The weekly podcast spotlights big college media news, standout student press work and tons of innovative tech tools. Click on the image above to listen in.

1 Million Story Ideas Special: ‘My First Panic Attack’

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. Everything journalism was, is and will be rests on our ability to tell a story. And every story starts with an idea.

So let’s brainstorm. Read More

Dear Dan: Should Florida State Student Newspaper Identify Campus Gunman By Name?

Dear Dan is a CMM series featuring perspectives and advice on serious and quirky college media issues of the moment. Most installments include a question or quandary submitted by a student journalist, professional journalist, journalism professor or student press adviser.

Dear Dan: Is the Florida State campus newspaper right to not name the gunman who injured some students and caused mass panic and a campus lockdown yesterday? Read More

Student Press Story of the Year Spotlight Series

Strippers. Poverty. Prosthetic limbs. Campus desegregation. Gays and Greek life. Cut sports. An airline bombing. A basketball super-fan with Down syndrome. And a piano-playing football player.

This is a sampling of the buzzwords embedded within a special CMM series aiming to tell the stories behind some of the year’s most impacting college media work — in the words of the students who created them.

Each post within this 12-part series focuses on a separate top-notch news report, feature story or multimedia package. All were named winners of a 2014 Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Story of the Year award. The ACP awards, informally known as the student press Pulitzers, are among the most prestigious honors bestowed upon college journalists and their media outlets. They are marks of distinction that student journos can humble-brag about on resumés and in job interviews for their entire post-grad careers.

Read More

Delaware Student Newspaper Announces It Will Stop Calling Women’s Sports Teams Lady Hens

The Review at the University of Delaware will no longer refer to women’s sports teams at the school as Lady Hens, criticizing the gender-specific designation as “a discriminatory term.”

Officially, teams at UD are known as the Blue Hens or the Fightin’ Blue Hens. In the Review, men’s teams have long been called Blue Hens or, simply, Hens and the women’s teams Lady Hens. Read More

ACP Story of the Year Spotlight Series: Avery Maehrer, Editor-in-Chief, The Temple News, Temple University

By Karen Funaro, Garrett Miley & Leigh Anne TiffanyCMM correspondents

This past May, The Temple News unveiled a special long-form multimedia report documenting the effects of major athletics program cuts on the Temple University community.

“Chop, Boom, You’re Gone” was the culmination of five months of reporting on the Philadelphia school’s decision to eliminate seven non-revenue sports (later reduced to five). Stitched together from content previously published, posted and produced by the Temple News team, the six-part narrative guides readers through the shock of the elimination announcement to the teams completing their final seasons and the student-athletes and coaches coping with the loss of their sports and figuring out how to move on.

According to Temple News editor-in-chief Avery Maehrer, who served as the paper’s sports editor when “Chop, Boom, You’re Gone” premiered, “This project really shifted my focus in what … I believed was possible to do with the student newspaper.” Read More

ACP Story of the Year Spotlight Series: Natalie Daher, Editor-in-Chief, The Pitt News, University of Pittsburgh

By Denise Sciasci & Jessica SweeneyCMM correspondents

Last fall, Natalie Daher reported for The Pitt News on the emergence of LGBTQ members and traditions within the Greek community at the University of Pittsburgh.

The 3,500-word story is rich with sociological context and candid interviews with individuals ranging from Pitt’s openly gay Inter-Fraternity Council President to a Delta Chi fraternity brother who doubles as the student president of the school’s Rainbow Alliance.

As Daher, 21, the editor-in-chief of the Pitt News, writes, “In an increasingly sexually diverse society, the ‘Animal House’ fraternity reputation of boozing and pawing at women is slowly changing. As University of Pittsburgh Greek society members reveal their sexuality, Pitt’s decades-old Greek culture is being challenged by the membership of openly gay, lesbian and bisexual students.” Read More

‘College Media Innovation in Action': Tulane Student Newspaper Starts Photo Business

Faced with shrinking ad revenue and long-term economic uncertainty, The Hullabaloo at Tulane University has launched a new photography business. The three-pronged aim of the student newspaper’s start-up effort: find a niche, book clients and help “bring the Hullabaloo financial stability.”

The side business — dubbed Green Wave Photography — is an offshoot of a similar, successful venture jumpstarted a few semesters back by the Emerald at the University of Oregon. The Emerald-affiliated PhotoBooth promises clients “red-carpet-worthy professional quality photos and real time photo strip printing.”

In a tweet late last week, former Emerald publisher Ryan Frank dubbed the Hullabaloo venture as nothing less than “college media innovation in action.” Read More

‘Students Speak, Change Happens': OU & OSU to Release Parking Ticket Records

Parking ticket records at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University will be released to the press at their request. All it took was a lawsuit, an 18-month stalemate, a special front-page editorial and a student newspaper preparing to legally fight against the school which partially funds it.

As I previously posted, in May 2013, Joey Stipek, an OU student and current Oklahoma Daily special projects editor, filed a lawsuit against university president David Boren and Open Records Office director Rachel McCombs. The suit alleged that the school repeatedly, and illegally, rebuffed his efforts to acquire “records he believes are public” and potentially newsworthy.

As Stipek wrote prior to the lawsuit, “OU gave out almost 52,000 parking citations last year, then dismissed almost a third of them. But you won’t find out here whether athletes, student leaders, faculty or any other special interest group got special treatment.  The reason?  OU won’t release the records.”

Two days ago, the OU Daily dropped an editorial bombshell across its entire front page: The paper was planning to join Stipek’s suit.

Read More

College Media Crazy Stories Alert: LSU Head Staples, BYU Meth Lab & CSUB Library Sex

Staples to the head. Blood-soaked, ahem, self-gratification efforts. A secret student meth lab worthy of Walter White — and its own hashtag. And a bathroom stall modified for anonymous sex acts — in the university library.

College media have captured a slew of especially weird and wacky stories in recent days. Here are my four nominees for the most offbeat. Read More

College Media Geeks: Kyle Plantz, Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Free Press, Boston University

For $5, Kyle Plantz will shout your name at random. Plantz, 20, a junior journalism major at Boston University, is not crazy. He’s passionate — about The Daily Free Press.

The FreeP is an editorial wonder and — at the moment — a financial mess. The nearly 45-year-old student newspaper at Boston University has launched a new fundraising drive, in part to pay off a $70,000 make-or-break debt and maintain some semblance of a print presence.

As the #FreePFund campaign reminds readers, former staffers and friends, “Founded in 1970 at the time of student protests following the Kent State shootings, the FreeP has been reporting daily university and city news ever since. Over several decades, the many students involved with The Daily Free Press have had the invaluable opportunity to learn the basic operations of print and online journalism, the significance of news reporting in an urban environment and how to craft a written journalistic voice.” Read More

ACP Story of the Year Spotlight Series: Daniel Roth, The Crimson White, University of Alabama

By Olivia McEachern & Kayla SodersCMM correspondents

Last fall, Crimson White video editor Daniel Roth put together a documentary outlining the racial progress and remaining challenges facing the University of Alabama 50 years after campus desegregation.

The nearly 18-minute film includes archival news footage and powerful interviews with UA alumni who attended the university during its initial attempts at integration in the 1960s — including a former CW editor-in-chief and the university’s first black student-athlete. Its full title: “Stepping Through: A Look at the Past 50 Years of Desegregation at the University of Alabama.” Read More

‘Publishing a Rapist’s Perspective': Emerald at Oregon Runs Piece by Registered Sex Offender

The Emerald at the University of Oregon recently published a piece grappling with issues involving college students and sexual violence — from a convicted perpetrator’s perspective.

The first-person essay was penned by a former UO student convicted of sexual assault for engaging in what he describes as “a nonconsensual sexual encounter with someone who was incapable of giving consent because of the influence of drugs and alcohol.” Emerald editor-in-chief Sami Edge tells me his write-up represents “a viewpoint that’s not yet been discussed during our coverage of sexual assault.”

In the anonymous essay — headlined “Memoirs of a Student-Criminal” — the individual reflects on his crime and its immense personal consequences including his arrest, conviction, probation, legal expenses, expulsion from school, social stigma and the requirement to register as a sex offender.

As he writes, “I thought that I wasn’t capable of doing something like that even if I was under the influence of intoxicants. I thought my morals and mindset would never make it possible for a situation like that to unfold. Unfortunately, I was wrong. … For whatever reason, guys think that we are part of some sort of free-for-all in college where any woman who will talk to you will also have sexual relations with you. This is most certainly not true and is part of an overwhelmingly toxic culture of this sort of behavior.” Read More

ACP Story of the Year Spotlight Series: Joe Infantino, NewsHouse, Syracuse University

By Sara LaMachiaCMM correspondent

Last fall, students in a web journalism and innovation class at Syracuse University constructed a comprehensive multimedia reporting package detailing the legacy of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.

As the package’s “About” page explains, “December 21, 1988 changed our world forever. For the communities at Syracuse University and the Scottish town of Lockerbie it was an especially dark day. All 259 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 103 including 35 SU students, plus 11 villagers on the ground, perished from the actions of those determined to do evil. Now 25 years later, the many stories of what happened on that fateful flight, the many ways society has adjusted and many aspirations of converting the pain into a call for world peace persist.”

With editorial persistence and digital eloquence, the SU student team — led by professors Jon Glass and Dan Pacheco — documented the timeline of the tragedy and its aftermath, the stories behind the SU Orangemen and women who were killed, the subsequent intertwining of a New York school and a Scottish town thousands of miles away and the age of terrorism and heightened security that has emerged in the wake of the flight’s bombing.

Joe Infantino, 22, a native of Media, Pa., was a student in the web journalism and innovation class. He was charged with putting together the timeline portion of the project. As he recalls, the timeline group’s aim was to present information in a way that connected readers personally to the story — the story of both the attack itself and its footprint on the SU community a quarter century later. Read More

Student Journalists Intimidated, Attacked in St. Louis By Police & Ferguson Protesters

Student journalists have recently had it rough in greater St. Louis. In two separate incidents, St. Louis police overzealously held and questioned a pair of j-students completing a class project and Ferguson protesters allegedly beat a j-student so badly he had to be hospitalized.

First, the law enforcement intimidation. Late last month, two Lindenwood University students traveled to a St. Louis police station as part of a report they were preparing on a creepy trend involving thieves swiping equipment from area musical groups. While at the station, the students decided to grab B-roll of cop cars in the parking lot. They asked for and received permission to shoot from a nearby officer — but didn’t actually need his approval since they were recording from a public sidewalk. Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: ‘Notes From My Journal’

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. Everything journalism was, is and will be rests on our ability to tell a story. And every story starts with an idea.

So let’s brainstorm. Read More

Plus-Size Student Fashion Blogger Embraces Fat Acceptance Movement

Natalie Craig is a Columbia College Chicago senior, an impassioned fashion blogger and a confident plus-size woman. She is open about having hips and curves, proudly confirming, “I am a size 14 and don’t look like Kate Upton.”

As she writes on her blog Natalie in the City, “Although I was a fashionista at an early age, I grew up receiving backlash for my full-figured shape, and the thin standards of the fashion world didn’t love my body as much as I did. It’s hard out here for a plus-size fashionista, but it’s also the most amazing feeling to be able to rock an ensemble that takes time, effort and creativity to master.”

Craig, 22, is also currently taking time to spread the word about the increasingly popular and mainstream Fat Acceptance Movement, “which means celebrating and embracing a woman’s curves rather than shaming them.” Read More

‘Not Just a Penn State Problem': Three Years After Sandusky Scandal, PSU Student Shares Powerful Story of Emotional & Mental Abuse

When Penn State University senior Emily Chappell was seven years old, she wrote a book about being a superhero.

Chappell and a make-believe best friend at the time were the main characters. As she recalls, the pair were shaped like eggs, there were capes involved and their superpower was the ability to fly.

Less than a dozen years later, Chappell was not only grounded but scared, scarred and feeling like she wielded almost no control — on a superhero or merely human level.

While in high school, her humanity and a large portion of her late-adolescent innocence were stolen by her 10th grade honors English teacher. Through a series of progressively intimate and domineering acts — which Chappell now identifies as “grooming behavior” — the onetime teacher-mentor left her “lost in a world of abuse.” Read More

Oklahoma Daily Tells Sooners Football: Stop the Sideline Photography Shenanigans

The Oklahoma Daily at Oklahoma University is pushing back against new restrictions imposed on sideline photographers working OU Sooners football games.

During a home game late last month, a Sooners wide receiver “flew out of the end zone and landed on a camera lens belonging to a Tulsa World photographer.” The result: a shattered lens, a slight athlete injury, a rant from head football coach Bob Stoops about the photogs’ presence and a new sideline photography policy the Daily is calling “a childish reaction to a rare accident.”

The gist of the updated policy: Student and professional photogs working the sidelines and end zone areas during OU football games may only bring equipment they can carry and “keep on their body at all times” — so no tripods and a severe limitation on extra cameras and lenses. Read More

Media Futurist to Journalism Students: ‘Winning Internet Isn’t Rocket Science, It’s DATA Science’

By Kayla SodersCMM correspondent

“The physical world is all becoming one giant interactive surface.”

This past Sunday, noted media futurist Amy Webb performed a wearable technology “striptease” of sorts during her closing keynote speech at the 2014 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention.

Throughout her talk — headlined “Amy Webb Sees the Future Of Media — And She’s Not Afraid! (You Shouldn’t Be, Either)” — she sported, shed and let the audience later experiment with a range of tech gear including Google Glass, Pebble and Melon’s brain-tracking headband. Read More

ACP Story of the Year Spotlight Series: Jack Howland, University of Missouri

By Crista Dockray, Drew Koloup & Brian RadermacherCMM correspondents

This past spring, Jack Howland captured and shared the story of an openly transgender student at the University of Missouri named Shane Stinson. The pronoun leading off the main headline in The Maneater campus newspaper story is the most significant, telling term within the roughly 5,000-word piece — “His Name is Shane.

As Howland, 21, a native of Fairway, Kan., writes, “He. Him. His. Shane likes the way the words sound. He gets excited when strangers come up to him and assume he’s male without question, noticing his flat chest and short hair. … If someone refers to Shane as she, he feels like a lesser version of himself. He likely won’t blame the person or bring up the subject, but it sticks with him. … It’s sometimes hard for him to understand how someone could look into his eyes and see a woman. He’s always felt like a man.” Read More