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)

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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

Let’s Talk Tabloid: Tips for Shifting to a Tabloid-Sized Paper (Part 2, The Cover Story Challenge)

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

Student Media Preparing to Slack En Masse? Ithacan Webmaster Says Digital Platform is Perfect ‘Collaboration Tool for College Newsroom’

The Ithacan digs Slack. The real-time digital messaging and workflow platform is gaining uber-momentum within collegemediatopia. In last Sunday’s Twitter chat, a number of student press editors and advisers said they are experimenting with Slack or have already decided to make it their virtual news meeting space.

The Ithacan student newspaper at New York’s Ithaca College may be college media’s most impassioned Slack convert so far. In a new post on Medium, Ithacan webmaster Evan Sobkowicz writes, “Slack has proved to be an amazing open, real-time communication and collaboration tool for a college newsroom.”

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CMM Special Series: What Do Student Journalists Want to Learn More About Journalism? (Part 12)

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

Let’s Talk Tabloid: Tips for Shifting to a Tabloid-Sized Paper (Part 1, The Tabloid Backstory)

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

How Should Student Journalists Cover the 2016 Presidential Race?

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

Join #collegemedia Live Chat This Sunday July 26th at 5 p.m. EST

1This Sunday afternoon, join the #collegemedia live chat. Stop by Twitter starting at 5 p.m. EST for a fun, free-flowing, hour-long discussion about college media, new media, millennials and the future of journalism.

Read More

College Media Podcast: Ana Goni-Lessan, Adviser, The Cougar, University of Houston

1Ana Goni-Lessan is the activities coordinator within the Center for Student Media at the University of Houston, making her the adviser of The Cougar student newspaper. She is also an award-winning reporter, photographer and graphic designer who graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communication. During her undergrad days at UF, among other pursuits, she served on staff at The Independent Florida Alligator.

For this edition of the College Media Podcast, Goni-Lessan spoke to me in person from her office in UH’s state-of-the-art Welcome Center. At one point early on, a blender can be heard through the walls. She (rightfully) blamed student government. :) Read More

Why Should Students Major in Journalism?

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

North Texas Daily Tells Readers Why It Didn’t Run Alleged Frat Hazing Story

When is alleged fraternity hazing not worth reporting? When the principal source doesn’t pass muster and all the facts don’t appear to add up.

The North Texas Daily at the University of North Texas posted an interesting editor’s note yesterday explaining the paper’s rationale for not publishing details of a reputed frat hazing hullaballoo. ThinkProgress just ran a related story, calling the frat’s treatment of a former student pledge “appalling.”

Yet, according to the North Texas Daily editorial board, that student approached the paper first. While staffers of course saw the story he shared as potentially newsworthy and combustible, a number of details proved sketchy, the student’s motives seemed questionable and at one point his personal safety was deemed at risk. Read More

Editor’s Note on Daily Bruin ‘Free Tampons’ Blog Post Stirs Buzz: Respectful or Overly PC?

In a new blog post for The Daily Bruin at UCLA, columnist Zoey Freedman calls for tampons and other feminine hygiene products to be distributed by the government for free or greatly reduced prices to help women who “lack access to even the most essential health products.” Read More

CMM Special Series: What Do Student Journalists Want to Learn More About Journalism? (Part 11)

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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

A Questionable Quote About ‘Rich, White Males’ Led to a Student Newspaper’s Demise (& Rebirth)

In fall 2014, a reporter for the Bulldog Weekly student newspaper at the University of Redlands asked a student source what they thought of a new $35 million scholarship for UR students. The source’s response: The scholarship was “intended for a certain type of person.” The reporter asked if the source meant “rich, white males”? The source agreed. The quote — including the “rich, white males” portion — appeared in a story about the scholarship. The student government soon after suspended the paper’s $40,000 funding and fired the adviser. Read More

How Can Student Media Reinvent & Innovate More?

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

CMM Special Series: What Do Student Journalists Want to Learn More About Journalism? (Part 10)

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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

Should Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Be Covered as Politics or Entertainment?

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

The Student Journalist Adventure Series: Is Cursing with a Source A-OK or Sort of F****ed Up?

The Student Journalist Adventure Series features 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, journalism professor or student press adviser.

Question: Should you curse with a source who is cursing? Or asked another way, is it ever acceptable, or even advantageous, to use vulgar language in front of a source when they’re already cursing up a storm themselves?
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Join #collegemedia Live Chat This Sunday July 19th at 7 p.m. EST

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This 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.

Read More