College Football National Championship Picks

So I reached out to 22 college media sports editors, and eight took the time to answer me during this hectic finals time. Swear to goodness, Alabama, Clemson, University of Georgia and Oklahoma each got two votes. So I guess the winner really is anyone’s guess.

Engberg,Zach.jpgZach Engberg – Sports Editor

San Diego State University

The Daily Aztec

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: University of Georgia

The University of Georgia will win the 2017 CFP championship. They have been the best FBS team since the season began. Only one of its games has been decided by less than two touchdowns, a 20-19 win over Notre Dame in week 2. After their 40-17 road loss to Auburn, the Bulldogs responded with three dominating wins, taking revenge on Auburn in the SEC championship. Running back Nick Chubb is one of the more underrated backs in the country, and Sony Michel is no slouch. Oklahoma has the best quarterback in the playoff, Alabama has the best coach, Clemson has the most experience, but this is the Bulldogs’ year.

grottkau, andrew.pngAndrew Grottkau – Sports Editor

Rice University

Rice Thresher

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s only loss this year came in a dud of a performance against Iowa State. That won’t happen again. When the Sooners play well, they look like the team that destroyed Ohio State in Columbus earlier this year. That’s the team I expect to show up for the Rose Bowl and the National Championship Game. Likely Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield will be too much for the Georgia and Clemson defenses to handle, and Oklahoma will take home the national championship.

King, Nathan.jpegNathan King – Assistant Sports Editor

Auburn University

The Auburn Plainsman

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield should prove too much for Georgia in the first round, although that Rose Bowl matchup should be one for the ages. Against either Alabama or Clemson, the Sooners defense will flex its newfound efficiency and harass Bryant or Hurts enough to let Mayfield be the deciding factor.

170717ChrisLeach

Lexington Herald-Leader reporting intern Chris Leach in Lexington, Ky., Monday, July 17, 2017.

Chris Leach – sports editor

University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Alabama

I think Alabama is going to win. I am not convinced that Alabama’s loss to Auburn is as crushing as some took it, that game was was incredibly hostile and it’s tough for anyone to play in that kind of environment. I think Alabama is as solid as anyone in the field, and coming off a rare-loss, watch out for the Tide.

Mason, Carson.jpgCarson Mason – Sports Editor

University of South Carolina

The Daily Gamecock

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Clemson

I predict Clemson to win the National Championship. I covered South Carolina’s annual Palmetto Bowl matchup with Clemson this season, in which the Tigers earned a 34-10 win over the Gamecocks. After a dominant win over Miami in the ACC Championship game, the Tigers look poised to repeat last season’s national championship victory behind quarterback Kelly Bryant, an arsenal of dynamic skill players and a stout defensive line.

Olivia Pitten – sports editor

Southern Methodist University

The Daily Campus

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Alabama

I think Alabama is going to win the national championship this year, despite not being conference champions. I think Nick Saban will take the month of December to get the Crimson Tide back into shape before facing Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, seeking revenge for their loss last year. Ultimately, I think the Alabama offensive will prevail over the Tigers.

Podell, Garret.jpgGarrett Podell – Sports Editor

Texas Christian University

TCU360

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: The University of Georgia

I think the Georgia Bulldogs will be the national champions for a couple reasons. They have a three-headed monster at running back with Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and D’Andre Swift who collectively average 263.5 rushing yards a game. Defensively, they allow just 13.2 points per game. When you can play keep away and win the time of possession battle, as well as keep your opponents out of the end zone, that’s a formula for winning it all.

Schnittker, Andrew.jpgAndrew Schnittker

North Caroline State

Technician

NATIONAL CHAMPION PICK: Clemson

I’ve got the Clemson Tigers winning it all. I saw first hand what that team is capable of when it came through Carter-Finley Stadium in November. That’s a championship caliber defense loaded with NFL talent. Kelly Bryant is a young, talented, mobile quarterback capable of leading the Tigers offense and allowing it to put enough points on the board for its defense to win the game. Give me Clemson over Oklahoma in the title game.

Heisman finalists get the college media treatment

The three Heisman trophy candidates are getting a lot of attention from the professional media. With that attention comes a spotlight on the campuses, the facilities, the athletic programs. So here at College Media Matters, we are putting the spotlight on how the college media on these campuses have covered the Heisman candidates. Because, let’s be honest, they probably do it better.

Lamar Jackson, University of LouisvilleLamar Jackson.jpg

The sports editors at the Louisville Cardinal have been covering the feats of Lamar Jackson since he got on campus. Last year Sam Draut, the sports editor, crafted a piece on Jackson by using Jackson’s personal Instagram account. Since then, the coverage has continued.

Dalton Ray, the current sports editor, said covering Jackson brings about unusual challenges.

“His play has been out of this world for two seasons now so we, as a staff, had an idea of what we were getting into,” Ray said. “We didn’t want to only write about Jackson, so it challenged us to think outside the box.”

When you have a player like Jackson, you always worry you might lose him early. “For our final issue of the semester, we had a Jackson-only section,” Ray said. “In case Jackson declares for the NFL Draft this spring.”

Whether Jackson declares for the draft or not, Ray will have excellent coverage of a Heisman candidate for his portfolio. But he says that’s not the only advantage to covering Jackson.

“The best part about covering U of L football is watching Jackson in person,” Ray said. “I’ve never seen anyone like him. To watch him make unreal plays each week is makes me realize how lucky I am to be in this position.”

Here’s more coverage from The Louisville Cardinal

http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2017/12/footballs-lamar-jackson-announced-heisman-trophy-finalist/

http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2017/11/lamar-jackson-greatest-player-youre-ever-going-see/

http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2017/11/evolution-lamar-jackson/

http://www.louisvillecardinal.com/2017/11/ranking-lamar-jacksons-top-10-games/

Baker Mayfield, The University of Oklahoma

In an amazing series, The Oklahoma Daily has been exploring all the Heisman award winners from the University of Oklahoma. They’ve also been covering Mayfield’s season and even his mustache.

For more stories form the Daily, check out this search link.

Bryce Love, Stanford University

Surprisingly, it doesn’t appear that The Stanford Daily has done much to cover finalist Bryce Love besides the typical football coverage and this feature on the launch of a Heisman campaign website.

Note: the sports editors of the OU Daily and The Stanford Daily did not respond to an email request to discuss their coverage.

College media offer advice on surviving finals

Let’s face it. Among all the excitement of returning home for winter break, there’s a lot of stress this time of year. Whether you’ve been on top of it all semester, or you have been, shall we say, focused on other things, finals bring with them a unique set of challenges.

So who better to offer sage advice on how to conquer those finals but college media staffers. Here’s a sampling of some great advice from around the country.

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The State Press
"Stressing about the end." Illustration published on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Photo credit: Meredith Kopriva

The State News, Arizona State University

In addition to food and mindfulness, The State News offers a more holistic list of tips on making finals a less overwhelming period of time.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, Colorado State University

You’ve got to eat! Fill the stomach as you fill the brain. The Rocky Mountain Collegian offers some quick and easy meals to keep you going during those study sessions. Click here for some ideas.

The Daily, University of Washington

In addition to feeding the body, you need to feed the soul. The Daily offers some wellness tips to keep you sane. Check out their tips here.

The Daily Utah Chronicle, University of Utah

It’s hard to get excited about the holidays when you have to pass that chemistry final. The Daily Utah Chronicle laments the stress of finals with a Christmas flair in this piece.

The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University

The Fly By also had a little fun with finals anxiety in this cute graphic.

WUVA News, University of Virginia


This handy video offers a variety of fun tips, and some disagreement over all-nighters. And some advice from an actual professional.

People of Color Talk column causes controversy after The College Fix calls it racist

Somehow a column that has been around for almost the entire calendar year is causing some controversy. The Cooper Point Journal at Evergreen College features a column POC Talk, meaning People of Color Talk. Apparently the column has been present for a while, but on Sept. 26, the editors reintroduced the column, and its purpose, to readers. According to social media, no one noticed much.

But on Dec. 1, The College Fix wrote a piece about the column, and that generated much more talk. And most of it is pretty negative toward the column and its anonymous writer(s).

image1-625x537.jpgBut if you take a look at the column, it doesn’t seem to be filled with hate, and might actually be a useful learning tool for those seeking to understand the viewpoints and struggles of people of color. They’ve offered tips on self care, talked about candidates for vice president and provost of equity and inclusion candidates, and offered a guide for social justice slang.

Many campuses have more than one media outlet, and some have publications and sites specifically for minority and affiliate groups, like The Hispanic Culture Review at George Mason University. But not all campuses can afford separate publications, but still want to make sure they address the various groups on their diverse campuses. Which is what this column seems to be doing.

Thoughts?

Note: The editors of the Cooper Point Journal never responded to a request to be interviewed.

College campuses have discussions on equality following anthem protests

It’s been more than a year since Colin Kaepernick sparked controversy by kneeling during the national anthem prior to San Francisco 49ers games. It’s been a few months since President Donald Trump further stoked that controversy by saying any athlete who kneels should be fired.

This discussion is not isolated to professional sports; it’s being held on college campuses throughout the country as students stand up for what they believe in by kneeling.

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Cheerleaders absent from field after kneeling during anthem
A handful of cheerleaders take a knee during the national anthem prior to Saturday’s matchup between Kennesaw State and North Greenville on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The Sentinel, Kennesaw State University

On September 30, five cheerleaders, now known as the Kennesaw Five, knelt during the national anthem. The next week they were not allowed on the field due to what was called a change in athletics procedures (haven’t we heard this before?). Allegations swirl that a local sheriff and politician pressured the new president into keeping the women off the field.

http://ksusentinel.com/2017/10/09/cheerleaders-absent-from-field-after-kneeling-during-anthem/

http://ksusentinel.com/2017/10/16/protestors-show-support-for-cheerleaders-kept-off-field/

http://ksusentinel.com/2017/10/19/investiture-eclipsed-kneeling-protest/

http://ksusentinel.com/2017/10/23/protestors-show-their-support-for-cheerleaders-kept-off-field/

http://ksusentinel.com/2017/11/13/cheerleaders-link-arms-after-being-allowed-on-field/

The Daily Egyptian, Southern Illinois University

After two cheerleaders knelt during the national anthem, the athletics department and the chancellor insisted on following a new protocol–one that kept the cheerleaders off the field and the courts during the anthem.

https://dailyegyptian.com/76302/showcase/siu-cheerleaders-say-they-are-being-hidden-during-national-anthem-due-to-kneeling-protests/

College Heights Herald, Western Kentucky University

Last fall the Major Redz dance team not only elected to take a knee during the national anthem, they encouraged others to participate.

http://wkuherald.com/news/major-redz-students-protest-during-game/article_570fcc6d-e867-5965-b9d9-c07220978158.html

The State News, Michigan State University

Rather than try to avoid controversy or discussion, the men’s basketball head coach at Michigan State agreed to purchase shirts for his team that read “We Talk, We Listen”. He said he hopes the shirts will encourage better communication.

http://statenews.com/article/2017/11/izzo-hopes-t-shirts-will-inspire-others-to-have-conversations

The Michigan Daily, University of Michigan

Athletes at the University of Michigan have been participating in #TakeAKnee protests for more than a year.

https://www.michigandaily.com/section/news/michigan-football-players-protest-racism-act-unity

The Tack, Buena Vista University

Even when students and administrators have intense discussions about the decision to kneel, boosters and alumni often have negative reactions.

https://bvtack.com/29538/n/president-issues-statement-focused-on-moving-forward-after-kneeling-protest/

The Round Up, Los Angeles Pierce College

Partially in response to President Trump’s comments and tweets about the protests in the NFL, some Brahmas at Los Angeles Pierce College took a knee. The Round Up tried to put the actions and controversy in context.

http://theroundupnews.com/2017/10/04/brahmas-take-knee/

The Crimson White, University of Alabama

In Alabama, protests spurred two hashtags, #BamaSits and #BamaStands

http://www.cw.ua.edu/article/2016/10/bamasits-protest-continues-after-threats-and-derogatory-remarks

http://www.cw.ua.edu/article/2016/10/our-view-sit-or-stand-this-is-about-respect

The East Carolinian, East Carolina University

It’s not just athletes who have caused controversy. At the Greenville, South Carolina school, the Marching Pirates band took a knee.

http://www.theeastcarolinian.com/news/article_3077d69e-883b-11e6-98f5-27211190dcf7.html

http://www.theeastcarolinian.com/opinion/article_7d0e9700-89c5-11e6-97f3-3b28cc080f99.html

http://www.theeastcarolinian.com/opinion/article_c60a9274-89c5-11e6-a00c-cf1e6f3b9160.html

The University Star retracts racist column amid nation-wide controversy

UPDATE (12.04.17): The Austin-Statesman is reporting that Texas State has formed a committee to review the procedures of The University Star.

The editorial board has not only apologized for running an opinion piece that has been called racist, they have declared the author will not be featured in the Texas State University newspaper again.

The original column is no longer available at The University Star webpage, but apparently can be found in the print edition.

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The move comes after the student body president Connor Clegg told KXAN he would seek to defund the newspaper if personnel changes are not made. In that piece he said “If the Star wishes to maintain its operations without student funding, they can do so like any other paper – by earning subscribers and selling more advertisements. There is no reason for over 39,000 students to be forced to invest their student fees towards this brand of journalism.”

It is unclear what steps Clegg would need to take to strip the paper of its university funding. According to reports he will meet with the editorial board tomorrow and announce some kind of action on Monday.

The author of the piece entitled “Your DNA is an abomination”, Rudy Martinez, told KXAN that he stands by his piece. “Let’s leave the racist attacks out of this. I don’t think my piece is racist at all. I don’t think colored people can be racist, I think racist attitudes come from a position of power,” he said.

In addition to the concerns of the student body president, the university president, Denise M. Trauth, has also spoken against the piece in a Facebook post. “While I appreciate that the Star is a forum for students to freely express their opinions, I expect student editors to exercise good judgment in determining the content that they print,” Trauth said. “The Star’s editors have apologized for the column and are examining their editorial process.”

According to reports, Martinez’s piece included the following quotes:

“The idea of whiteness and the way we currently understand it in which you have white privilege, you have our system of mass incarceration, you have a history of slavery in this country followed by Jim Crow. Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. These are all ideas born out of whiteness; they were born out of the minds of white people. So that, I do see as an aberration,” Martinez told KXAN.

“When I think of all the white people I have ever encountered – whether they’ve been professors, peers, lovers, friend, police officers, et cetera – there is perhaps only a dozen I would consider ‘decent.’”

The piece concludes: “Whiteness will be over because we want it to be. And when it dies, there will be millions of cultural zombies aimlessly wandering across a vastly changed landscape. Ontologically speaking, white death will mean liberation for all… Until then, remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist. You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die.”

Not unexpectedly the column has been discussed on InfoWars, Breitbart and the Washington Examiner.

Interestingly enough, the tagline for The University Star is “Defending the First Amendment since 1911.”

College Media Geeks: Ryan Weier

During the fall national college media convention, a lot of awards were handed out. Between the Pinnacles, the Pacemakers and Best of Show awards, literally hundreds of students received recognition from media professionals.

Only one received an award from his peers.

Ryan Weier won the Class Favorite Award in the Dallas Photo Shoot-Out sponsored by the convention. The senior graphic design major from Central Washington University was named best in class by other shoot-out participants. He even received an honorable mention from the professional judges.Ryan Weier - Headshot.jpg

The director of photography for the student magazine PULSE has contributed a lot to the magazine, while also breaking a few rules.

How did you get involved with college media?

Seeing a student ran magazine around campus sparked my interest and encouraged me to get involved.

Large Scale Prominade

Inadvertently mimicked the statue as he checked his watch as he wanders the city. “The typical Dallas city dweller is friendly, in terms of scale the city is huge. But once you get into
it, it’s not that big,” Prewitt said.

What went into you capturing this photo?

Rushing around Downtown Dallas in search of rental bikes as the sun neared the horizon meant a race against the clock. Some co-workers from PULSE Magazines OnceUponATone Collective and I begun peddling towards location pins we had set across Dallas. I soon felt the adrenaline rush many photographers come to love. I was determined to capture Dallas’s iconic “Traveling Man” statue towering above the skyline, with a lone figure below trumped by the size of the statue and city. Once I arrived and set up the shot I searched for a city dweller to interview and model under the structure. Nearby Macks Prewitt wandered the streets of Dallas with his girlfriend. “The typical Dallas city dweller is friendly. In terms of scale the city is huge. But once you get into it, it’s not that big,” Prewitt said. I snapped the shot and the adrenaline left my body. Prewitt’s statements couldn’t have been more accurate. Here I was in an unfamiliar city, wandering around seeking the perfect moment to capture, and I had finally found it.

Gear and settings used:

Canon 5D Mk IV with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens mounted on a Monfroto 190x Tripod; Settings: 24mm – 1/4 sec at f/8.0 ISO 1600

What three things do you think are key in capturing a great photo?

  1. Context
  2. Sharpness
  3. Throwing out the rule book.

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PULSE Magazine Fall Issue Cover |
“Celebrating Body Positivity”

What do you feel your greatest accomplishment in college media has been?

Collaborating with innovative writers, photographers, designers, and professors from PULSE Magazine.

In honor of College Media Matters’ found Dan Reimold, what is your six-word memoir?

6 word: Dreams don’t work unless you do.

15 Words: Time is money, time is gold, it can’t be pawned and it can’t be sold.

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Washington Larch Trees - “First snow after one of many Washington wildfires” |

Student media affected by Hurricane Harvey seek to cover the storm

Unless you’ve literally been living in a cave, you’ve seen something about the devastation Hurricane Harvey has wreaked throughout Texas and Louisiana, but its winds and rains have reached much further.

The College Heights Herald at Western Kentucky University is not only reporting on the storm, but suffering from its wrath. Editor-in-chief Helen Gibson woke up to the news that the newsroom of The Talisman, the Herald’s sister publication, had been damaged.

College Heights Herald

Water soaked ceiling tiles collapsed on a work station Photo credit: Chuck Clark

“I was here late last night,” she said. “And everything was fine. “But as I was getting ready this morning, I heard from our adviser that Hurricane Harvey happened.”

Overnight water apparently came in through the roof above one of the main work stations, damaging at least two computers.

College Heights Herald 2

A hole in the ceiling above a workstation in the newspaper office Photo credit: Chuck Clark

Currently the staff is setting up a temporary work station while also covering the damage to other spots on campus. Schools around town are closed for the day, and other buildings have taken on water.

“It’s more significant than I thought it was going to be,” Gibson said. “I didn’t think it would be this bad.”

College media organizations around Texas have also been affected. Check out their coverage here:

Texas publications:

The Cougar, University of Houston

http://thedailycougar.com/2017/08/28/group-students-help-rescue/

The Rice Thresher, Rice University

http://www.ricethresher.org/section/opinion

The Houstonian, Sam Houston State University

http://houstonianonline.com/2017/08/28/walker-county-accepting-harvey-donations/

The Battalion, Texas A&M

http://www.thebatt.com/news/aggie-family-duo-rescues-houstonians-from-flooding/article_a4f62a98-8e07-11e7-bdc7-3f48e09f462f.html

http://www.thebatt.com/opinion/the-good-in-this-world/article_04d75502-8cd4-11e7-b529-8f1806703c21.html

Coverage from outside Texas:

The Plainsman, Auburn University

http://www.theplainsman.com/article/2017/08/devastation-in-houston-students-study-as-their-families-are-affected-back-home

Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/app_content/article_44aaa3d6-8d02-11e7-84a1-033696061338.html

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/nation/article_e4ec7a46-8d01-11e7-bcef-3becba27581c.html

The Campus, Oklahoma City University

http://mediaocu.com/2017/08/28/students-unite-tropical-storm-harvey-hits-texas/

UC Davis newspaper thrives after students approve media fee

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In his four years with The California Aggie at University of California, Davis, Scott Dresser had a front-row seat on the student newspaper’s roller coaster ride. He was there when The Aggie hit bottom and was forced to halt print production and stop paying staffers. And, as editor-in-chief for two years, he helped lead the effort to return the newspaper to financial viability and resume print publication.

In an age of falling advertising revenue and hard decisions about print publication, his experiences offer some important lessons for 21st century student media operations.

The Aggie’s troubles became evident to Dresser in the spring of 2014, soon after he was named campus news editor. But the newspaper had actually been losing money for five straight years due to falling advertising revenue and financial mismanagement. As College Media Matters reported at the time, The Aggie’s budget reserves had plummeted from a half million dollars to less than $20,000.

In the winter of 2014 the newspaper staff launched a “Save the Aggie” campaign and tried to get the student body to approve a $3.10-per-quarter student fee that would have raised an estimated $272,800 annually for the newspaper, according to The Davis Enterprise. But too few students voted and the measure failed, compelling the leadership of the newspaper to halt printing and move to an online-only format.

“The mood was pretty grim,” Dresser recalled. “I was incredibly disappointed when we transitioned out of print. I understood the financial necessity but I grew up reading print newspapers, and I felt it was a disservice to the campus not to have a print paper.”

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Former California Aggie editor Scott Dresser led the effort to once again start printing the UC Davis student newspaper.

Over the next year the staff looked for new ways to bring in revenue. At one point, a local newspaper, The Vacaville Reporter, agreed to print the Aggie in exchange for the right to sell advertising, but that deal fell through, according to Dresser and news reports.

When Dresser became editor-in-chief in the spring of 2015 he vowed to make The Aggie financially viable again – and, if possible, to bring back the print newspaper. He worked with student government leaders and university administrators to craft a new fee initiative and mobilized the newspaper staff to convince students to approve it.

“We were speaking in classrooms daily, speaking at student organization meetings, tabling on the quad,” Dresser said of the 2016 “Print the Aggie” campaign. “We wanted to empower our staff to feel like they had skin in the game. We encouraged them to find innovative ways they could contribute to the campaign.”

A couple of weeks before the vote, The Aggie printed a special 100th-anniversary edition to “show students what they were missing,” Dresser said. In a letter from the editor in the print issue, Dresser noted that UC Davis was the only school in the 10-campus University of California system that didn’t have a print newspaper. “We pointed out that students were missing out on a service that students across the UC system had,” Dresser said. “That was pretty effective.”

A staff editorial hammered home the plea for print.

“Print journalism is important, especially on a college campus,” the editorial said. “In addition to increasing transparency of local issues and keeping an official record of UC Davis history, an on-campus print newspaper gives student groups more visibility for their events and allows for a higher level of accountability for ASUCD and the administration.”

The Aggie’s efforts paid off. About 21 percent of students voted on the initiative (a little more than what was needed to meet the 20 percent voter participation requirement) and of those, 61 percent agreed to charge themselves $3.73 per quarter to fund the Aggie. According to the initiative, of the money raised, 80 percent of the funds, about $230,000 per year, goes to the newspaper, and 20 percent covers the fee increase for those who can’t afford it.

The fee is scheduled to last for four more years and could be renewed with another election.

On Sept. 22, 2016, The Aggie started to print weekly once again. But the staff didn’t just use the fee money for printing. With the new revenue, the newspaper was able to hire a business development director who revitalized the advertising department and provided continuity for the student-run newspaper.

With money from the student fee and new advertising revenue coming in, The Aggie now has a healthy annual budget of $350,000, up from just $4,000 two years ago, Dresser said. The newspaper has been able to invest in new equipment and once again pay its staffers. “This year alone, we put over $100,000 into our reserves,” Dresser wrote in his final Letter from the Editor earlier this month.

Dresser said the paper is now a modern media enterprise that takes advantage of both print and online. The print newspaper reaches students where they live and study. “If they see a print copy outside a lecture hall or an on-campus coffee shop, we’re able to reach a wider audience,” Dresser said. “By getting back to print we’ve really increased our presence in the community. A lot of people in the community didn’t know we were still around.”

Meanwhile, the website features breaking news and multimedia content, which The Aggie promotes through social media.

“We fully understand that the future of journalism is digital,” Dresser said. “We have worked to get back into print, but we understand our digital product is as important if not more important than the print product.”

While Dresser thought it was vital for The Aggie to return to print, he understands that for other college newspapers digital-only publishing is the best way to serve their communities.

“I don’t think college newspapers should print just to keep printing,” he said. “Those decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.”

And not all campuses would support a student newspaper or media fee. But for those having financial troubles, it’s certainly worth considering. The Daily Californian at UC Berkeley, The Daily Nexus at UC Santa Barbara and The Daily Bruin at UCLA are among student newspapers that benefit from student media fees.

After years of fighting to save and then revitalize The Aggie Dresser is ready for his next challenge. He graduated with degrees in economics and political science last week and plans to take a break and travel before looking for a job in politics or journalism.

The Aggie was my life for four years so it’s really sad to be leaving,” Dresser said. “But I’m confident next year’s staff has the ability to continue this legacy.”

College Media Geek: Andrew Grottkau, Rice University

New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick doesn’t smile often. It’s such a rare occurrence, USA Today felt it important to alert the world that they had unearthed groundbreaking footage of such an occasion back in 2016.

Leave it to college journalist Andrew Grottkau to elicit both a smile AND a brief chuckle from the usually unflappable Belichick.

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A screen capture of one of the rarest sights in nature: a smiling Bill Belichick.

Grottkau, a sophomore at Rice University, managed the feat by asking Belichick about his days at Phillips Andover Academy during a news conference for this year’s Super Bowl held in Houston.

“For some reason … there was this second where it was kind of silent, which isn’t typical,” Grottkau said. “I decided to just butt right in and ask Bill Belichick a question. It was pretty surreal that he answered it.”

Grottkau said he never imagined he’d have the opportunity to interact with professional sports personalities, as he’s currently a mechanical engineering major. So how did he end up covering the Super Bowl?

“It’s kind of by accident that I got involved, but I’m really happy I did,” Grottkau said.

During his first week at Rice, his adviser noticed that he was a sports fan, and put him in contact with the sports editor of the student newspaper, the Rice Thresher. Shortly afterwards, he had his first assignment: preview Rice’s first football game of the season.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said.

The Thresher became so impressed with Grottkau’s skill covering sports, he assumed the role of sports editor during his freshman year and started writing his column The Final Kauntdown (a pun on the last three letters of his last name). When he heard the NFL planned to host the Super Bowl in hereby Houston, he realized he needed to try and cover it.

He said he didn’t know anything about the process, however he managed to acquire an account with NFL Communications, which allowed him to request press credentials for the event. Even though the Thresher does not regularly cover professional sports, he still managed to secure week-of-game passes for him and his photographer.

At the Super Bowl Opening Night (formerly Media Day), he attended his first professional news conference. He said 20-30 people crowded around Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, which differed greatly from the three to five people that usually attended Rice news conferences.

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Rice Thresher Sports Editor Andrew Grottkau interviews New England Patriots DL Trey Flowers during one of this year’s Super Bowl media-day events.

“It took a little bit of building up the confidence to actually ask a question, but once I did, I just blurted it out,” Grottkau said. “Just asking that first question really broke the ice.”

He managed to talk to some players milling around the hotel and Minute Maid Park before stunning Belechick with question about his high school days.

“I decided to enquire what he felt that year was like for him and so I got a pretty cool answer,” Grottkau said.

Phillips Andover Academy found out about Grottkau’s question via Twitter, and they they were “thrilled” about Belechick’s answer, which they posted to their Facebook account.

“It was pretty cool,” Grottkau said.

Grottkau’s currently a sophomore with the goal of expanding Rice’s coverage to online platforms.

“When I started we had very little website presence and very little social media presence,” Grottkau said.

When he became an editor, Grottkau said he wanted to run the publication’s Twitter account, which had laid dormant since 2013.

“I tried to make sure that we brought that back and were actually doing live coverage of things throughout the week,” he said.

He said his organization’s efforts to transition to providing digital content paid off once they started making an effort to post their stories more often on their Facebook page. The staff soon found the site generated more traffic than their print edition, piling up more than 4,600 likes.

Grottkau also had the opportunity to try his hand at podcasting when a fellow staff member Madison Buzzard approached him about starting a podcast devoted to covering Rice sports modeled after “Pardon the Interruption.” The duo brainstormed and researched for a couple of weeks before recording their first episode.

“We just kind of went for it the first time,” Grottkau said. “It actually ended up working really well.”

Grottkau said he hoped to release a new podcast every two weeks. Though he plans to get a job in industry once he graduates Rice, his experiences as a sports editor have left an indelible mark on him (like the time he got to watch Kris Jenkins hit the game-winning shot at the NCAA Final Four last year and interview players and Charles Barkley in the post-game madness).

“I really like it,” he said. “I don’t think I would have made it this far if I wasn’t having fun.”

College Media Geek: Gabi Wy, University of Southern Indiana

While many college students spent their sophomore years figuring out what they want to do, Gabi Wy of the University of Southern Indiana has spent her second year of college pursuing her passion and deepening her knowledge of an ever-evolving media landscape.

Gabi has already participated in the Asian American Journalists Association’s VOICES program and the Discover Your Drive Diversity Journalism Program, and those experiences have encouraged her to become a multimedia journalist. Additionally, she has grown her passion for diversity in journalism.

Gabi Wy Headshot.jpg

What is your year, major and title?

I’m a sophomore journalism and criminal justice major. I’m the incoming editor-in-chief of The Shield at USI, and an intern at the Evansville Courier & Press.

You are an underclassmen and yet have already participated in two advanced journalism programs. Why did you seek those opportunities?

I never really thought twice about applying for those opportunities the second I heard about them. At times, when you’re just attending classes at your school and taking local opportunities, you feel a little stuck. I’m a dreamer and envision myself traveling the world. These opportunities seemed like the perfect blend of getting valuable experience and also satisfying a little bit of my thirst for adventure. From both experiences, I’ve been blessed to meet professional journalists who are willing to vouch for me when I apply for other opportunities, and that’s priceless. I’ve made amazing connections I couldn’t have made otherwise.

What is your biggest takeaway from the AAJA VOICES program?

VOICES gave me the confidence I needed to cover really important stories. I’m fascinated by criminal justice, but until that point, I hadn’t covered much beyond the crime that happens on our campus. One of my projects for VOICES was a story about the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and their progress with body-worn cameras. To be honest, I got really scared for a second, because that was the first time I really felt like I was covering something that reached beyond our campus. With the help of my mentor, I was able to build up the confidence to write about a police department across the country from my hometown and talk to key figures about a pretty important issue today. As only a freshman, I had felt I didn’t have the capacity to be covering things like that. With VOICES help, I proved myself wrong.

Also, I interviewed a guy who was wearing nothing but a diaper, bib and bonnet for a video of Fremont Street performers. He calls himself the Lost Baby in Las Vegas. That’s something I’ll never forget.

What was your greatest learning experience from the Discover Your Drive Diversity Journalism Program?

Discover Your Drive was all about teamwork. With the help of some pretty awesome students and mentors, I helped produce a video on the top technologies that came out of the North American International Auto Show. I found myself focusing on things I don’t necessarily always gravitate towards, like photography and video editing. It pushed me out of my comfort zone (especially since I am the farthest thing from a car fanatic) and taught me to adapt. We were all really, really pleased with the result, which was published in Inc. Magazine.

Why do you think it’s so important for college journalists to be learning about diversity?

It’s crucial for college journalists and really just plain journalists to learn about diversity, simply because there is such a lack of it in our profession. Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to be the only minority in your newsroom. There needs to be active effort to increase the range of viewpoints you have at news sources. Through these two very diversity-focused programs I’ve been in, I’ve realized how valuable it is to have individuals from so many different backgrounds working together on projects. Without diversity in newsrooms, critical stories about the American demographic could be missed simply because there isn’t anyone with the eye to catch it.

What advice would you give a student who is trying to get involved in programs like you have?

Apply for as many of these opportunities as you can. AAJA Voices, despite being the Asian American Journalists Association, is not confined to just Asian Americans or minorities. Most of these diversity programs (if not all of them) welcome any demographic who applies. It never hurts you to send in an application, and I wouldn’t trade the skills I’ve learned from them and the connections I’ve made for the world.

Also, don’t think that just because you’re an underclassman or haven’t had much professional experience they won’t pick you. My only experience when I applied for VOICES was at my school newspaper and school radio station.

What is your career goal?

I started out college thinking I was set on being a reporter either on the cops or courts sort of beat, but I think my tastes have expanded. I think now I’d like to be a versatile, multimedia reporter at a newspaper/news source covering lots of different things throughout my career. I picked journalism because it’s a career in which you never stop learning, and there’s always new things around every corner. With the competitive nature of the field, I probably need to be open to trying a lot of different things.

Dan Reimold, the founder of CMM, loved to ask people to write their memoirs in six words. What would yours be?

“She wrote because there was hope.”

The Campus Ledger cuts prints

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Just in time for its 40th birthday, The Campus Ledger at Johnson County Community College in Kansas is going under the knife – it’s cutting print.

When the paper returns in the fall, it won’t be paper, but it will be a new challenge for the students and staff involved.

Nell Gross, editor in chief, said the switch will probably make her life easier and will serve the readers better.

“It’s been difficult to split up my time between print and digital,” she said. “It’s a lot of work for such a small staff to do. And this is how most people our age get their news. How they are most likely to see it.”

Corbin Crable, the paper’s adviser, said he agrees.

“As a student publication, we must adapt to the ever-changing needs and demands of our audience,” he said. “Our research has shown that both our social media activity and web hits have increased in recent years, while print readership and advertising revenue continues to slowly decline.”

Crable said the transition has been in the works for three years, and has benefitted from converging with the radio and video groups on campus.

“We operate in a converged newsroom alongside our counterparts at the campus Internet radio station and the student-run video production outlet,” he said. “So even if a reporter couldn’t post a full article each day, or a photog couldn’t post a photo or gallery each day, we would at least help cross-promote our other media outlets by posting podcasts, video news packages, or full multimedia packages.”

Tips from Johnson County Community College

  1. This is certainly not a decision to be made hastily. Research other collegiate publications that have made the same move to become an exclusively online media outlet.
  2. Network with student editors and advisers who have made the leap and learn from them what worked and what didn’t.
  3. Survey your campus community to get a sense of what they truly want to see in your website and social media presence.

  4. Find out where your students live. If most live off campus or telecommute, a print edition might not be a good fit.
  5. Work with your existing and incoming staff members to carefully craft the changes in employee roles, schedules and workflow.
  6. Above all else, be patient as all involved get used to this new operation.

  7. Acknowledge and embrace the reality that mistakes will be made and that the transition won’t be flawless, but be proud of the fact that, in most cases, you’re operating in the best interests of your campus community and its media consumers.

April Fools’ Day editions

Ahhhh, the April Fools’ Day edition. Some media outlets avoid the concept altogether, some go all in and some carefully label each piece of satire. But sometimes these things are just fun (when done right). Here is a sample of what your college media companions were up to this week.

North Dakota State University: Normally the Spectrum, but this week The Rectum

http://ndsuspectrum.com/category/the-rectum/

Pepperdine University: Where the Graphic becomes the Grunion (think Graphic and Onion)

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Colorado State University: The Rocky Mountain Collegian reported on what it called a “unique story”:

https://collegian.com/2017/04/csu-student-finds-parking-spot/

SUNY Buffalo State: The Record produced such a great joke, University of Buffalo students believed it.

http://www.ubspectrum.com/article/2017/04/satire-article-fools-many-students-and-causes-controversy

Rice University: The Rice Thresher normally, but this special edition is the Trasher

https://issuu.com/ricetrasher/docs/2017trasher

Piedmont College:

http://www.piedmontroar.com/2017/04/01/new-piedmont-mascot-coming-fall-2017/

Capital University: Usually The Chimes, but they are The Funion around April 1.

http://cuchimes.com/03/2017/old-cosi-building-turned-strip-club/

Missouri Western State University: The Griffon News Network pokes for at their adviser, Bob Bergland, for warning against April Fools’ Day pranks.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b18u5T416rc&feature=youtu.be

UC San Diego launches news outlet

A lot of college media folks are talking about the latest trends – reducing or dropping print, focusing on digital first content, finding new revenue streams, keeping up with technology. We’ve heard about these trends so much, we might be tired of them.

But we can get excited about something The Triton at the University of California, San Diego is doing. Starting a news outlet from scratch and celebrating its success. That’s a trend many of us could probably get behind.

Gabe Schneider, founder and current editor in chief, said he wanted to start The Triton because he didn’t feel the student newspaper, The Guardian, was covering hard news and student opinion.

UCSD Triton

Editor in chief Gabe Schneider and managing editor Aleena Karamally Photo credit: Courtesy of Gabe Schneider

“They weren’t covering campus issues and protests,” he said. “We thought it would be important to expand coverage and not just news.”

Incoming editor in chief Jaz Twersky said she agrees.

“The Guardian is funded directly by the university and is an older institution and is still more PR in focus,” Twersky said. “We were in need of an independent news on campus to do investigative work.”

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Managing editor Aleena Karamally said she agrees on the importance of founding an independent outlet, but also stressed the importance of the digital approach.

“The Triton is a digital source of news and does not print,” Karamally said. “We find digital media to be much more accessible and convenient for our audience.”

Additionally Schneider said UC-San Diego doesn’t focus on student journalism as much as other schools in the UC system.

“When you look at the other UCs, the missing puzzle piece is we aren’t known for student journalism,” Schneider said. “We are known for the Koala. But [UCSD] has a rich history. Conservative, and liberal papers and minority focused papers. Everything.”

The Koala, known for humor and doing whatever they want, created such a controversy on campus in 2016 that the administration officially denounced them and the Associated Students council decided to defund all student publications. There was then a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

But not only didn’t that negatively impact The Triton (they’ve always been independent), it might have helped their cause.

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“It got students talking and evaluating media on campus,” he said. “The defunding acted as a catalyst for us to keep pursuing independent student journalism.”

Twersky said the defunding reiterated the importance of being completely independent, and Karamally said it sent a message about how the campus feels about student-produced media.

“Defunding print media without concern for the future of student publications seemed to express our administration and student government’s lack of value for student press on campus,” Karamally said.

Being completely independent seems to have helped The Triton. In the short time it has been around, the staff has grown to around 50 members, website hits are around 5,000 a day and the staff is planning to put together an advisory board.

“Folks just want to get involved,” Schneider said.

Karamally said the quality of the Triton content has helped with recruitment.

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“Our staff has been drawn to this publication because of the content and results we produce,” she said. “It is the drive and initiative of our staff that has kept this publication not only running but constantly improving and progressing.”

Twersky, who is currently opinions editor, agrees that content helps recruit, but she still actively seeks out diverse voices.

“We’ve reached out pretty actively when they seem like they’d be a good fit for the paper,’ she said. “My team is a mix of people who reach out to me and who I’ve reached out to.”

Twersky said that while recruitment is going well, turnover, that at all college media, is constant, so an advisory board is important.

“[An advisory board] could serve as a steadying and grounding influence,” she said. “By helping us do our work in an informed way and help us maintain best practices, they could be helpful.”

Schneider said he agrees and hopes a council will be a great support system.

“An advisory board will hopefully help anchor us,” he said. “[We are] hoping that they’ll advocate for us. Students are tuned in, we’re not sure administration or faculty are. We’d like to see stronger involvement all around.”

Schneider said he hopes to see The Triton thrive in the next few years.

“I’d like to see us have a permanent space on campus,” he said. “Non profit status. 150 staffers. As we increase students on campus, there’s a bigger need to tell students what is going on.”

Twersky and Karamally want those things and more.

“I hope there is a journalism minor at UCSD,” Twersky said. “And that it’ll work with us.”

Karamally hopes The Triton will offer “panel discussions, workshops, and connections to internships for students.”

Students fighting cuts to yearbook

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When the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors decided to cut funding for Nicholls State University La Pirogue yearbook, they got more than perhaps they bargained for. They got Hollyn Millet.

Hollyn, a sophomore birth to 5th grade education major, has been serving as editor in chief of the 69-year-old yearbook and leading the charge to save the publication.

“[We] are pretty worked up, pretty passionate,” she said.

The board of supervisors decided Feb. 23 to eliminate the $10 yearbook fee students at Nicholls pay for the 352 page yearbook. But students at Nicholls don’t get to keep that $10. Nope, it’ll be split up into two $5 fees for Student Success and QEP programs. Even though it’s unsure exactly what those programs will use the fees for.

Not only does Hollyn not understand why the yearbook has to be sacrificed for the two additional fees, she said students didn’t have any input in the matter.

“The La Pirogue students [had] no input into the discussion to discontinue the fee,” Hollyn said. “Nor did the student body, who pay the fee.”

According to a story in the Nicholls Worth newspaper (fun name, right?), the administration claims student interest in yearbooks has waned and technological advances have negatively impacted the book.

Hollyn disagrees.

According to another story, there’s $498,807.87 in the La Pirogue account as of Feb. 22. Enough to publish the book for years to come without the help of the fee. But it sounds like the administration wants that money, too. Though they haven’t said for what yet. Hollyn hopes the yearbook can keep some of it.

“I really, really hope that they would let us keep a little bit of the money,” she said. “This is Nicholls history.”

But don’t imagine that Hollyn and her staff are taking this lying down. To begin with, they are focused on producing a really great 2017 book.

“We are going above and beyond to produce it and have it out on time,” she said. “[Our theme is] ‘Oh the places we’ve been,’ and it’s highlighting past [coverage and contributions] made by the yearbook. We mean it to make the administration know this [book] does matter.”

She said the staff is united in making their voices heard.

“All my staff is very passionate about the yearbook,” Hollyn said. “They feel the same way. They [are] pretty worked up. They [do] everything.”

That everything includes attending every meeting they can, signing the petition to save the book and bringing awareness to the situation.

And it’s not just her staff that cares. The student government passed a resolution asking the administration to give the money to student publications. And other students are just as concerned.

“Students have been posting and expressing their concerns and feelings about the decision,” Hollyn said.

And they are concerned, she said.

“If [the administration] did this behind closed doors, what is next? Students are worried.”

Additionally, she’s working with alumni to develop an awareness campaign.

But if the yearbook really does go away, Hollyn won’t.

“I will still work with KNSU (radio) or The Nicholls Worth,” she said. “Student media is my home away from home. The first time I walked in the stud publications office, I knew I was meant to be here.”

Hollyn said she is still unsure what will happen in the long run. But in the meantime, she said others can help.

“Share our stories, like us on Facebook,” Hollyn said. “Cause more of an uprise. It’s not just Nicholls. It’s the community, the state. And yearbooks in general.”

You can sign their petition here.

San Francisco State University launches The Fake News Watch

Kaylee Fagan spent years putting off the newspaper class required of her at San Francisco State University. She knew she wanted to do something different that didn’t fit with the traditional print product, so she was hesitant to take a class that required her to work at the student newspaper.

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When she finally signed up for the course in her third year, she decided to pitch one of her different ideas: a weekly video series that focused on what was being called fake news, exploring its origins and proliferation.

“I’d heard somewhere in my time in university,” Fagan said, “that you should do the work in college that you want to be paid to do after college. So that stuck with me.”

Fagan pitched her idea for The Fake News Watch and was thrilled when the idea was accepted.

“I knew I had multiple ideas for things I wanted to make that weren’t going to be news copy,” she said. “I embraced it and pitched this idea. And I got approved to pursue it. It was really exciting.”

The Golden Gate Xpress video series is still new, but Fagan said she believes this topic is very important right now.

“I took the election and the results very personally,” she said. “I felt like what we do in journalism school and what my professors do was at stake. This pursuit of accuracy and getting it right was in danger and threatened. [This is] my own form of resistance.”

While the thoroughly researched show offers much for all audiences, Fagan said students are her primary audience.

“Our main focus is with a younger audience in mind,” she said. “Younger college students who are interested in being media literate. [People who want to learn] how to look critically at the country and their own communities.”

Her lofty goal, to teach students to be more media literate, can affect what kind of media survives these times, she said.

“If [viewers] take anything away from the show, [I hope] it is to be more aware of the media you consume,” Fagan said. “Our individual media consumption is very much vital to what kind of media survives and what media makes good journalism.”

As a student, Fagan said she has had to devote much time to this project on top of classes and a part time job. She said she routinely spends 16-18 hours a week on the video series. She said she also feels she has to please a lot more people than her professional counterparts.

“We are attempting to please a lot of people,” Fagan said. “I know that happens in the professional world, too. We have a unique experience as students with multiple advisers and the department who all have different expectations of us. We are being pulled in a lot of different directions.”

Recently Fagan was asked to speak at the ACP Midwinter Convention about her new project. She said she told students they “shouldn’t be afraid to push the boundaries of what they think student journalism looks like.”

“This was an entirely new format for Xpress,” Fagan said.“It was scary and [we didn’t have a] lot of guidance. [We were] hoping that what we made was something people would watch. I’m so proud that we took that chance and made that leap into the unknown.”

While The Fake News Watch has been educational to viewers, Fagan said she has also learned from the project.

“I have the tendency to not want to start a project if I don’t think I can get it right on the first try,” she said. “This demonstrated how silly and unproductive that is. Pitch the initial idea and start something even if it’s not perfect on the first try.”

Fagan also said she thinks journalism is at a crossroads right now.

“As far as fake news is concerned,” she said. “Fake news comes from so many different places and facets that it’ll either destroy journalism or revitalize it. Journalism, as an industry, needs to regain an understanding of our own place in the landscape and [the fake news myth] has propelled us back into the competition.”

Western Kentucky turns successful yearbook into even more successful magazine

Whenever college yearbook folks hear that another college yearbook is being cancelled or transitioned into something like a magazine or table top book, they get nervous. But when it was announced that the Western Kentucky University Talisman was transitioning, it was hard to be nervous when the students and professionals were so excited about what was next.

The Talisman yearbook was a staple in the CMA Pinnacle Awards and the ACP Pacemakers, so it’s no surprise the first Talisman magazine was a design and story telling success.

Here’s how this successful transition was made from the mouths of the student and professional leaders. Kylee Kaetzel is the very first editor in chief of the Talisman magazine and Charlotte Turtle is the adviser who helped her make a big leap into a new world.

Turtle and Kaetzel

Kylee Kaetzel & adviser Charlotte Turtle

How long did you plan the transition?

Charlotte Turtle (Talisman adviser): The magazine format was something we discussed regularly. Our students wanted to add it to our list of products and many hoped to go into the magazine industry after graduation so it seemed like an obvious choice. In 2013, our budget was cut by 47 percent. We started talking about the possibility of change for the future. Our yearbook moved from a free distribution model to at sales model. For a couple years, we were able to make our budget work with reoccurring one time money. In the midst of this change, we kept discussing the possibility of a new product. A magazine was always at the forefront of the conversation.

In the fall of 2015, we realized that our budget was not going to cover our costs. The yearbook was halfway completed and there was no guarantee we could afford the printing bill with the amount of books we had sold. The two brave editors-in-chief met with the Provost and requested the funds we were lacking. He generously met our need and our 2016 book would be printed. Although this was great news, we knew that we couldn’t go on living this way year to year. The conversation about our future got moved to the front burner during the beginning of the spring semester and we started to be realistic about our options. The 2016 editors needed time to make their yearbook special since it would be the last edition. In the meantime, the leaders for the next year needed time to plan what the magazine could be. We had a very sobering meeting and decided it was time. The announcement was thoughtfully planned for March 15 and after that day we didn’t look back.

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Talisman adviser Charlotte Turtle

What kind of research and input did you seek?

Charlotte: We have a committee of journalism professionals and alumni from our program. They were very involved in the discussion since the initial budget cuts. They gave us some good input from their experiences. We looked to professional magazines who we had been admiring for years. We also went to the list of Pacemaker winners and saw what kinds of work they were producing.

How did you get buy in from your staff and from the university?

Charlotte: Our editors really took the lead to get the staff behind the new idea. Although the loss of the yearbook was something we all took time to mourn, we refocused on the potential of something new. It was a really quick recovery because the excitement of the magazine.

Kylee Kaetzel (Editor in Chief): I wasn’t in on the ground work of the transition, because the co-Editors-in-Chief at the time were at the head of that process. After the transition was definite, and I became Editor-in-Chief of the Talisman Magazine, we had to decide what direction we were going to take this new publication. Although we wanted to keep the storytelling aspect of the Talisman alive, putting that in a magazine format was going to look different. The buzz and excitement from potential staff members was almost overwhelming, as we had dozens of applications to be on staff for the first issue. I think the student body and staff realized that a change was coming, and thankfully, they embraced that change.

Kaetzel

Talisman editor in chief Kylee Kaetzel

It was difficult to know if the university was fully on board with the transition. Although they approved the change, we were still going to need their support in order to make this a success. It was clear that everyone was all-in to the magazine when President Dr. Gary Ransdell showed up to our magazine launch party in December. He came and read through each and every page of the first issue of the Talisman magazine and gave nothing but praise for the product and the way the transition was handled on campus. That is when I knew we had taken the right step by making a magazine.

What has been the hardest part of the switch?

Charlotte: The hardest part was jumping into tight deadlines and figuring out something that was totally new. Defining the type of magazine we wanted to be and the content we wanted to produce had to be nailed down during the first month of school. From there, the editorial board had to convey that new mission to their staffers. All the content had to be produced in a little over a month so we could have time to figure out the look and feel of the magazine before we sent it off to the printer.

Kylee: I was never really on yearbook staff, except for doing public relations and social media, so transitioning from the yearbook to the magazine wasn’t difficult for me. I hadn’t been used to any particular way of executing a yearbook prior to becoming Editor-in-Chief, so I was ready to begin something new. I would say the hardest part of the switch for me has been coordinating the details, from how many pages it will be to what kind of content we wanted to publish to educating the campus community about our transition. Everyone knows that college kids (millennials) are one of the toughest groups to reach, so I made sure we have a marketing director who understood that struggle and was ready to get to work. We realize we are making this magazine for the campus community, but if they never hear about how we are, then they won’t pick it up. We are continually working on improving our social media following and using our website, wkutalisman.com, as a catalyst for the magazine.

What has been most surprising?

Charlotte: The most surprising thing was how well the WKU student body received our new product. We were fully distributed in less than two weeks. Students were praising our product on social media and bragging on our staff. That was a feeling I was used to during my time as a student when we handed out the yearbooks for free, but my student had not experienced that kind of reception. It is like the clouds have been lifted and we get to make something beautiful again without the gloom and doom of budget restrictions. Our staff also really enjoyed the process of magazine creation. They are free to create without the yearbook limitations so the magazine is trendier and more culturally relevant. Before, we were worried about the person picking the yearbook up off the shelf 50 years from now. Today, we can focus on the students who are walking the Hill every day and the culture that defines WKU today.

Kylee: I’m not saying this has been easy, but I am surprised by how smooth everything has gone so far. We chose a great printer, hired an amazing staff and produced a magazine that I am very proud of. There were definitely bumps we had to smooth out along the way, but Charlotte, the Talisman adviser, helped guide the process through every step and make sure everything was taken care of. I wasn’t sure what the Talisman transition was going to look like, and I had zero experience in publishing or producing a magazine, but with a talented staff of about 50 individuals and support from the university, I couldn’t imagine a better first issue.

If you could sum up this experience in six words, what would they be?

Charlotte: A refreshing facelift to the Talisman.

Kylee: Challenging, rewarding, tiring, learning, growing and leading.

http://wkutalisman.com/magazine/issue-01/

Student editors voice opinions on travel ban

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As journalists around the country seek to cover the new administration and its policies, student journalists offer opinions on the effectiveness of the travel ban and its impact on college campuses. Here’s a sampling of what students are saying.

  • Washington State University, The Daily Evergreen

http://www.dailyevergreen.com/opinion/article_97f3e3b0-e8f5-11e6-b7d4-c35a378ba3b3.html

  • Northern Illinois University, The Northern Star

http://northernstar.info/opinion/fill-in-the-blank-the-immigration-ban-is/article_f439cc6c-ea61-11e6-949e-07658bc5f38a.html

  • Rice University, The Rice Thresher

http://www.ricethresher.org/article/2017/01/resist-policies-steeped-in-hatred-and-racism

  • Valencia College, Valencia Voice

http://www.valenciavoice.com/2017/02/the-impact-of-president-trumps-new-immigration-policy-on-valencia-students/

  • Colorado State University, The Rocky Mountain Collegian

https://collegian.com/2017/01/rodenbaugh-this-is-what-trumps-immigration-action-actually-looks-like/

  • UC Berkeley, The Daily Californian

http://www.dailycal.org/2017/01/27/berkeley-must-continue-fight-trump/

  • University of Minnesota, Minnesota Daily

http://www.mndaily.com/article/2017/02/trump-and-the-overextension-of-the-presidential-decree

  • University of Alabama, The Crimson White

http://www.cw.ua.edu/article/2017/02/our-view-ua-should-become-a-sanctuary-campus

  • University of Mississippi, The Reflector

http://www.reflector-online.com/opinion/article_41131ae2-e996-11e6-adee-f72a2f9f60d1.html

  • University of Louisiana-Lafayette, The Vermilion

http://thevermilion.com/2017/01/trumps-first-week-marked-executive-orders-protests/

  • University of Florida, The Independent Florida Alligator

http://www.alligator.org/opinion/editorials/article_0dd24de8-e698-11e6-b4c3-c329888341cd.html

  • Miami University, The Miami Student

http://miamistudent.net/the-medias-obligation-is-to-information-not-opposition/

  • Illinois State University, Vidette Online

http://www.videtteonline.com/viewpoint/take-advantage-of-your-first-amendment-rights-during-these-changing/article_bd45c5b6-e977-11e6-90c4-0f22e9ea74c4.html

  • University of Nevada-Reno, The Nevada Sagebrush

http://nevadasagebrush.com/blog/2017/01/31/white-house-travel-freeze-misguided-un-american-2/

  • Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, The Online Beacon

http://www.theonlinebeacon.com/ban-steve-bannon/

  • Georgetown University, The Hoya

http://www.thehoya.com/editorial-defiance-in-the-face-of-danger/

  • Texas A&M, The Battalion

http://www.thebatt.com/news/eyes-on-washington-students-affected-by-immigration-ban-work-through/article_16fbd074-ec0b-11e6-9418-b36cd6d13dfe.html

The Tiger at Clemson scores with special championship edition

When the Clemson Tigers surprised the Alabama Crimson Tide by winning the college football National Championship, the staff of The Tiger surprised themselves by not only covering the game (before even being back on campus), but by producing a special edition in record turnaround time.

Most students were still on winter break, the game was in Tampa and funding was low. But the staff managed to send a photographer, coordinate social media coverage and was ready to roll when the football team pulled out the win.

Despite having a smaller staff than usual, Saavon Smalls, Tiger editor in chief, said he wasn’t worried.

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“I had two big things in mind: what exactly should we cover and who could best cover it,” he said.

After the initial coverage proved popular, Smalls said the decision to produce a special edition was pretty easy.

“From the Sikes Sit-In, to Dabo’s comments on Colin Kaepernick, to our top 25 public university ranking, this past year has shown that we cover Clemson in both the good and bad,” he said. “So when we win our second ever National Championship, it’s too much of a historic moment not to document it.”

The turnaround for the edition was fast, and the advertising goal was higher than the staff was used to, $5,000 in 24 hours.

“I was stunned because this was a tall order regardless of the time frame to achieve it,” Lillian Poston, public relations consultant, said.

She said the staff had to think out of the box to try to meet the goal, but originally fell short.

“We immediately emailed our clients from the fall,” she said. “We also delivered thank you notes to our more constant clients. In the end we did not meet our goal but we did better than we expected considering the deadline.”

While they didn’t make their initial advertising goal, to cover expenses they decided to sell additional copies of the special edition that had a press run of 10,000 copies.

“We are selling the special edition to anyone who wants it that doesn’t currently go to Clemson University,” Franklin Fowler, marketing/sales director, said. “We have gotten plenty of requests and most of them buy more than one copy.”

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The Tiger still provided free copies to the on-campus community, and handed the issue out at the victory parade.

“We allotted some for normal distribution, some for the parade and some for sell only, this allowed us to maintain tradition by offering the free copies as well as additional for purchase as keepsakes,” Poston said.

The sales and marketing teams had concerns about the quick turnaround and student interest, but said they felt they did well given all the constraints.

“The only criticism I have received is that we should have printed more copies because they disappeared from the stands almost instantly,” Poston said.

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In addition to being incredibly popular, Smalls said the edition also shows the human element of Clemson.

“It shows that our school is complex and that [The Tiger] is always recording it,” Smalls said.

He said he was most proud of his staff for being “all in” even with all the extenuating circumstances they faced.

“It was easy from them to say ‘we only agreed to do online content, this is too much’ or ‘I don’t do sports, so I’m not of help,’ but they didn’t,” Smalls said. “They put 110 percent into this because they love this paper, this school and what we do.”

The championship brought a lot of good for the campus, but also for The Tiger.

“In the short run, students will be more excited about our products because the special edition was one of the best editions we have put out so far,” Fowler said. “In the long run, this will make students want to join our organizations and also create something special in the future.”

Smalls agrees the special edition impacted the staff beyond just coverage and revenue.

“I’ve been the new EIC for a few weeks now and I’ve been preaching that we should be a staff that takes our work seriously, recognizes that we’re all students, has fun together and creates a tight-knit community within itself,” he said. “I think that this issue was a great way to show that we’ve taken heed to that.”

For a look at some of the coverage Smalls and his team curated, check out these links.

http://www.thetigernews.com/sports/how-the-clemson-culture-helps-out-its-football-team/article_11e3e73c-df33-11e6-9360-4f255f81658e.html

http://www.thetigernews.com/sports/football/choosing-the-cast-of-the-mighty-clemson-tigers-movie/article_c3358b32-df31-11e6-b2a9-a7b4563b9950.html

http://www.thetigernews.com/sports/what-should-your-natty-plans-be/html_213417d2-d576-11e6-b1f1-b391116300e9.html

http://www.thetigernews.com/sports/clemson-football-has-a-next-man-up-mentality/article_575ab5b2-df32-11e6-9854-639ceab95d43.html

Supreme Court nominee has college media background

President Donald Trump on Tuesday selected Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated nearly one year ago by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gorsuch, who has served as a federal appeals court judge since 2006, is a Columbia University graduate and its student newspaper the Columbia Spectator covered the announcement.

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The story, written by Jessica Spitz and Aaron Holmes, details Gorsuch’s connection to student media. Gorsuch, who graduated from Columbia in 1988, was a columnist for the Spectator and founder of the satirical newspaper The Federalist.

The Columbia University library offers a detailed archive of the Spectator and plenty of written material from a college-aged future Supreme Court nominee.

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What exactly will an interested reader find in the archives? Spectator writers Huber Gonzalez and Veronica Grace Taleon provided a recap in an article published today.

Meanwhile, The Federalist is celebrating it newfound claim to fame.

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