Dan’s Journey to Iraq: A Student Press Adventure, Part 2, “More Please”

Early last year, I began writing about The AUIS Voice, the first independent student newspaper in post-Saddam Iraq. Started by a scrappy band of Iraqi students and an impassioned ex-Washington Post reporter, the Voice’s spirit of innovation is ironically its adherence to the oldest principles of the craft: objectivity, editorial freedom, and the search for truth (rarities among Iraqi media). In mid-May, via a university grant, I traveled to the northern Kurdish region of Iraq to interview and observe the student staffers in action– along with gaining a glimpse of the university and region where their unfolding story is set. This series is centered on my trip.

Dan’s Journey to Iraq: A Student Press Adventure, Part 1, “Sulimaniyah 90210″

Early last year, I began writing about The AUIS Voice, the first independent student newspaper in post-Saddam Iraq. Started by a scrappy band of Iraqi students and an impassioned ex-Washington Post reporter, the Voice’s spirit of innovation is ironically its adherence to the oldest principles of the craft: objectivity, editorial freedom, and the search for truth (rarities among Iraqi media).

Student Editors at College of DuPage Continue Push for Faculty Adviser’s Reinstatement

Student staffers at an Illinois community college newspaper are continuing to speak out against the ouster of the paper’s longtime adviser.  At a board meeting Thursday, editors of The Courier at the College of DuPage implored school officials to reinstate Cathy Stablein as their faculty overseer. – As I previously posted, DuPage admins. abruptly removed Stablein from the adviser positon […]

Student Journalist Spotlight: Kelly Stroda, Incoming Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Kansan

As I wrote recently, one of my favorite college newspaper stories of the past year was a powerful four-part Daily Kansan report that tells the tales of three Kansas University students who lost a parent during their time in school.  It is, as the series headline states, a “tragedy in transition.” – As Kelly Stroda […]

You Know You Stink at Digital Journalism When…

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For fun, a colleague challenged me yesterday to complete the following sentence, “You know you stink at digital journalism when…” Idealistically, it was meant as a possible starting point for a future class session. Realistically, it was just to see what I could conjure up.

SMU Daily Campus Censorship Debate: Is the Newspaper Responsible for the Pulled Piece?

The Daily Campus, the student newspaper at Southern Methodist University, recently endured an odd bit of censorship.  Administrators at the private university near Dallas removed an opinion piece from the print version of an orientation issue published each summer and mailed to incoming SMU freshmen. – As I wrote earlier this month, the Daily Campus is independent of the […]

Boise State Student Media Director: ‘Total Change in Yearbook Landscape is Needed’

Are yearbooks dying?  Boise State University student media director Brad Arendt isn’t buying.  Instead, he simply thinks a reinvention is needed in how they are distributed and produced. – This past week, a CNN Money report  became the latest in a long line of to-hell-in-a-handbasket stories concerning the fate of print yearbooks.  (My most recent […]

Best College Newspaper Stories of the Year: ‘How High is the Phone Bill?’ (Arizona Daily Wildcat)

In a recent email exchange, Bill Zapcic, universal desk editor at The Asbury Park Press, told me that quality story ideas can often spring from nothing more than a reporter stumbling across something out of the ordinary or “extraordinarily ordinary” and thinking, “Wow.  I wonder what that’s all about?” – This “wow” factor is at the […]

Best College Newspaper Stories of the Year: ‘Tragedy in Transition’ (Daily Kansan)

One of my favorite student newspaper story series of the year centered on death.  In a powerful four-part report, The Daily Kansan told the tales of three KU students who lost a parent during their time in school.  It is, as the series headline states, a “tragedy in transition.” – The haunting stat in the […]

College Media Story Ideas: What Were Your Professors Like as Students?

It’s a fascinating– and horrifying– thought to some students: Your professors used to be young. – In their current roles, of course, they teach.  They publish.  They advise.  They hold office hours at weird times.  They fail to grasp the concept of a Twitter hashtag.  And some wear bow ties.  But before they were professors, […]

Best College Newspaper Stories of the Year: ‘Tyler Bernardini Has a Cold’ (Daily Pennsylvanian)

A Mother Jones staffer recently called me to ask for my input on especially memorable student press stories or reporting feats over the past year.  The chat triggered my interest in sharing a small sampling of recent college newspaper stories I’ve bookmarked and particularly enjoyed.  Any nominations of your own?  Email me! – First up, […]

SMU Censors Daily Campus Article Criticizing School’s Board of Trustees

An ironic case of student press censorship at Southern Methodist University. Last week, administrators at the private university near Dallas removed an opinion piece from a special print edition of The Daily Campus, SMU’s student newspaper.

Christopher Newport University’s ‘Green Initiative’ May Kill Student Newspaper’s Print Edition

Update: The staff fought back.  Press attention ensued.  The university caved.  CNU statement… “The allegations regarding the motives of the CNU administration to eliminate funding to support the print version of The Captain’s Log are without merit and seek only to cause harm and impugn the reputation of CNU.  The discussion with The Captain’s Log […]

Wall Street Journal Article About Student Journalists Makes Me Mad

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal argues that student journalists who report negative news about university sports teams at times have it tough. – The piece’s co-authors write in the nut graf, “[I]f history is any guide, this sort of reporting takes more nerve than you might think.  Student reporters who paint a school’s […]

College of DuPage Student Newspaper Adviser Removed

Longtime Courier adviser Cathy Stablein at the College of DuPage has been removed from her position, a decision critics are calling a “sly attack on free speech and college media.”  Student staffers at the Illinois community college newspaper are speaking out against the ouster and an online petition has been filed, garnering more than 350 signatures so […]