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.

Facing a Lawsuit, Purdue Releases (Some) Video Footage Showing Student Journalist’s Arrest

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After months of public back-and-forth and in the midst of a pending lawsuit, Purdue University has finally released video footage that captures a controversial incident earlier this year involving a student photographer and campus police.

Here’s the 60-second, rapid-fire, small-words, easy-to-follow background breakdown: In January, there was a deadly shooting on campus at Purdue. Michael Takeda, the photo editor for The Purdue Exponent, raced to the scene. He brought his cameras. He started snapping some shots. Campus security didn’t like that. Officers arrested him and allegedly “pushed [him] to the ground, verbally abused and threatened” him. They also confiscated his cameras. He was eventually released and his cameras a while later returned (thanks SPLC). But the stench of his initial — potentially overzealous — police takedown lingered. The Exponent wanted proof — and to show the public what happened. They requested surveillance video footage from inside the building where Takeda’s arrest took place. The police and others initially said no, claiming the video was part of the ongoing shooting investigation. So the Exponent sued, with the help of the ACLU. And now, at last, online and for all the public to see, here is the footage — or at least some of it. Read More

Daily Iowan Rocks Out Ice Bucket Challenge, Nominates Other Student Papers to Dive In

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The Daily Iowan crew gamely got cold and wet earlier today, recording a fun ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video that includes shrieks, a brief water balloon fight and a call-to-arms for other college media outlets to join in the fun.

According to DI editor-in-chief extraordinaire Jordyn Reiland, the staff at the University of Iowa student newspaper stepped up to a challenge issued by their cross-state college media rival The Iowa State Daily. And in turn, on camera, the Daily Iowan has now nominated the staffs of other ACP Pacemaker winnersThe Harvard Crimson, Indiana Daily Student, The Daily Collegian and The Daily Tar Heel — to take part in the icy awesomeness.

Here’s the DI’s challenge video. Beneath that are the challenge videos spotlighting Iowa State Daily EIC Stephen Koenigsfeld and ME Maddy Arnold.

P.S. If any other college media have plunged to similarly icy depths, comment on this post or shoot me an email with the video links! Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: The F*ck Yeah Q&A

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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

Student Newspaper Evicted from Newsroom, Operating Out of Former Editor’s Apartment

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The Phoenix student newspaper at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) has been kicked out of its campus newsroom and is currently operating out of the apartment of its most recent managing editor. The newsroom eviction notice — served by the Canadian school’s student union — is linked to budgetary concerns, student media fees, the campus radio station — and even popular Mexican and Japanese cuisine.

According to an objective report in the Phoenix, a recent “space audit” carried out in the UBCO student center determined the paper’s newsroom “is not the best utilization of space as of right now.” While the paper pays $8,000 (Canadian dollars) per year for its place in the building, outside food vendors like Koi Sushi and Taco Del Mar are apparently willing to pony up $70,000 for a similar spot. Read More

Facing a Lawsuit from Student Newspaper, Purdue Ready to Release Controversial Video

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In the wake of a lawsuit filed by The Purdue Exponent, Purdue University is now offering to release video footage that captures a controversial incident earlier this year involving a student photographer and campus police.

As I previously posted, the Exponent student newspaper recently filed its first lawsuit against the school in its 125-year history to obtain a surveillance video allegedly showing one of its staffers “pushed to the ground, verbally abused and threatened” by members of Purdue’s security team. Read More

Bye Bye Bullet: Student Paper Changes Name Due to Concerns It ‘Propagated Violence’

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Come fall semester, the college media universe will officially be missing a bullet. Starting next month, The Bullet, the 96-year-old student newspaper at the University of Mary Washington, will be known as The Blue & Gray Press. The web address for the paper has already been changed to reflect the name switch and all Bullet-related social media accounts have been deactivated.

So why the change? As top staff explained to readers in a news release earlier this week, “The editorial board felt that the paper’s name, which alludes to ammunition for an artillery weapon, propagated violence and did not honor our school’s history in a sensitive manner. The board intends to remain faithful to the history our university stands upon, and we continue to honor this history both in a respectful and meaningful way.” Read More

Central Florida Student Newspaper Reinvents: ‘Welcome to the Future of the Future’

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The Central Florida Future has become “a new kind of news source — the kind you love, and the kind you trust.” In an announcement that earns nerd-cool bonus points for referencing bad boyfriends, AOL IM and R. Kelly in the same paragraph, the student media behemoth at the University of Central Florida confirms it is shape-shifting its print presence, website and publishing schedule.

As staffer Jessica Saggio shares in a note to readers — beneath the way-too-on-point header “Welcome to the future of the Future”: “Perhaps you may have noticed, or perhaps you are like a bad boyfriend and haven’t noticed, we got a makeover — a really big makeover. No longer are we that clunky newspaper that was impossible to sneak into class and read. No longer are we that website that looked like it was out of the AOL instant-messenger era. No longer are we ‘just a newspaper.’ We have found our wings, people, and queue the R. Kelly because we believe we can fly.” Read More

College Media Geeks: Shaheer Shaheen, Founder, Egypt’s ‘Nationwide Student Paper’

Shaheer Shaheen

At the moment, The Insider may be the most powerful, pervasive student newspaper in all of Egypt. Four years ago, it didn’t even exist.

Started by a single student in spring 2011 at German University in Cairo (GUC) amid the backdrop of rising protests and political upheaval, Insider outlets now operate in various forms at a dozen colleges and universities across Egypt. Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Eat Clean, Train Dirty

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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

Student Journalists Sound Off, Episode #3 (Target: Netflix)

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What would the world — or at least college students — be better off without? What is confusing, worrying and frustrating the heck out of a vast majority or a vocal minority of undergrads? And what are students finding evermore evil, weird or dumb and dumber by the day?

In separate op-eds and articles published within campus media worldwide, students regularly offer a bevy of suggestions on “unnecessary traditions, ideas and institutions” that should be scrapped, significantly changed or scrutinized with much greater skepticism.

Simply put, from time to time, student journalists sound off — angrily, bitterly, sarcastically and judiciously. This lighthearted CMM series is aimed at amplifying their voices — offering one extra platform and promotional push for frustrations deemed especially fascinating, funny or on point.

Read More

‘What Would Walter Do?': State Press at Arizona State Reflects on Cronkite Legacy

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In one of its final print issues, The State Press at Arizona State University reflected on how the school has attempted to honor the legacy of iconic broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite. The paper’s cover story late last month — timed to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the longtime CBS news anchor’s death — specifically explores how the “Cronkite Values of Journalism” have been adopted and expanded by the part of ASU bearing his name: the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Three interesting facts I gleaned from the well-written piece penned by Andrew Nicla: 1) Cronkite had only two main conditions when granting the school the use of his name — “it needed to remain a professional journalism school and ‘journalism’ needed to remain in the name.” (The latter demand is especially prescient given the growing number of prominent programs removing or downgrading the j-word from their names.) Read More

Exponent Student Newspaper Sues Purdue University for Surveillance Video Footage

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Roughly seven months after Purdue University police allegedly “pushed to the ground, verbally abused and threatened” a student photographer for The Purdue Exponent, the paper is suing the school to obtain video footage of the incident. It is the first time the student newspaper has filed a lawsuit against the university in its 125-year history.

As I previously posted, this past January, Exponent photo editor Hiraku ‘Michael’ Takeda was taking photos at the scene of a campus shooting when he said “several police officers confronted him, pointing a stun-gun at him. They then forced him to the ground and confiscated the two cameras he had.” According to the Exponent and Student Press Law Center, police then took Takeda to the station, holding and questioning him for two hours. He said during that time one officer told him “he hoped Takeda would be charged and kicked out of school, adding that Takeda would probably be ‘working at McDonald’s’ in a year.” Soon after, SPLC executive director Frank LoMonte intervened to help Takeda get his cameras back — given that their original seizure was illegal.

Read More

College Media Geeks: Bobby Blanchard, journalism student, University of Texas

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University of Texas at Austin senior Bobby Blanchard has a secret to student journalism success: “Jump around a lot and try a little bit of everything.”

Blanchard’s experiences with The Daily Texan are a testament to the potential effectiveness of that maxim. During his time at UT, he has served as the student newspaper’s special ventures co-editor, special ventures reporter, online news editor, associate news editor, podcast host, senior reporter, life and arts staff writer, copy editor, general reporter and senior page designer. Read More

Journalism Professor Reinstated Months After Suspension for ‘Stupid as F*ck People’ Tweet

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Karl Marx, Kirstie Alley, Twitter and Internet trolls dramatically intermingled in a recent blow-up involving a journalism professor Down Under. The biggest takeaway lesson of the whole shebang: Don’t curse people out on a social media platform — unless you have tenure.

The 90-second backstory: Martin Hirst, a j-prof at Australia’s Deakin University, once snapped a photo of himself standing near the grave of Karl Marx. He then made the pic his Twitter profile shot, earning enough buzz that a journalist later proclaimed it “the finest leftie selfie ever taken.” Cute, in a cheeky way — except not everyone thought so. Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: The Race Card Project

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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

Student Journalists Sound Off, Episode #2 (Target: Happy TV Couples)

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What would the world — or at least college students — be better off without? What is confusing, worrying and frustrating the heck out of a vast majority or a vocal minority of undergrads? And what are students finding evermore evil, weird or dumb and dumber by the day?

In separate op-eds and articles published within campus media worldwide, students regularly offer a bevy of suggestions on “unnecessary traditions, ideas and institutions” that should be scrapped, significantly changed or scrutinized with much greater skepticism.

Simply put, from time to time, student journalists sound off — angrily, bitterly, sarcastically and judiciously. This lighthearted CMM series is aimed at amplifying their voices — offering one extra platform and promotional push for frustrations deemed especially fascinating, funny or on point.

Read More

Throwback Thursday: College Media and the ‘Marijuana Beat’

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Throwback Thursday is an occasional CMM feature focused on fascinating, impacting, controversial and quirky moments in contemporary college media history.

In 1971, The Yale Daily News at Yale University published a front-page story on the price of pot and larger weed trends at Ivy League schools. It is eye-widening and wow-emitting for its candor in discussing a drug that was and is (for the most part) still illegal.

Among the things I learned from the piece: 1) At the time, it appears University of Pennsylvania students were paying more for marijuana — $25 per ounce — than any other Ivy students. 2) A growing number of undergrads were growing their own pot (including in dorm closets, on dorm windowsills and via farms near Dartmouth College) and buying from domestic dealers rather than reaching out to contacts in Mexico. 3) Princeton University students preferred drinking at the time — with one student declaring “the novelty of dope is over.” Read More

State Press at ASU Publishes Final Print Issue, Reflects on Legacy & ‘Post-Print’ Future

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After 123 years, nine months and 13 days, The State Press has published its final print edition. The last ink-stained version of the Arizona State University campus newspaper devotes many of its column inches to both its print legacy and its “post-print” future.

As I previously posted, the State Press is shifting from digital-first to all-digital come fall semester, shedding its weekly (and once daily) print presence. As a special staff editorial in the final print issue confirms, it is the latest evolution for an outlet that over the years has repeatedly changed its content focuses, size, design template and even its name. In respect to the latter, interesting fact alert: Prior to being known as simply The State Press, the pub existed as The Normal Echo, The Tempe Normal Student, The Tempe Collegian, The Collegian and The Arizona State Press.

A portion of the editorial: “The first readers of The Tempe Normal Student picked up a small tabloid with ads for farm loans each week. Students reading The State Press in the ’50s and ’60s found stories about student government sandwiched between advertisements for cigarettes. Two front-page stories in one of the first issues of 1999 featured a proposed smoking ban and parking problems, proving that some things never change.” Read More

Best College Newspapers: 2014 Ranking Released by Princeton Review

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The Yale Daily News is once again number one. For the first time since 2010, the Yale University pub has reached the pinnacle of the Princeton Review’s “Best College Newspapers” ranking. Released yesterday, the 2014 edition of the high-profile list features a mix of expected and out-of-nowhere campus papers.

The Daily Orange at Syracuse University vaulted from seventh in last year’s rundown to second in the current version. Roughly 50 miles away, The Cornell Daily Sun at Cornell University dropped from first in 2013 to third this time around. Meanwhile, clocking in at number four, The Daily Bruin at UCLA is the highest-rated paper to break into the top 20 after being left off the year before. Just below the Bruin at number five, The Maroon at Loyola University New Orleans is also a new invite to the Princeton Review “Best College Newspapers” party — capping off a stellar year in which the paper also opened a new multimedia newsroom. Read More

College Media Geeks: Reid Laurens, former WRAS staffer at Georgia State University

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During his time at the student-run radio station WRAS, Reid Laurens fell in love — with the news, broadcasting and his future wife. The Georgia State University alumnus worked in the WRAS news department from 1976 to 1978. So did his wife, Mary Ann.

As he recalls, “She had the 7 a.m. news shift and I had the 8 a.m. news shift, and I was asked to train her on how to use the equipment in the newsroom. After that she began staying after her news shift to see me when I came in to do my shift, and a few years later we got married, and we still are married, 32 years and three children later.” Read More