Ten Student Newspapers Sporting the Most Facebook Fans

Facebook is funny within collegemediatopia.  It is an active and interactive networking tool for some student news outlets and an absolute dead zone for others.

In the first surveying of the student press Facebook landscape, Drake University multimedia journalism instructor Chris Snider was surprised by the small-ish followings for campus newspapers, especially when compared to their professional counterparts. As he wrote earlier this month, “I currently track the top newspapers on Facebook . . . This made me wonder which college newspapers were doing the best job growing a following on Facebook.  I mean, Facebook is firmly entrenched into the college lifestyle, so surely these college newspapers have tens of thousands of followers on Facebook.  Apparently not.  But they are getting there.”

The best of the best, among student papers, simply in terms of its following: The Daily Tar Heel.  Proof of its popularity: The paper added at least nine new fans to its Facebook page while I wrote this post.

Below is a list of the ten student papers currently sporting the most Facebook fans, the numbers accurate as of Sunday afternoon.  [Note: Snider’s sampling is not all-inclusive- focusing only on student papers and only those published at BCS schools- but it does provide a glimpse of where the social networking giant is being utilized most effectively by Facebook-generation journalists.]

1. The Daily Tar Heel, UNC, 5,984 fans

2. The Daily Collegian, PSU, 4,988 fans

3. The Indiana Daily Student, Indiana University, 4,905 fans

4. The Lantern, Ohio State University, 3,752 fans

5. The Crimson White, University of Alabama, 3,739 fans

6. The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University, 3,183 fans

7. The Daily Californian, University of California-Berkeley, 3,137 fans

8. The Iowa State Daily, Iowa State University, 2,864 fans

9. The Michigan Daily, University of Michigan, 2,489 fans

10. The Daily Gamecock, University of South Carolina, 2,374 fans

11 Responses to “Ten Student Newspapers Sporting the Most Facebook Fans”
  1. Chad says:

    What about twitter?

  2. Dan says:

    A very valid question! From scrolling student news media sites daily, it seems their web presence encompasses all or some of five areas: the base site with a mix of fresh and print-adapted content, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a related blog or three.

  3. Chase says:

    Onward State (not a newspaper, but a college media outlet) would be 6th on this list with 3,282 fans.

  4. Bethany says:

    More representative of these papers’ Facebook presence would be the number of fans in light of each publication’s readership.

    For example, The Daily Tarheel has 5,984 fans, roughly 16 percent of its readership. While The Lantern’s 3,752 fans make up just 6 percent of the Columbus campus’ undergraduate population.

    We have a long way to go!

  5. Bryan Murley says:

    I think Bethany’s point is a valid one, and would make for a better comparison of various college media outlets based on actual circulation or even student population numbers. All of the outlets listed in the post are among the largest universities in their states, with student populations north of 20,000. What if a small private school of, say, 1,200 student population had a higher percentage of fans? Wouldn’t that make them more “effective” on Facebook (whatever that means)?

  6. Dan says:

    I agree. And Chris is very upfront about the limitations of his sampling. I appreciated his look at things because it gives us at least a glimpse of what some student pubs are doing on Facebook. And yes these mega-huge schools’ newspapers have a larger base of readers to lure in as fans than outlets at smaller schools, but they still must be doing something right or at least somewhat interesting to continue to grab so many students, staff, and alumni.

  7. Bryan Murley says:

    they still must be doing something right or at least somewhat interesting to continue to grab so many students, staff, and alumni.

    Well, the DTH does have a social media editor (as well as an iPhone app). Some of these schools have jumped hard on the social media angle in their marketing efforts, so I’m certain that is at least a part of the right thing they’re doing.

  8. Travis says:

    CM-life, Central Michigan University’s student newspaper has 3,852 fans. It should be on this list.

  9. Sean says:

    Check out The Hofstra Chronicle with 1,640 friends on Facebook on an account that is not even one year old. Just by the numbers that’s nearly 20 percent of the undergraduate population! But they also have a large number of staff and graduates who follow as well.



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