7 Standout Student Press Stories: Big Brother, a Two-Year Beard, ‘Tragedy ADD’ & ‘Michigan’s Most Intergalactic Fan’

Over the past decade, digital tools and mobile platforms have rocketed journalism to a universe of innovation, interactivity and immediacy once unimaginable. Yet, without stellar content, journalism 2.0 is not worth the effort to read, watch, click on, scroll through, contribute to or connect with.
In that spirit, this semi-regular CMM rundown spotlights some of the most impressive, engaging and offbeat content recently produced by college media worldwide. Along with being worth a read, the stories are also potentially worth emulating or using as inspiration for awesome storytelling at your own school.

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(To nominate a student press news report, feature story, profile, op-ed, editorial, video or multimedia package for inclusion in a future spotlight, tweet me or email me ASAP.)

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REGULAR SERIES ALERT: “GU Lie Witness News — Tent City Edition,” Gonzaga University

People lie — especially to journalists. Jimmy Kimmel has proven this via his viral “Lie Witness News” series in which individuals are interviewed on the street about fake bits of information. Instead of admitting ignorance, the people featured on camera almost inevitably pretend to know what the faux interviewer is talking about and even offer related opinions. It’s scary and hilarious at the same time.

In the spirit of Kimmel’s antics, the GU Bulldog Blog at Gonzaga University recorded their own “Lie Witness News” — involving students responding to Gonzaga-specific factoids that are partially or entirely fictional. You may not follow all the GU-insider references, but the students’ reactions and perspectives are still priceless, and cringe-inducing.

OP-ED AWESOMENESS ALERT: “100 Word Rant,” The Collegian, Saint Mary’s College of California

Collegian contributing writer Rosemary Cook has tackled a number of hot-button and timeless topics in short burst op-eds. She calls the exercise the “100 Word Rant.” One example from last semester was her annoyance at how little the public seemed to know about Ebola.

As she writes:

“Chances are you’ve heard of the Ebola outbreak. You’ve heard how deadly it is and how rapidly it has been spreading. What many forget is that Ebola does not spread through the air, water or, in general, food. Rather than learning how it spreads, people stoke fears about the virus, pretending it is a magical, elusive disease that can be transmitted without a carrier. Rather than helping those who are suffering and at risk from the disease and supporting medical professionals, people continue spreading misinformation and making rash judgments with zero consideration of reality.”

FEATURE JOURNALISM ALERT: “A History of Women at UP,” The Beacon, University of Portland

Beacon living editor Cassie Sheridan stitched together an intriguing timeline displaying various feats, firsts and significant milestones related to female students, faculty and staff at UP. It spotlights everything from the opening of the first co-ed dorm and the first woman to receive a full professorship to news items about the growth of female student enrollment and the selection of the first woman to the school’s athletic hall of fame. And it’s all presented in an easy-to-read, fun-to-scroll interactive timeline.

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TECHIE JOURNALISM ALERT: “Big brother Richmond,” The Collegian, University of Richmond

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