2015 Student Newspaper National Championship: A College Media March Madness Bracket
As the first round of the men’s college basketball tournament plays out in arenas nationwide, it’s time to publicly post what I daresay is the only college media March Madness bracket. In making my selection decisions, I didn’t give a second thought to the hoops squads’ wins, losses, field goal percentage, assists and steals. I focused instead on student newspaper scoops, headlines, ledes, free press fights and social media awesomeness.
Welcome to the 2015 Student Newspaper National Championship, a mostly lighthearted attempt by a college media geek to spotlight some of the top campus papers in the U.S.
Like last year, I followed five very informal rules I hatched myself:
1) Student newspapers advance mainly due to their current and recent editorial quality and spirit of innovation.
2) In tight match-ups (there were many), buzzer beaters such as Twitter follower totals, viral successes, editorial triumphs, ACP Pacemaker awards, CMA Pinnacle awards, a kick-butt website and a recent positive spotlighting in a CMM post can all make a difference.
3) I purposefully make decisions fast, sometimes with a shrug, a smile and a shake of the head. (I mean, dear lord, in the scheme of things, how do you genuinely pick either The University Daily Kansan or the Indiana Daily Student, The State News or The Red & Black, The Daily Bruin or The Oklahoma Daily?) I also force myself to ignore the absurdity of some fantastic papers’ absences. To offer a small remedy, I offer a visual shout-out to roughly 30 pubs in this post, below the main bracket.
4) I remain almost wholly positive — picking “winners” based on papers’ successes, not others’ shortcomings or failures.
5) The selections center solely on student newspapers — not the relative seeds of the basketball teams, affiliated journalism programs or other student media at the schools.
So without further ado, here is my ridonkulously silly, pseudo student newspaper national championship. Click on the bracket screenshot below to see the full-sized version.
My big winner, by the way: The University Daily Kansan at KU.