College Media News: Daily Texan Still Waiting for Help, DJ Giggles & an ‘Open Letter to Taylor Swift’

Here’s a rundown of recent college media and journalism education news, a smidgen of student press history, some student journalist perspectives and a few funny headlines and tweets.

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

1An All-Female Board. The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia has elected an all-female managing board for the first time in its 126-year history. Incoming editor-in-chief Julia Horowitz: “I want to make sure that when news breaks two months from now, five months from now, 12 months from now that we have an institution there that can react … and that comes from being financially sustainable.” (The Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia)

1“I’m in Paris, and I’d Be Lying if I Said I Wasn’t Afraid.” Daily Collegian columnist and Penn State University Sierra Baldwin is studying in Paris right now. Her words: “Two espressos and jet lag keep me wide awake quietly typing on my laptop well beyond midnight in this beautiful city. No one else in the apartment is awake, but the city is alive — full of the strength in unity that’s been compared to Boston after the marathon bombings or New York City after Sept. 11, 2001. ‘Je suis Charlie’ posters hang from apartment windows and balconies, and graffiti tells terrorists to go home. I’m in Paris, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid. …I am Charlie because I believe in the freedom of speech and feel for the victims and their families, but I am not Charlie because I don’t believe newspapers should be used to put down religious practices.” (The Daily Collegian, Penn State University)

1Boko Haram Media Blackout. An editorial in The Daily Targum at Rutgers University reminds readers that while Charlie Hebdo received tons of coverage, a separate, much larger international tragedy went almost unnoticed by the public and the press. As editors explain, “On January 3 of this year, two thousand Nigerian men, women and children were murdered. In the days that followed, while the world focused its attention on the Charlie Hebdo shootings, the victims of Boko Haram warfare went unnoticed. Comparing one tragedy to another would be an injustice to both acts of terrorism. However, the disproportionate media attention received by both these atrocities respectively cannot be ignored. … This Boko Haram incident is the most recent act of genocide in a string of terrorist attacks dating back to 2009. The lack of appropriate media attention attributed to Boko Haram may stem from the complexity and multifaceted nature of the issue. … [I]gnoring blatant terrorism further emphasizes the one-track mindedness of the 24-hour news cycle and its fundamental nature to resist complexity.” (The Daily Targum, Rutgers University)

1“It’s -30- for Printing Press.” The Daily Egyptian will no longer be published through its own on-campus printing press. A changing financial landscape has forced the Southern Illinois University Carbondale student newspaper to outsource its printing — ending a 47-year in-house print operation that was a rarity among student media nationwide. As the paper’s editor-in-chief Sarah Gardner shares, “Being one of only a handful of college media organizations with a printing press has been a source of pride for the DE, the School of Journalism and the university itself. … When the DE asked for a student fee last year, and a group of professionals pooled their experience and expertise, one recommendation made was to outsource printing. In an effort to be conscious of our financial situation, we had no choice but to consider it. … We will not let it affect our coverage or quality. But we will not take the experience of printing in-house for the last time for granted.”

1DJ Giggles. In a profile in The Beacon, University of Portland student radio station DJ Molly Steiner confessed her most embarrassing on-air moment — one she shared with her co-host Jackie Ott: “Our friends – when we first started the show – called us DJ Giggles because we couldn’t figure out how to work anything, so we were just laughing. Literally, the first 10 minutes of our first show was just laughter, because we didn’t know what we were doing. We couldn’t figure out why the sound board wasn’t working, so I sang ‘The Climb’ to our audience of probably six listeners.” (The Beacon, University of Portland)

1“An Open Letter to Taylor Swift.” Michigan Daily columnist Michael Schramm has penned an open letter to Taylor Swift asking her to put her music back on Spotify. “You’re turning a blind eye to the reality that not all of your fans can afford a $12 album. To a celebrity in your financial standing, it may be difficult to envision, but trust me — it’s a reality that many of us face. When you’re poor, $12 can genuinely be the difference between whether you have enough grocery money for the week. … Taylor, I’ve been a fan of yours since I was 12 years old. I lay on my blue and yellow comforter listening to ‘Teardrops On My Guitar.’ At 15, ‘You Belong With Me’ became my anthem as I developed a crush on someone who didn’t reciprocate the feeling. ’22’ became the jam that helped glue the highlights of a college road trip in my heart. So please, don’t leave a blank space in my memories where 1989 should go.” (The Michigan Daily, University of Michigan)

1“The Severity of Our Financial Situation.” At the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Student Media (TSM) — the organization that oversees Cactus Yearbook, Texas Travesty, Texas Student TV, KVRX 91.7 FM and The Daily Texan — is still financially floundering. Last spring, the Moody College of Communication at UT promised to help. Apparently, TSM is still waiting for that help. A Daily Texan editorial: “The way the funding is set up, it is likely that TSM won’t see a single penny until this summer. That’s about a year and a half after we were told by [an outgoing dean] that we were being thrown a much-needed lifeline. We appreciate the help and understand the challenges of securing money, especially in a bureaucracy like UT’s. But the main point here is that the administration doesn’t entirely seem to grasp the severity of our financial situation.” (The Daily Texan, UT Austin)

1New ‘Prince’ Team. To introduce herself and the new editorial board, Daily Princetonian editor-in-chief Anna Mazarakis at Princeton University shared a smidgen about the ‘Prince’ routine. As she writes, “Every Sunday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to the early hours of the morning, editors and staffers are at work in our newsroom editing articles and photographs and laying out the paper. This follows work throughout the day outside the newsroom by our hardworking staff coordinating content, conducting interviews, taking photographs, writing articles, listening and paying attention to what is happening in the community.” (The Daily Princetonian, Princeton University)

Student Press History: Rachel Maddow Comes Out in the Campus Newspaper. In the early 1990s, MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow came out in The Stanford Daily student newspaper. It’s an interesting saga, involving an open letter Maddow decided to write and post in her dorm as a freshman in response to homophobic comments. According to the Daily article:

“Coming out has also been a positive experience for Maddow, who said she feels more comfortable and happy with herself now. She said she has moved from vulnerable to confident, and that everything in her life is now more coherent. In the past, Maddow’s homosexuality had been a barrier to close friendships, she said. To prevent people from realizing she was gay, Maddow shut herself off from other people. Coming out has solidified Maddow’s friendships, with both men and women. ‘I’m a lot closer to all my friends,’ she said. ‘I don’t feel like I’ve lost any friends.’ Being friends with men is easier than ever, since ‘it’s a total bonding experience,’ Maddow said. ‘There’s no tension, no pressure. It’s wonderful.'”


1“Pure Speculation Dressed Up With Buzzwords.” The Red & Black editorial board at the University of Georgia recently called out Fox News. The R&B crew criticized the conservative news channel for “an aggressive distortion of the facts” in its recent reporting of alleged “no-go zones” in Europe which supposedly operate under Islamic Sharia law free of government interference. As editors argue, “[W]hat Fox News offered up to viewers was pure speculation dressed up with buzzwords. It was called out on it in appropriate force, but the damage may already done. Media shapes our perception of the world, and as a broadcast news outlet with a far, lasting reach, Fox News has a great deal of power in this capacity. It is the network’s responsibility to fact check for the public good.” (The Red & Black, University of Georgia)

“Explaining What a Podcast Is.” Columbia Spectator staffer William Steakin Jr. at Columbia University writes, “I am still surprised by the amount of time I spend explaining what a podcast is. … With an average download rate of 1.26 million per episode, ‘Serial’ has quickly become the most popular podcast yet. And while I certainly enjoy ‘Serial,’ I really do hope its popularity will lead to far fewer conversations explaining what the heck a podcast actually is.” (The Columbia Daily Spectator, Columbia University)

1“Posts I’ve Shared in the Past.” University of Nebraska Lincoln Jazmin Turner has a confession. Recently, in her words, “I’ve been questioning my position on my social media pages.” As she confirms in an op-ed for The Daily Nebraskan, “I feel guilty to see all the posts I’ve shared in the past. That isn’t who I am now and not how I want to be seen. I feel like starting my pages over so I wouldn’t have anything on the sites that I didn’t want, but I knew that process would be an effort. I also feel like deleting all my social media pages. I know that for some social media sites I wouldn’t be able to do that because social media has become such a large part of the way we communicate with others that aren’t frequently around us. However, I rarely speak to the 794 ‘friends’ I have on Facebook. These people don’t need to know my personal information, nor do I theirs.” (The Daily Nebraskan, University of Nebraska Lincoln)

Student Press History: El Primer Diario Universitario. If my translation skills are up to snuff, I believe this is showing the front page of the first issue of The Yale Daily News in 1878 — possibly the oldest student newspaper in the U.S.

Three Other Random Stories

“Why Journalism Students Should Have a Double Major,” PBS MediaShift

“Katie Couric announced as spring commencement speaker,” The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Sarah Koenig Spills on ‘Serial’ at Schwab Auditorium,” Onward State, Penn State University

Funny Headline Alert: This Story is Not About Food (The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Funny Headline Alert: A Liberal Makes Peace with Papa Bear (The Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh)


Three Funny Tweets

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