College Media Podcast: How Should Student Newspapers Handle Humor and Crime?

Welcome to the latest installment of the College Media Podcast.  The CMP is a collaborative venture between me and Bryan Murley from the Center for Innovation in College Media.

The podcast’s aim: spotlighting big college media news, standout student press work and an array of helpful and innovative sites, programs and tech tools.

In our current episode, we discuss the recent controversy surrounding The Daily Free Press at Boston University. As I previously posted, a BU student criticized the campus newspaper for “regularly [making] light of crimes like rape, sexual harassment and assault by prefacing the paragraph-long descriptions of the incidents with jokey, pun-ridden titles.” The student singled out a humorous headline the Free Press ran atop a summary of a sexual assault in which she was the victim. The paper’s board of directors quickly apologized.


At the start of our podcast, Bryan and I debate the merits and downsides of mixing humor into regular crime round-ups, raising the specific question about whether it is time for the student press to drop the snarky, pun-laden headlines often placed above campus crime briefs — especially when the related criminal activity is in no way a laughing matter. Bryan subsequently speaks a bit about a new Twitter bot known as OpenFuego.

Listen in below.



Boston University Student Criticizes Student Paper for Joking About Rape, Assault in Crime Log

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