Covering the Death of a Campus Icon

It’s an awkward conversation, talking about the lasting legacy of a person who has not died yet. And it is a grim task, preparing for someone’s death. But all of that became reality this past week, when staff members of Elon University’s student news organization Elon News Network learned President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley died at 92.

In terms of coverage, preparations had been underway “for years,” said Executive Director of ENN, Tommy Hamzik. “Even before I was a student, generations of student media members have been preparing for this story, because of Danieley’s impact on campus.”

Dr. J. Earl Danieley spent more than 70 of his 92 years involved with Elon University in some way. He was a student, professor, dean, Elon’s sixth President and then named President Emeritus. Danieley saw a lot of change, and made a lot of changes to campus, including the current 4-1-4 academic schedule, building seven campus buildings and admitting Elon’s first black students. Current University President Leo Lambert was quoted as saying, “There will never be another Earl Danieley, but he has taught us that every member of the Elon community has the capability and responsibility to carry forward his good work.”

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J. Earl Danieley, left, poses with current Elon University President Leo Lambert on Move-in Day

Danieley’s good work was chronicled by Elon News Network in a variety of ways. Both the broadcast and print student media organizations combined in August 2016 to work together under one roof, giving ENN staff members the unique ability to cover this story on multiple mediums and platforms.

Hamzik and his team of 75 student journalists were tipped off that Danieley’s health was deteriorating, so they put the years of planning into action.

“The Sunday before he died we got the final video package ready to go, and we touched up the obituary and had that ready as well,” said Hamzik.

Hamzik said the staff was planning their weekly Wednesday print edition as well as their weekly Thursday ELN Morning broadcast when news of Danieley’s death broke around 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Along with their regularly scheduled publications and broadcasts, the staff added a special 12-page memorial edition of The Pendulum newspaper to be on newsstands Thursday morning, less than 48 hours after the death of Danieley.

“As soon as we knew he had died, we made sure to adjust Wednesday’s edition of the paper to reorganize things, and obviously change the cover story.”

The cover photo for Wednesday’s paper is seen here, taken by staff photographer A.J. Mandell this fall at one of Danieley’s last appearances on-campus. The cover story was written by Hamzik himself, which he said was largely complete by the time news of Danieley’s death reached the newsroom.

For ELN Morning Executive Producer Audrey Engelman, the news of Danieley’s death meant the planned rundown of Thursday morning’s show, which often includes light news, cooking segments and musical performances, had to be “thrown out.”

“We were pretty short-staffed at the time, so we were not able to have people keep doing their original stories, and get Danieley memorial stories done,” Engelman said. “So everyone dropped what they were doing to pick up a memorial piece.”

The 30-minute live memorial show ended up having five pieces on Danieley’s life, legacy and impact on different members of the campus community. University President Leo Lambert and Social Media Manager for the University Adam Constantine, a close friend of Danieley, were in studio for live interviews.

“I can’t stress enough how important it was that everyone was willing and able to go with the flow. It really helped that week, and during the last-minute planning for the broadcast especially,” said Engelman.

Hamzik credits the cultivation of sources as part of ENN’s success with their coverage.

“It is so important in a small community like Elon to be connected across campus, and really know the people you are writing about and reporting on every day,” said Hamzik. “You are building trust with people personally, but your coverage helps your organization as a whole build trust.” Hamzik says his tip from a source the weekend before Danieley’s death helped him and the rest of the team understand that this was coming, and to prepare accordingly.

Many of the professors in Elon’s School of Communications have had real world journalism experience, covering local and national news stories as they occurred. Hamzik said learning from those who had been there helped his team successfully cover one of Elon’s saddest days.

To view the Wednesday, November 30th edition of The Pendulum:

To view the Thursday, December 1st special memorial edition of The Pendulum:

To watch the Thursday, December 1st special memorial edition of ELN Morning:

Covering Trump

Editor’s note: Emily Barske is the editor in chief of the Iowa State Daily, the independent student newspaper at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. This is the first in a series showcasing student publications and how they’ve covered one of the most unique elections in United States history.

Our top editorial leaders left the newsroom at 3:30 a.m. on election night.

The 11-hour production consisted of multi-platform coverage of all elections from the local to national level affecting our coverage area. Staffers did everything from making one or two calls to get community leaders’ reactions, to taking photos at watch parties, to Snapchatting or live tweeting results as they came in and putting together all the pieces to create content.

Coverage of election night started much before coming in for our regular production that night and lasted much longer than 3:30 a.m.

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Emily Barske, editor in chief of the Iowa State Daily Photo credit: @emilybarske

Covering election night

The Daily’s news editor of politics and administration, Alex Connor, led the charge on our election coverage, planning it out weeks in advance — even creating a packet for staff called “The Ultimate Election Night Guide to Doing Election Night.” She assigned reporters, designers, the digital editor and the visuals editors to certain tasks more than a month before election night.

We had graphics prepared that helped us visually show maps and percentages important for readers to understand our coverage. We gathered up photos of candidates for all the races we were going to cover. We prepared two front pages and two editorials on the opinion page: one if Clinton won and one if Trump won.

The non-election pages were all done before 8 p.m. so there was some downtime as we waited for the results to start flooding in. At just before 1 a.m. a slight panic overtook the newsroom when it appeared that though Donald Trump was likely to win, the race would still be too close to call for our 1:30 a.m. print deadline. We started to brainstorm a centerpiece showing the “too close to call narrative.”

Luckily, we were able to get an extension from our printer for 3 a.m. and this allowed us time to continue following the race until it was called for Trump.

“I’m glad that we prepared two front pages, but I wish we would have prepared one in case no one won that night,” Connor said after the election.

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The front page of the Iowa State Daily, the day after the presidential election. Photo credit: Iowa State Daily

The centerpiece story, for the most part, was written beforehand, but various reporters made calls to administrators and student leaders to get their immediate reaction to the election results to include in the story.

The reactions of those we interviewed were mixed. Some were overjoyed while others felt overwhelmed with fear because of a Trump presidency. In the weeks following the election, we have continued to try and capture our community’s reactions.

Covering the community after election night

While election night had come to a close, its effect on campus was just beginning.

Alex Hanson, the managing editor of content who also specializes in political coverage, said that after covering the election you have to look closer for stories to cover because there aren’t campaign events.

“The election is over, but there is still plenty going on,” Hanson said. “You have to continue to be plugged in and know what’s going on.”

In addition to staying plugged in, Connor assigned stories to make sure we reported on the varying reactions students had about the election even if they were out protesting or shouting for joy.

As a staff, we covered everything from post-election discussions, Not My President protests, students experiences of being called racial slurs on election night, a bill in the state legislature to stop state funding for post-election counseling and most recently the canceling of an arranged Milo Yiannopoulos event because of fees Iowa State administrators asked the event hosts to pay because of raised security concerns. And those were just the major stories.

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Photo credit: Iowa State Daily

It was also particularly important for the Daily to seek out a variety of voices and tell stories of people’s personal stake in this election cycle. Those who were unhappy with the election results were the most vocal, but they were not reflective of the entire campus. To counter this and diversify our coverage, we created content about Trump’s policy plans and spoke to student Trump supporters.

The election in many ways has been more emotional than past elections, thus making it extremely important for journalists to capture the wide array of feelings in the community. The Daily specifically emphasized live coverage of protests and discussions on social media, while also creating content through analysis stories and visual elements to capture all types of news consumers.

Overall experiences covering the elections

Staffers at the Daily all had different experiences covering this election, especially as journalists in Iowa. Hanson said he felt both of the two major candidates ran their campaigns differently than campaigns were run in past elections, which made covering the election different for journalists.

Connor and assistant visuals editor, Emily Blobaum, mentioned how unique getting to cover the experience was.

“It was a really great experience documenting history,” Blobaum said. “I can now say I’ve taken photos of the President [Elect] of the United States. From an editor’s standpoint, it pushed my creativity and thinking outside the box.”

Though the Daily staffers were afforded the opportunities such as what Connor and Blobaum mentioned, the fact that they were college journalists sometimes played a role.

“As a college paper, people don’t take you as seriously and you don’t have as much access,” Hanson said. “They don’t think we’re professional enough…they think no one reads us, which isn’t true.”

But though there can be setbacks, Hanson said college journalists should not shy away from covering elections.

“Don’t be afraid to try to do the same report just because you’re in college,” Hanson said. “You’re in a unique spot to cover things for students, while also doing the big stories that other organizations will do.”

A new Focus

Alissa Smith was only two weeks shy of graduating from the University of Central Florida when she learned the student newspaper she had worked for was shutting down.

The Central Florida Future printed its final edition Aug. 4. After 48 years, its owner Gannett shut down the publication. Smith, who had worked as a news editor and contributor for the Future, was impacted by the reaction to the closing by a younger staff member.

“She was so heartbroken that she said she was just going to change her major to English,” Smith said. “Because if people don’t believe (in journalism) in college, then what’s the real world going to be like?

“I was really upset. I wanted people to know that we still believe in student journalism.”

So, Smith spearheaded the launch of an independent, online-only student publication to cover the UCF campus and community. Four months after the Future closed, approximately three-quarters of its staff are now working for the Central Florida Focus.

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The Central Florida Focus is an independent, student-run website that covers the University of Central Florida. It was launched after the UCF student newspaper, the Future, closed over the summer after 48 years of publication. Photo credit: Central Florida Focus

Smith, who graduated from UCF with a business management and entrepreneurship degree, sought the help of a friend and fellow business graduate to get the Focus off the ground. Angela Minerva, who currently works full-time as an office manager in the Orlando area, became her co-Chief Operating Officer.

“I was just about as livid as Alissa when I heard about Gannett closing the Future,” Minerva said. “We both decided that it was unacceptable and that the community needed something it could rely on. This is my first endeavor into journalism. There’s a lot to learn. I’m trying to pick it up as quickly as I can.”

Together, the two – along with help from a GoFundMe account – provided the upfront costs, including buying the domain name centralfloridafocus.com and registering as a limited liability corporation.

Smith also spent the fall semester as the publication’s Editor-in-Chief, a role she will hand over next semester to the Focus’ current Managing Editor Samantha Bequer.

“When I first heard that the Future was no longer on campus, I felt stuck,” said Bequer, a junior majoring in journalism and political science. “What do I do now? How do I move on?

“When Alissa approached me with the idea (of the Focus), it felt like a sense of relief. We could still get our voice out there.”

Bequer, who was a senior staff writer and contributor for the Future, said joining the Focus was more appealing than UCF’s other student media options: Nicholson Student Media and Knight News.

“We had the choice to blend in with outlets that we didn’t really have a part of,” she said. “To be able to make our own way is really special.”

Life without a newsroom, and with a staff working in different locations, has “actually been pretty easy,” Smith said. Still, it’s come with some predictable challenges.

“We had scattered shifts, so not everyone was in the newsroom at the same time,” she said. “But you are missing the camaraderie. Before, if you needed someone to look over a story, you could just ask. Now, you text the group chat and hope someone has time to get back to you. That’s the hard part.”

Moving forward, the biggest goal for the Focus is sustainability, namely finding a way to pay its staff of editors and contributors. Currently, all are working for free.

“That’s our biggest struggle right now,” Minerva said. “We somehow have to make enough money to break even and pay people who are working for us.”

“We were hoping to be able to pay people,” Smith added. “We haven’t been able to find funds for that, which is upsetting.”

The Focus is considering switching from a LLC to a nonprofit organization, with hopes that available grant money could help its cause. In addition, a companion print publication, feature investigative stories, has been discussed as an outlet to showcase staff member’s work and attract advertisers.

To help identify ways to bring in additional funding, the Focus brought in another recent UCF graduate, Kat Engelauf, to serve as Marketing Director. Engelauf had worked with Smith at an internship. Smith, in turn, introduced her to Minerva.

“I came on board later,” said Engelauf, who works for the Princeton Review in New York City. “I was providing suggestions here and there, and they offered me the position.

“My initial motivation really was seeing how upset Alissa was at the opportunity of the Central Florida Future being taken away from students. Seeing how much this meant to her was certainly the initial driving factor. The main thing now is seeing how excited these editors and contributors are with the work they are able to do. They really are the heart and soul of what we do.”

Minerva said the initial response from the Orlando business community has been supportive.

“People are similarly outraged by Gannett abandoning an integral part of a community,” she said. “They are all excited that we’re taking this into our own hands. It’s better to have a community-focused newspaper being run by the community that it’s focused on. There’s a silver lining to Gannett closing the paper.”

Breaking down breaking news

It was one week ago when a third-year logistics management student at Ohio State University drove a car into a crowd of students gathered for a fire drill before getting out of the vehicle and attacking others with a butcher knife.

The Lantern, Ohio State’s student-run newspaper, quickly started covering the breaking story and had nearly 20 articles posted about the incident by the following night. Campus Editor Nick Roll (NR) and Assistant Campus Editor Sam Harris (SH) took part in reporting the story. Below, they share their experiences as they balanced being concerned students along with competing with professional journalists to get accurate, timely information.

Where were you when you first heard about this week’s incident and what was your first reaction?
NR: I was sitting in a Dunkin Donuts right across from campus. When I got the text, I packed up my computer, grabbed my backpack and hustled to the scene, or as close as I could get to it, which ended up being about a block away. My first thought was that I had to be there — I knew that wasn’t going to be my mom’s first thought, I knew she wouldn’t be happy, but as a journalist, I had to be there.
SH: On Mondays, I don’t have class and normally sleep in, so I was in my dorm, asleep, when my roommate woke me up and informed me of the situation. At that point, details were very vague and we thought there was an active shooter on campus. It didn’t really feel real at first, but when my phone started blowing up with people asking if I was somewhere safe, the severity of the situation began to sink in.

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Assistant Campus Editor Sam Harris spent the past week helping to report on the attack that took place on Ohio State University’s campus on Monday. Photo credit: Sam Harris

 

Who from the staff either heard about the situation first or started reporting first and what was that experience like?
NR: I met up with three other members of the staff at the police line blocking off the area around the scene of the incident. We all met by chance — people heard where the incident was and we all had the same thought. From there, our staff GroupMe, as well as ad-hoc, more targeted group chats, were our main points of communication. Between those, and phone calls, we organized pretty well. I took charge of the Twitter, but we also had reporters in another area of campus, where police suspected a second shooter (at that time, we still believed it was an active shooter). There were a few tweets from others on staff that weren’t quite my favorite — too loosely based, not from official sources — but it was nothing that I lost sleep over. I made it clear in the GroupMe if a tweet wasn’t up to my standards. We filed updates for the website from the sidewalk, using a nearby building’s wifi, and it was on a Google Doc that everyone could access and edit.
SH: I have to confess to being somewhat out of the loop as my building went into lockdown and so I couldn’t leave or really be of much use at the time. Our sports team was actually the first people there and so it was frustrating in that I couldn’t help them very much. I made sure to edit things as they came in, but really I just felt useless, I wanted to be there, helping my team.

Did you have a plan in place among your staff should breaking news like this happen? If not, are you thinking of having that discussion now for the future?
NR: We have a pretty active GroupMe. We have a list with everyone’s phone numbers. We all recognize the value of covering breaking news, and doing it quickly and accurately. I don’t think we have a “plan,” per se. We do make special lists when we go on breaks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) of which people are in town, and what their contact info is. That way, if there’s something breaking in the middle of December, we know who can get to the scene and who can cover remotely. With the Internet, covering remotely is incredibly effective. We had staff all over the country this summer — myself in D.C. — and we were still filing multiple stories per week. But having people on the scene is still crucial.
SH: I mean, we have plans in place for breaking news but I think that an event like this kind of shatters even the best laid plans.

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The Lantern Campus Editor Nick Roll (second from right) interviews Ohio State University President Michael Drake in an undated photo. Photo credit: The Lantern

 

What was the contact like among staff during the lockdown? Was there a plan set for who was doing what?
NR: We have a GroupMe, and even though it’s mostly for coordinating potlucks, its basis is for covering breaking news. As it developed, we had multiple people tweeting. I was doing police updates from my scene, other reporters were doing updates from the second scene. Website updates were done by myself and another reporter who was with me at the scene, but by the time the day was over, we had added a bunch of names to the byline.
SH: It was really just all hands on deck. We had GroupMe discussions going, with everyone trying to confirm details from wherever they were at. We were scattered physically, but we stayed in communication, which I think really helped in terms of getting coverage out there.

Often times, it’s said that the local (pro or college) news outlets shine in these situations compared to national outlets who aren’t as familiar with the school/area/city. Did you find you had an advantage over other outlets? In other words, were there people you knew to contact, ways to report, etc. that others didn’t?
NR: We should be the best outlet for information at Ohio State. It’s our campus. There’s no reason anyone should cover it better than us. That’s not me being aggressive, it’s just that this is our backyard. It’s our job to be the best in our area. We know what the halls are called. We know where things are located. We have existing relationships with University Police and OSU spokesmen — most importantly, we have a huge social network once you add up all of the friends and mutual friends and acquaintances among our staff. We know the people on the ground. I think our advantage comes from the fact that any college is like a small town, and we eat, sleep and breathe Ohio State.
SH: I think our advantage wasn’t necessarily that we were on our home turf, but that we had a stake in the game. This is our home, our campus, and our friends who had been impacted by this event. We put everything into our coverage because we wanted our fellow students to get clear and accurate information as to what was going on. I think our advantage is that we cared.

What’s been the overall feedback you all received on your reporting?
NR:
Mostly positive, especially from other outlets. And it has meant a lot — whether from other professionals, readers, or other college outlets. The only people mad at us are the ones who are mad we aren’t calling it “radical Islamic terrorism.” Look, I can’t call it that until the FBI calls it that. I asked them at the press conference if they were calling it terrorism, and they said no. Oh, and for what it’s worth, not one reporter at the press conference asked about any investigation into the attacker’s mental health. Go figure.
SH: Generally I think feedback was positive. I had a few professors comment that they had followed the Lantern closely during the incident and that they thought our coverage was well done.

Was there something that you felt you should have done differently in your reporting?
NR: If we had more man power, we would have been out and about at his former community college, in his neighborhood, knocking on doors, etc. to find out more about him. Nothing has really come from the stories on who he was yet, so it’s not something I’m losing sleep over. We’ve been doing great work on the campus front, and in our follow-up stories. That’s not meant to sound self-aggrandizing — I’m just really proud of my staff.
SH: I mean I wish I hadn’t been so isolated in lockdown, but looking back there’s not much I could have done there.

What’s one piece of advice you would give other student journalists if they had to report on a big breaking story?
NR: Breaking news is actually super easy. You write what you know. And you don’t know a lot. So you don’t write a lot. Just stick to the facts, like you would in any other situation. It’s like any other reporting — if you report it, you better be ready to stand behind every last word. Additionally, we’ve been doing crazy amounts of full-length follow-up stories. Those stories, which round up all the facts and present them in full context, or flesh out other details and turn them into full stories, are critical in the hours and days after the attack. You have to have something other than the original breaking report.
SH: I don’t know if there’s really any advice that can prepare you for something like this. I guess just keep in mind that it isn’t about you; it’s about the students that read the paper and expect real and relevant information. You’re not there for the glory or to see your name put up somewhere, you’re there because you owe it to your fellow students.

College Media Matters to relaunch

It has been more than a year since college media lost one of its great champions.

Dan Reimold covered college media with care, depth and positivity. Through his website, College Media Matters, he highlighted the amazing work of college media, shone the spotlight on its leaders and championed for innovation.

His passing has left a void in that coverage.

Today, College Media Association is proud to announce that College Media Matters will soon resume coverage. This relaunch comes with the blessing of Dan’s family, who reached out to CMA in hopes of continuing his legacy. No one knows how Dan juggled his teaching, advising and site duties; he was pretty amazing. So, CMA has put together a team of writers from across the country who hope to cover college media and the unique issues its faces.

The plan is for College Media Matters to return after Thanksgiving break. Candace Baltz of Oregon State University and Jim Rodenbush of Colorado State University will serve as editors in chief. Do you have a story idea? Would you like to contribute? They can be reached here.

 

How I Got the Job: 7 Questions Answered About Becoming a TV Reporter

Everyone takes a different path to their first media job. Some people land their first choice right out of college. Others need to apply to dozens of places before landing an interview. There’s not a perfect way to get the job you want, but it can help to learn from the experience of others. This week: Joe Little, a reporter for 10 News in San Diego, and master of the one-man-band standup.

What got you interested in a TV career?
I was a jock in high school and college. And, like most meatballs who need to be the center of attention, I wanted to be on SportsCenter. I loved Dan Patrick and wanted to be just like him.

Do you remember what you included on your first tape?
Depends on which tape you’re talking about. I made one to get into graduate school (and it sucked) and I made one to get my first job in Hagerstown, Maryland (and it sucked). I posted both videos on YouTube.

In your career, how many rejections did you get?
I saved them all. I think I actually received more than a dozen rejection letters. I think I didn’t even get a courtesy rejection letter a dozen more times.

What’s your advice for a reporter struggling to land their first job?
Besides sending your resume to employers, send your resume to mentors who can critique your resume. You may be doing it all wrong. But most importantly, never give up. Stay active. Interact with people via social media at the stations you are applying. Do anything you can to get your name on the desk of a News Director.

As you have moved up to bigger markets, what changes do you notice in the way larger stations look for reporters?
I don’t know if it’s exactly larger stations looking for something different. I think all stations are looking for employees who have multiple skills. You are screwed if you are a one-trick-pony.

In your experience, what are the things young reporters overlook about their tape, or in their search?
I think too many reporters aren’t realists. You’re not going to work in a top 50, maybe even a top 100 market out of college. Very, very, very few people do. Simple things don’t help either. Never put someone else on your tape (co-anchors, anchor tosses, other reporters, etc.). No one is impressed you interviewed a celebrity. Even fewer people want to hear the celebrity’s answer.

What was the one thing about a TV news job search you wish someone would have told you in college?
Don’t suck.

Are Student Media Still on Instagram?

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

Join #collegemedia Live Chat This Sunday August 16th 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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Why Should Students Still Study Journalism Given the Sorry State of the News Industry? Here is the Perfect Answer via 1 Chart & a 90-Second Clip

I am often asked to defend the very existence of journalism education. If you’re reading this, you most likely know exactly what I mean — either because you have been asked to do the same thing or because you are the one doing the asking.

To be clear, nowadays, it’s an extremely fair, and even needed, question. After all, the industry as a whole — and especially its local news backbone — is cutting losses and shedding jobs at a sadly prodigious rate. At the same time, students (and their families) are spending insane amounts and piling up gigantic debt in pursuit of a higher education degree. As a parent pessimistic about his son’s journalism interest once put it to me, “It’s a heap of money we don’t really have for a career I’m not confident will be waiting for him.” (He then asked if I could autograph a copy of my textbook, a request so weirdly timed I actually laughed, thinking he was joking.)

I have my own version of a serious defense to this question/concern, which, yes, I can recite with sincere (guarded) optimism. As my loyal readers know, it’s also a question I often ask the student journalists, professors and professionals I interview — in part simply to see if my own spirited rallying cry is still at least marginally on point and in line with the thinking of others across the journalism education spectrum.

I recently came across two additional showings of support for this defense. The first is featured in a massive — and massively significant — new survey conducted by the American Press Institute. It’s only been out a few days, but anyone even remotely geeky about journalism has surely at least pretended to read some of it by now.

Above and beyond its many other fascinating findings, the one that has proven most newsworthy and of interest to me: A surprisingly high percentage of professionals who graduated over the past decade from U.S. journalism schools consider themselves journalists today — even those who work in industries and jobs that may on spec seem unrelated or only slightly related to the old school notion of journalism.

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I’ll spare you the pablum and cut right to the heart of that awesomeness: Journalism is not confined to a single field in the 21st century. And it is surely not confined to a particular set of job titles or type of work. The former j-students now impacting all corners of commerce, politics, the law, education, technology and media are telling us one thing loudly and collectively: The skills and knowledge they gleaned from their j-education is still so strongly embedded within them that, even beyond what their industry or position descriptions may say, at their core they know they are journalists.

I’ll put it another way: Journalism, more than ever, is now everywhere, impacting the way the world is shaped and seen, inside and out.

And the key here is the education component. Because in a world in which everyone can be journalists, or at least say they are, it will be those with the real journalistic training and knowledge who will rise above and be recognized and (hopefully) over time financially rewarded.

This is at the heart of a brief aside made by Sree Sreenivasan during a talk this summer to kick off CUNY’s annual Social Media Weekend. I’ve embedded the YouTube video below to start at the exact spot he dives into his “why journalism” spiel.

“Journalism is not dying. Journalism is more robust than ever before.”

Sree Sreenivasan ~

Why journalism? According to Sreenivasan, the chief digital officer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and former longtime faculty member at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, there is more journalism being produced on more outlets and in more ways for more interested people than ever before. The business side is in flux, to be sure, like so many industries in this age of transition. But that is only a current problem needing a long-term solution, not a reason to turn away from an education and life centered on meaningful content creation, storytelling, sharing and engaging.

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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