your story should be AP style - 400-500 words. It should include at least two quotes. It should answer the 5Ws and 1H. You must include a copy of your stat sheet and you must add an AP Style Box Score to your report. Please call if you have any questions....thanks dr. flores

Feb. 19 class update ---test delayed

Class, I was unable to download test material into blog site. I'm sorry. Can all you please send me your emails so that I can email this to you by Monday. You will have until next Thursday, Feb. 26, to complete the tests once I get them to you this weekend. Okay? Now, here are the emails I have. If you name is not there, then you must send it to me via email at

Katrina Alejandro
Carlos Alvarado
Emmanuel Dixon ;
noe longoria ;
Juan Carlos Reyes
Lorraine Rodriguez ;
Greg Stelfox ;
Alisa Reynolds ;
Jaime Gonzalez ;
Tania Garcia ;

So, I will get this to you all by Monday...okay...thanks
dr. flores

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feb. 19 class blog assignment

We will not be meeting on this date. I will be out of town. Please watch for a sports IQ quiz and stats style sheet to be posted here and please download - copy pastes - and email or bring to class Tuesday, Feb. 24. Be ready to discuss in class.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chapter 2 Assignments - Part 3 (Due by Feb. 27)

Assignment 4: Legal issues are now very common in sports. For sports journalists covering today's myriad of issues - from steroid use, to heat-related deaths and use of drugs - being aware of legal terms is essential. Toward the end of Chapter 2, there is a discussion on "libel" - or written defamation of a person - also cover invasion of privacy. On a short comment on this blog, review that part of Chapter 2. Be able to explain:

(1) What is libel?
(2) How do you define the publication requirement of this law?
(3) How does a person prove he or she was a victim of libel?
(4) What is the only absolute defense of libel for a journalist?
(5) What is "qualified privilege"?
(6) What is "malice"?
(7) What is "neutral reporting" and how does this impact libel suits?
(8) How does "current newsworthiness" impact a complaint about "invasion or privacy"?

Please email your comments to me by Feb. 27.

Assignment 5: This is a blog assignment on this post. Please answer question 4 on page 41. Place your answer on the comment section of this post. Make sure you identify yourself. You are allowed to banter with your fellow classmates on this issue. In other words, if Jaime makes a comment, Shaun in SA or Mark in Kingsville can post their own version and challenge Jaime's statement. This is only an example.....okay? Good luck.

Chapter 2 Assignments - Part 2 (Due by Feb. 20)

Assignment 3: The ethics discussion on Chapter 2 is quite complete. Please review the following terms and in short, succinct statements, explain how they affect a sports journalists' ethics.

(1) Maintaining Independence
(2) Fair Play
(3) Pay Your Way
(4) Restrict Free-Lancing
(5) No Deals, No Discounts
(6) No Free Tickets for mom and dad and significant others
(7) All-Star voting
(8) Race and gender issues

Be prepared to discuss this in class. Also, please place your responses on the "comment" form of this post. Call if you have questions.

Chapter 2 Assignments -What you owe your readers (Due by Feb. 13)

Assignment 1: Sports journalists are not immune from following the ethics codes for the Society of Professional Journalists. Chapter 2 reviews this very thoroughly by reporting on the sports bra exposure incident of U.S. women's soccer star Brandi Chastain. On July 10, 1999 at the Women's World Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, after scoring the fifth penalty kick to give the United States the win over China in the final game, Chastain celebrated by peeling off her jersey and falling to her knees in a sports bra, her fists clenched. This image was featured on the covers of TIME, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated (featured here). Her act drew worldwide attention. In addition, NIKE stood to profit from this act. Review this issue and explain if you agree that there may have been an underlying current of commercialism with this act? What are the responsibilities of the sports journalist on this issue? Do we cover the story? Do we run this picture? Are we selling out? Or, is this just part of the game? Write and essay about ethics in sports journalism. Review the entries in the book on SPJ and APSE. Keep it short - no more than 250 words. Post your answer on this blog.

Assignment 2: On this chapter the author lists several things that a sports journalist should be aware of while covering a story. Among them are: (1) Beware of sensationalism, (2) double-check facts, (3) consider privacy and (4) avoid cynicism. Write a 250 word essay on this subjects (it's in the books) and be ready to discuss in class and turn in when we meet next. SA students, please email to or

Good luck

Friday, February 6, 2009

Remeber, no class Tuesday, Feb. 10

This is just a reminder that there will be no class Tuesday, as listed on the syllabus. This is a makeup for your extended Super Bowl coverage and also to give you time to make plans to attend a basketball game. Thank you for your hard work during this past Super Bowl. Most of you did very good work. However, because of deadline pressure and technical problems with The South Texan and TAMUK e-mail system, we did not get some stories in time to place in the specail Super Bowl section of The South Texan. Most of those are now on the website. A special portal on the website has also been set aside for TAMUK-SCSA students so that students there can see the original work our students in San Antonio are producing. Check it out....thanks.....