20+ Examples of Inspirational Journalism

Current and recent student journalists, journalism professors, student media advisers and news media professionals tackled this topic during a recent #collegemedia Twitter chat. For more insights and advice from the regular chats, check out the #collegemedia live chat page.

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New Mexico State Student Media Reinvention: After 100+ Years as a Newspaper, Is Switch to Monthly Magazine the Right Move?

Starting in the fall, The Round Up weekly student newspaper at New Mexico State University will appear as Oncore monthly magazine.

For college media geeks, the report about the upcoming change in The Santa Fe New Mexican is extremely interesting for the blatant in-fighting on display. Specifically, there are on-the-record digs from a former Round Up staffer, the NMSU journalism department chair and the paper’s outgoing adviser.

Their concerns: The feature-focused magazine won’t be a needed newsy watchdog. In a related sense, the Round Up has grown gun-shy about tackling the tough stuff and this shift is more evidence of that. Students will have less opportunities to dive into deadline-oriented rough-and-tumble journalism. And the move is being made without input and support from several interested outside constituencies (including j-profs, Round Up alumni and the NMSU community as a whole). Read More

What Happened When UVA’s Student Newspaper Told Its Former Staffers We Need $55,000 ASAP

The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia recently faced an outstanding $55,000 rent bill for its newsroom space and no way to pay it. The subsequent forced move would have been rough. According to The Washington Post, “Instead of a 2,100-square-foot office, the staff of more than 100 students would share one measuring only 380 square feet.”

So editors made an impassioned plea to the paper’s alumni. The result, only 14 hours later: Rent paid, in full. Or at least the ability for the paper to pay its rent via pledged donations, including one individual who apparently gave $20,000. Read More

Tough Times & Big Changes for Virginia Tech Student Media

The Collegiate Times at Virginia Tech is dropping to twice-weekly in print come fall, one of the many changes — big and small — being instituted by its parent company in hopes of surviving “amid the storm clouds of this financial crisis.”

The Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech (EMCVT) oversees the school’s student newspaper, yearbook, literary mag, radio station and broadcast operation. As I previously posted, it has been floundering financially, recently lost at least three professional staff members including its general manager and has been mired in an odd controversy involving the sudden removal of the CT’s editor-in-chief.

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30+ Pieces of Essential Advice for Every Student Journalist

1Current and recent student journalists, journalism professors, student media advisers and news media professionals tackled this topic during a recent #collegemedia Twitter chat. For more insights and advice from the regular chats, check out the #collegemedia live chat page.

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Join #collegemedia Live Chat This Sunday August 9th at 7 p.m. EST

1This Sunday night, join the #collegemedia live chat. Stop by Twitter starting at 7 p.m. EST for a fun, free-flowing, hour-long discussion about college media, new media, millennials and the future of journalism.

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College Media Podcast: Claire Smith, Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Texan, U. of Texas at Austin

Claire Smith is a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin and the editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan student newspaper. She previously served the paper as a senior columnist and copy editor.

For this edition of the College Media Podcast, recorded last week at the University of Georgia during the annual Management Seminar for College News Editors (MSCNE), Smith discusses the complexities of covering a trio of stories — a recent alum’s death, an ongoing Confederate statue controversy and a “joke” student government campaign. She also offers advice to new and prospective student journalists about the importance of continually flexing the writing muscle and bonding with your student media colleagues — even when on deadline.

To listen in, click here or anywhere on the image embedded below. To check out the full College Media Podcast stream, click here.

American U. Journalist Arrested in Ferguson Settles Civil Rights Lawsuit, Has Charges Dropped

Last month, I wrote about reporting wunderkind Trey Yingst, an independent journalist based in Washington D.C. and the founder of the news service News2share.com. Yingst, 21, balances a full courseload at American University with basically nonstop reporting on U.S. and international riots, protests, armed conflicts, political events and areas of unrest.

One of those areas has been Ferguson, Missouri, where Yingst traveled twice in the past year — first after Michael Brown’s death and then again in November in the wake of the grand jury decision involving police officer Darren Wilson. During that latter visit, law enforcement arrested Yingst and charged him with unlawful assembly, failure to obey a lawful order and interfering with the duties of a police officer. Read More

Tips for Student Media Covering This Week’s GOP Presidential Primary Debate

1Current and recent student journalists, journalism professors, student media advisers and news media professionals tackled this topic during a recent #collegemedia Twitter chat. For more insights and advice from the regular chats, check out the #collegemedia live chat page. Read More

Harvard Student Humor Magazine Tricks Donald Trump with Fake Presidential Endorsement

College media have officially entered the 2016 presidential race.

In the best bit of tomfoolery to hit the campaign so far, The Harvard Lampoon tricked leading GOP (joke) candidate Donald Trump into believing he was receiving a serious presidential endorsement.

Staffers at the venerable Harvard University student humor magazine apparently told Trump’s people they were ready to publicly endorse him for president — all while pretending to be members of The Harvard Crimson campus newspaper.

Trump took the bait, posing for an instantly-iconic thumbs-up photo with the Lampoon team. The pic is now online, accompanying a full-on parody editorial headlined “Crimson Endorses Trump for President.” Read More

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.)

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Tabloid in Print, Tiled Online: The Reinvention of The Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona

Later this month, The Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona will officially unveil its new identity — sleeker in design, more responsive online and on mobile and more digitally-friendly in the newsroom.

In a new College Media Podcast chat, Daily Wildcat editor-in-chief Jessie Webster lays out the details behind the components at the core of the outlet’s reinvention. The main four:

1) A cutback in print from daily to thrice-weekly.

2) A print redesign built around tabloid.

3) The creation of new staff positions — including digital editors for every section — and some related newsroom workflow adjustments.

4) A redesigned website set to embody the tiled design scheme of sites like Pinterest. Read More

Let’s Talk Tabloid: Tips for Shifting to a Tabloid-Sized Paper (Part 5, Final Tabloid Tips)

1In the midst of massive reinvention across college media, many student newspapers are considering making the switch to a tabloid-sized paper in print. What are the advantages, challenges and surprises that come with shifting to tabloid? And what are some tips to help make the transition as seamless as possible for reporters, editors, designers and readers?

During a recent College Media Podcast chat, Claire Dodson, outgoing editor-in-chief of The Daily Beacon student newspaper at the University of Tennessee, offered advice while sharing the story of how the Beacon reinvented as a tabloid this past semester. Read More

Join #collegemedia Live Chat This Sunday August 2nd at 7 p.m. EST

1This Sunday night, join the #collegemedia live chat. Stop by Twitter starting at 7 p.m. EST for a fun, free-flowing, hour-long discussion about college media, new media, millennials and the future of journalism.

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Let’s Talk Tabloid: Tips for Shifting to a Tabloid-Sized Paper (Part 4, Tabloid Staffing & Workflow)

1In the midst of massive reinvention across college media, many student newspapers are considering making the switch to a tabloid-sized paper in print. What are the advantages, challenges and surprises that come with shifting to tabloid? And what are some tips to help make the transition as seamless as possible for reporters, editors, designers and readers?

During a recent College Media Podcast chat, Claire Dodson, outgoing editor-in-chief of The Daily Beacon student newspaper at the University of Tennessee, offered advice while sharing the story of how the Beacon reinvented as a tabloid this past semester. Read More

CMM Special Series: What Do Student Journalists Want to Learn More About Journalism? (Part 14)

During his recent efforts to help plan programming for the fall 2015 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention — the world’s largest annual gathering of student journalists and their advisers and profs — David Simpson wanted to hear more from the students themselves. Specifically, he was curious: In these changing times, what do potential student attendees want to get most from a journalism conference experience? So Simpson, a revered veteran journalist and director of student media at Georgia Southern University, reached out to me with his student-first query. I in turn reached out to the summer 2015 CMM Editorial Fellows — an elite crew of current and recent student journalists.

For this CMM special series, 14 Fellows offer their perspectives, ideas and advice centered on a single question: What topic, tech tool, news beat, skill-set or current event would you love to learn more about, lead a session on or help debate during a journalism convention? Their answers run the gamut — touching on everything from science journalism and Snapchat to sexual assault coverage and workflow management. Read More

Daily Reveille at LSU Preparing for ‘Swift Transformation,’ Possibly with Less Print

The Daily Reveille at Louisiana State University may soon undertake a “swift transformation.” The aim is to better position the 118-year-old student newspaper for success in the new media environment, boost revenue and reader relevancy and prepare student staffers for post-grad journalism careers. The changes may include a reduction to the daily printing schedule, a move at least a few TDR alumni are voicing initial concerns about on social media.

In a blog post yesterday, new LSU student media director Steve Buttry shared a document outlining his thoughts for a reinvented Reveille. He originally created it a few months back for the search committee when applying for the director position. Read More

I’m Really Starting to Hate the Whole ‘Best College Newspapers’ Clickbait Phenomenon

Fake exciting news! There is a new vomitous list online purporting to spotlight the “Top 50 College Newspapers” in the U.S. The list-makers offer no methodology as to how the list was created. If I’m reading it right, they simply admit they plagiarized from other eye-roll-worthy lists. They also provide no timeline for the selections. Apparently, these are just the best papers EVER, in the past and in perpetuity — cause, you know, college pubs with those pesky high staff turnover rates and lots of reinventions never change that much from year to year, right?

Look, I love almost every pop culture mention or representation of college media, including Onion spoof articles and that so-bad-it’s-funny “Fifty Shades of Grey” student newspaper interview scene.

But I’m officially over the whole “Best College Newspapers” clickbait phenomenon. I mean, yes, I get it. You want to drag in readers with words like Best and Top and expand your site’s journalism or college-focused cred. But anyone who actually knows anything about college or journalism just laughs at this stuff or gets angry with the woeful descriptions and related factual errors. Read More

Let’s Talk Tabloid: Tips for Shifting to a Tabloid-Sized Paper (Part 3, The Tabloid Experience for Readers)

1In the midst of massive reinvention across college media, many student newspapers are considering making the switch to a tabloid-sized paper in print. What are the advantages, challenges and surprises that come with shifting to tabloid? And what are some tips to help make the transition as seamless as possible for reporters, editors, designers and readers?

During a recent College Media Podcast chat, Claire Dodson, outgoing editor-in-chief of The Daily Beacon student newspaper at the University of Tennessee, offered advice while sharing the story of how the Beacon reinvented as a tabloid this past semester. Read More

CMM Special Series: What Do Student Journalists Want to Learn More About Journalism? (Part 13)

During his recent efforts to help plan programming for the fall 2015 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention — the world’s largest annual gathering of student journalists and their advisers and profs — David Simpson wanted to hear more from the students themselves. Specifically, he was curious: In these changing times, what do potential student attendees want to get most from a journalism conference experience? So Simpson, a revered veteran journalist and director of student media at Georgia Southern University, reached out to me with his student-first query. I in turn reached out to the summer 2015 CMM Editorial Fellows — an elite crew of current and recent student journalists.

For this CMM special series, 14 Fellows offer their perspectives, ideas and advice centered on a single question: What topic, tech tool, news beat, skill-set or current event would you love to learn more about, lead a session on or help debate during a journalism convention? Their answers run the gamut — touching on everything from science journalism and Snapchat to sexual assault coverage and workflow management. Read More