Best College Newspapers: 2015 Ranking Released by Princeton Review

My sincere congrats to staffers, advisers and alums of the pubs that made the cut for Princeton Review’s 2015 “Best College Newspaper” Ranking. Just please promise me you will at least step back for a single moment and deep-dive into the absurdity of the selection process. (And for those whose papers were left out, learning about the process will make you feel better, I swear.)

Ready? Students participating in the related survey are basically asked how OTHER people view their own school newspaper’s POPULARITY. As j-prof Bryan Murley at Eastern Illinois University once explained with rightfully venomous indignation: “Setting aside the obvious epic fail that is popular = best … the survey question is flawed because it asks people about what other people think. Who cares? Really, is that verifiable? … As well, how on earth do you rank college newspapers based on the opinions of people who have no interaction with other college newspapers? I mean, do most University of Texas students read the The Daily Collegian at Penn State?” (Hint: No.)

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Yet, the ranking seems to receive more attention from the public and mainstream media than every other student journalism contest and competition combined, including the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemakers (the student press equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes). Why? My guess, without sarcasm or cynicism: It’s an offshoot of the coverage granted to the sexier rankings such as “Reefer Madness” and “Best Party Schools.” (The latest winner in the party category, in case you are curious, is the University of Illinois.)

Loyal readers know I recently ranted just a teeny tiny bit about these types of lists. I’m including this one in a featured post because of the outsized attention it receives — and to at least slightly protest Princeton Review’s, ahem, questionable survey methods. You see, instead of being forced to sign up or log in to the Review’s website just to access the list, you can check it out below, in full, hassle-free. :)  Ciao. #collegemedia4vr

P.S. I also provide the names of the college newspapers. You’d think that would be an obvious inclusion on a Best College Newspapers list. Nope. On the actual Princeton Review rundown, as you can see from the screenshot above, only the schools are listed. If that’s not a sign you’re about to wade into a pile of crapola, I’m not sure what is. (It also leads to confusion — see the ‘ties’ I’ve granted newspapers at Fordham and UW-Madison.)

2015 Princeton Review “Best College Newspaper” Ranking

1. The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University

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2. The Yale Daily News, Yale University

 

3. The Daily Collegian, Penn State University

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4. The Maroon, Loyola University New Orleans

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5. The Columbia Daily Spectator, Columbia University

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6. The Daily Bruin, University of California, Los Angeles

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7. The Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia

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(Tie) 8. The Fordham Observer, Fordham University

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(Tie) 8. The Fordham Ram, Fordham University

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9. The Daily Orange, Syracuse University

10. The Tufts Daily, Tufts University

11. The Breeze, James Madison University

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12. The Brown Daily Herald, Brown University

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13. The Minnesota Daily, University of Minnesota

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14. The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University

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(Tie) 15. The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison

(Tie) 15. The Daily Cardinal, University of Wisconsin-Madison

16. The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida

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17. The Wesleyan Argus, Wesleyan University

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18. The Daily Gamecock, University of South Carolina

19. The Daily Iowan, University of Iowa

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20. The Hilltop, Howard University


Comments
2 Responses to “Best College Newspapers: 2015 Ranking Released by Princeton Review”
  1. Bill DiNome says:

    If the rankings are so bogus (I agree, they are), undeserving of the “outsized attention” they receive, why give them more attention by listing the “winners”?

    • Dan Reimold says:

      I write about it because I want to be sure people know about its silliness. I also want to allow people to see the list without having to sign on to the Review site — that’s my act of protest. And I write about it because it’s too big to ignore for someone whose site is dedicated to college media. I highlight the winners because the one nice part of the list is the attention it gives the papers. But the Review doesn’t even name the actual papers (only features names of the schools). I want to be sure people know the pubs themselves and can visit them from this post with a simple click.

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