College Media News: Ruined Dates, a ‘Fight for Rights’ & ‘Humans of East Lansing’

Here’s a rundown of recent college media and journalism education news, a few funny headlines and videos and some interesting student journalist perspectives.

To pass along tips, stories, links and tweets for the next college media news rundown, email me ASAP.

1Experiment.BadgerHerald.com. Top Badger Herald editor Tara Golshan at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is leading some experiments at the paper — and letting readers in on the experimental process via a new blog with the apt web address experiment.badgerherald.com. According to Golshan, “Whether a post in how our marketing team gets out our products, or how our editorial team develops the story, photos and graphics for our newly instated features page, content on experiment.badgerherald.com describes how The Badger Herald breathes.” [Dan note: “how The Badger Herald breathes” — I love that description. Excited to see how the experiments play out.]

1“Humans of East Lansing.” A new series in the Michigan State University student newspaper. “Inspired by the popular series Humans of New York, The State News is launching a weekly feature looking into the lives of people living and working in the East Lansing area.” The first student featured — with her boyfriend (see left) — is from Taiwan and had never seen more than a dusting of snow. Her take: “It’s cold, I feel like I lost my nose! … Now, when we see the flat snow, I think it’s just instinct — we want to step on it and ruin it. I don’t know why, it looks beautiful right now, but we just want to step on it!”

1Front-Page Headline. The Heights at Boston College has restructured page one. As the paper confirms, “Beginning this year, content chosen to be featured on the front page will be reconsidered with the intention of bringing readers more relevant stories, pooling together items from the News, Features, Metro, Sports and Arts sections. This change was made with the aim of reflecting the diverse interests of our readership — major sports games, noteworthy musical performances, and events in the city of Boston will now supplement, and add variety to, our traditional news coverage on our front page.”

Here’s the first issue sporting the newly styled front. What do you think?

Happy 100th Bday! The FSView & Florida Flambeau at Florida State University is turning 100. Tallahassee Democrat staffer Gerald Ensley unleashed a touching tribute to mark the occasion: “It’s been a pioneer, a thorn to the establishment and a Lazarus. It has been a weekly, a daily, a twice-weekly and a thrice-weekly publication. … For decades, it was FSU students’ chief source for campus, local and state news. It carried a double-major in controversy and irreverence. It wrote theses against social injustice and unfair academic policies. It turned a critical eye on big-time sports and reveled in art and culture. It celebrated streaking and championed the downtrodden. It launched the careers of hundreds of journalists, writers and broadcasters.”

1Daily Campus Shake-Up. The Daily Campus, the student newspaper at the University of Connecticut, will allow only current UConn students to serve as voting members on its board of directors. The decision — approved via a contentious vote at a board meeting last week — rescinds the voting power of professionals and at least one professor with longtime ties to the paper and the school. The board’s student representatives — all current DC editors — approved the decision. Of the board’s six non-student members present at the meeting, four resigned, one voted against the proposal and another abstained. The main impetus for the board restructuring is money — specifically the funding UConn provides the Daily Campus.

1Mace & Crown & Crime. The Mace & Crown surveyed Old Dominion University students to determine how they get their news and confirm the type of news they wanted to see. The winners: mobile and crime.

As the paper confirms, “Some of the interesting things we found from the study are that ODU students don’t read newspapers too often — as if that were a surprise. … Our study found that almost 90 percent of ODU undergrads own a smartphone and are increasingly reaching news while on computers or on the move.To account for this, the Mace & Crown started ramping up their digital operations. This semester we redesigned our website, built up our social media presence and started thinking about the visual presentation of our online stories. We also found that about 72 percent of you wanted to see crime covered. This year, we made crime a larger priority, regularly publishing both campus and community crime logs and publishing a comprehensive story on a contextual view of crime at ODU.”

“Next-Level” Recruiting. The Ithacan at Ithaca College is earning attention for its striking, funny staff recruitment ads.

“An Admiration for Brute Force.” During her student newspaper days in the late 1800s at the University of Nebraska, acclaimed writer Willa Cather cut loose on why football is beautifully brutal.

1Ruined & Awkward Dates. The Emerald at the University of Oregon joined the recent “Five Words to Ruin a Date” phenomenon via their affiliated Thought-Catalog-ish site Quackd. Among the entries featured in a related post: “The doctor says it’s fine!”; “I voted for Bush… twice.”; and “I’m a huge Nickelback fan.”

The Daily Universe at Brigham Young University featured a similar rundown — compiling and sharing tweets sporting the campus-centric hashtag #AwkwardBYUDate. One fun example below.

1Op-Ed: Create Student Publications Board. GW Hatchet opinions writer David Meni argues student publications at George Washington University would be better off with a student-run supervisory board. According to Meni, “Many of these students need better support — and their best source is one another. Student groups at GW that self-publish — including The Globe, Omnibus, GW Undergraduate Law Review and Wooden Teeth — should stop working separately toward common goals and instead come together to form a council. By uniting under a student publication board, these groups would be able to share the knowledge and skills they’ve accumulated, form a unified front to address similar problems and collectively increase readership. This would go a long way to ease some of the headaches that come with running a publication, especially a young one with little experience.”

1What’s the Hardest Part About Being a Student Journalist? Marcelo Rochabrun, the outgoing editor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonian, recently declared in a goodbye letter to readers: “It’s hard being a student journalist at Princeton these days.” The chief challenge that he said ‘Prince’ staffers regularly face is criticism and even threats from fellow students — not administrators, alumni, faculty or townies, but students — who are angry about a story. Building off Rochabrun’s rundown and the minor Internet buzz it spurred, I reached out to the spring 2015 CMM Fellows — an elite crew of top editors and reporters at student media across the U.S. Specifically, I asked them: From your perspective and experiences, what is the hardest part about being a student journalist these days, and why?

“Fight for Rights.” In honor of MLK Day last week, The Daily Bruin at UCLA posted a front page published in 1965 that led with a story about a campus speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. Nice use of paper’s Tumblr page. A portion of the speech: “The concept that time will heal the wounds and solve the problems must be out down. Time is neutral and may act constructively or destructively, the latter in the area of civil rights. For civil rights, the time is always right.”

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“Changes in the Daily.” Among the changes in print and behind the scenes at The Iowa State Daily: fewer color pages due to budget woes, a heavier emphasis on design and more training for the staff.

“UNC journalism school readies for accreditation,” The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Northeastern’s journalism school to partner with Fox 25,” DanKennedy.net

“New Orleans Reporters Lose Campus Office After Criticizing Loyola U. Chief,” The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Observer elects next top editor,” The Observer, Notre Dame University

“Family, friends, colleagues remember longtime CSUN journalism professor DeWayne ‘Doc’ Johnson,” The Sundial, California State University, Northridge

Funny Headline AlertNow That’s Honesty. (The Daily Orange, Syracuse University)

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Funny Headline Alert: The Ultimate Advice Column. (The Reporter, Stetson University)

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Funny Headline Alert: Love the Wordplay. (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth College)

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