College Media News: Sex Issues, Student Press Legal Resources & the J-School Gender Gap

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.

J-School Gender Gap. There is a troubling dissonance between the amount of women enrolled in journalism programs nationwide and the amount employed professionally as journalists. Guess which is lower? Yes, in j-schools, women are dominant. As a USA TODAY College report notes, “Women made up two-thirds of the student body enrolled in bachelors and masters degree programs during the fall 2013 semester. … Yet, post-school, the opposite is true: Women were credited with only 36.1 percent of total bylines or on-camera appearances as anchors or reporters.”

1Seeking Support During Financial Struggle. The Delaware Review at the University of Delaware is cash-strapped “due to a general decline in print ads since the dawn of the Internet.” The top-notch campus pub is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign aiming to secure $10,000 to help cover printing, distribution and web hosting and promotion costs. Here’s what I told the Newark Post about the need for outlets like the Review: “It’s incredibly important for student media to retain a voice and serve as a check on administrative power. … When you invest in your school’s student media, you’re investing in your campus’ first draft of history.”

Sex Issue #1: The GW Hatchet, George Washington University

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Student Press Legal Resources. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a new resources page for student journalists. It features “tips for student journalists, past writings from FIRE on free press issues, examples of FIRE cases involving student newspapers and media outlets and much more.”

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Sex Issue #2: Ampersand Magazine, a publication of The Red & Black, University of Georgia

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Transforming Journalism Education. A new Knight Foundation report pushes for massive changes in the way journalism is taught and practiced at colleges and universities worldwide. One recent j-school grad quoted in the report’s conclusion: “Journalism education needs to be about discovery, about constantly learning how to learn. Everything you teach should be the next thing, and the next, and the next after that. You have to have a culture of no sitting down, no resting, you always have to be pushing it out the door. There’s no longer a persistent or permanent model of journalism that can be passed on from one generation to the next, or even from one graduating class to the next. And if you’re not up for that as a faculty member, you really should go find something else to do.”

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136 Questions Won’t Guarantee Soul Mate. State Press columnist Kayla Chan at Arizona State University isn’t buying into the “36 Questions That Lead to Love” phenomenon which recently went uber-viral via The New York Times. As Chan writes, “The experiment is great in that yes, it does seem to be able to propagate intimacy but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll fall in love with someone, especially if staring into their eyes for four minutes ends up creeping one of you out. There are too many flaws to really believe that this will make two people fall in love; there’s the possibility that someone is not open to answering honestly, or that they just don’t like any of your answers. … So there you go; these 36 questions will not guarantee you a soul mate, and it’s absurd to think it could.” (The State Press, Arizona State University)

Sex Issue #3: The Rocket, Slippery Rock University

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Cartoon Spurs Charges of Racism. An editorial cartoon in The Georgetown Voice has angered student readers at Georgetown University, triggering social media complaints, a campus-wide demonstration and a town hall meeting. The Voice’s top editor and the student cartoonist have both apologized and the image has been removed from the newsmagazine’s website. The cartoonist: “I made a mistake. I ignored perspectives outside my own and I tried to spread my own message using imagery that was far too severe. In doing so, I failed to look outside myself. And you know what, that’s the result of my privilege. … I stand with you, I ask to be your ally. I don’t want to contribute to racism and I don’t want to make anyone feel afraid.”

Sex Issue #4: The Spectrum, University of Buffalo

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1“Many Journalists Stretch the Truth.” Erin Rode at The Daily Trojan looks at the Brian Williams scandal through a wider-angle lens. As she argues in an op-ed, “Williams’ slip shouldn’t be considered a single scandal for the media to obsess over; it should prompt members of the media to revisit traditional journalism ethics. Sure, Williams’ transgressions were major and obvious, but many journalists stretch the truth. Nonetheless, the public outcry over Williams’ lies proves that audiences expect journalists to be trustworthy. … If journalists criticize Williams for stretching the truth, they must judge their own work accordingly. Williams may be an extreme example, but he’s an example nonetheless.” (The Daily Trojan, University of Southern California)

Student Press HistoryA 1990 Obamacare Push (The Breeze, James Madison University)

Sex Issue #5: The Daily Californian, University of California, Berkeley

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“Meet the Press” host and former George Washington University student Chuck Todd says he wants “to create more politics and journalism programming at the university.” (The GW Hatchet)

“The Pasadena City College Courier, one of the oldest student-run community college newspapers in the state, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.” (Pasadena News Now)

Coolest Alumni Ever? The Daily Pennsylvanian profiles a mid-1990s University of Pennsylvania graduate who practices immigration and transaction law and writes for Marvel and DC Comics. Last year, for example, he killed Wolverine. (The Daily Pennsylvanian)

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Three Funny Tweets

Funny Headline, via The Daily Barometer at Oregon State University

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Funny Headline, via The Massachusetts Daily Collegian at University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Funny Headline, via The Leader at Elmhurst College

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Funny Headline, via The Blog Daily Herald at Brown University

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