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.

The Daily Orange Suffers Snoop Dogg Typo: Syracuse Paper Leaves Second G Off OG’s Name

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Snoop Dogg is an OG with two Gs in his name. Alas, The Daily Orange at Syracuse University left one G out of a story referencing the rapper that appeared on page two of yesterday’s issue. Read More

Student Radio Station Gets Neo-Psychedelic with Liverpool Live Stream

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A portion of the KFJC crew at California’s Foothill College is currently in the (still) United Kingdom — preparing to present live remote coverage of the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.

As a press release from the top-notch college radio station explains, “KFJC will be presenting live audio and video streaming of … a range of performances by neo-psychedelic artists from all over the world. … Live sets from Liverpool will be broadcast to listeners in the United States over KFJC 89.7 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area and to a global audience via the Internet.” Read More

FIRE in Fairbanks: Video Report Explores ‘Chilling Effect’ of Student Press Fight

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The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has posted a new video outlining the lasting “chilling effect” related to one of the odder, more sustained college media fights in recent semesters.

As I previously posted, a University of Alaska, Fairbanks, professor waged a dogged 10-month campaign against The Sun Star student newspaper for publishing a pair of stories in April 2013 that she believed “constituted sexual harassment and created a hostile work environment.” Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Suicidal Thoughts

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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

Redskins, Revenge, Censorship: High School Suspends Student Newspaper Adviser, Editor

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Neshaminy School District superintendent Robert Copeland is a censorious tyrant who is smearing the reputation of a fantastic high school. He must be stopped.

I grew up 15 minutes or so from Neshaminy High School in Lower Bucks County, Pa. It has long been known for its large size, academic quality and occasional bursts of athletic — especially football — excellence. But under Copeland’s watch, it is shimmying toward outright national embarrassment.

As an alumnus of a nearby rival high school who enjoys Facebook and real-world friendships with many former NHS students, I’m saddened to write those words. But they are true. Read More

Female Harvard Student Explains ‘Why I Can’t Be an Investigative Journalist’ in Crimson Op-Ed

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Harvard University student Bernadette Lim is having second thoughts about pursuing a career as an investigative journalist.

In an op-ed for The Harvard Crimson, Lim explains that the investigative gig replaced her former dream job — “professional Italian food taste tester” — this past summer while reading “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women.”

Yet, this sudden desire to educate and the change the world “through the power of storytelling” has been tempered by roadblocks she contends are gender-specific — “including the fear of sexual assault, susceptibility to subordinate gender norms and lack of mentorship and guidance.”

As Lim writes in her Crimson piece, headlined “Why I Can’t Be an Investigative Journalist,” “These worries are real. The average woman is not as strong as the average man, leaving women inherently more vulnerable to physical harm — the journalism industry fails to accommodate this truth. By failing to provide adequate protection for female journalists, especially when they’re covering stories in dangerous sites abroad, news outlets discourage women from participating.” Read More

College Media Geeks: Brandi Broxson, editor & University of Central Florida j-school grad


Brandi Broxson admits she had some outside doubters and internal doubts when she first declared her journalism major more than a half decade ago at the University of Central Florida.

“I started college in 2007 when the recession began to unfold and a lot of newspapers began going through layoffs,” she explained. “I was warned that it was a tough road to start down and that by the time I graduated the future of print would be unclear. I was definitely nervous, but those doubtful conversations pushed me to work harder during my time in college. I took on extra — unpaid — internships and writing opportunities because I knew when I graduated there would be few available jobs and it would be a résumé showdown.” Read More

College Newspaper Drops Print, First to Operate Primarily on Publishing Platform Medium

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Medium now has Substance. The popular publishing platform recently started hosting Substance, a new student publication at Mt. San Antonio College that doubles as a totally reinvented version of The Mountaineer campus newspaper.

It is the first college media outlet to operate primarily on Medium. Substance adviser and MSAC j-prof extraordinaire Toni Albertson describes the arrangement as nothing less than “the perfect merge of tech and college journalism.”

In a bravura announcement yesterday about the merger, Albertson explained that the impetus behind it was two-fold — mounting staff frustration at the print production routine and growing reader ennui toward the print edition. Read More

Student Newspaper Op-Ed Criticizes ‘Infectious Patriotism’ Displayed on 9/11 Anniversary


A University of Wyoming student journalist is earning some online buzz and pockets of vitriol by calling for an end to “infectious patriotism” on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

In an op-ed for The Branding Iron, UW’s campus newspaper, sophomore Jeremy Rowley writes simply, “[W]e, the United States of America, need to get over it. … [T]he way the country has viewed September 11th every year since the attacks has been anything but productive.” He specifically cites displays of national pride aligned with the 9/11 anniversary as out of whack with America’s true place in the world and out of step with what long-term mourning should look like.

Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Class Confessions

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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

College Media Geeks: Christian Lee, Student Photojournalist Who Covered Ferguson Riots

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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) senior Christian Lee feared for his life a few times while taking photos in Ferguson.

The self-taught photojournalist captured a series of powerful images from the Missouri city at the start of the protests in mid-August, including during the first night of full-scale rioting. Lee’s photographs convey a sense of genuine lawlessness, pockets of destruction and mass unrest.

“In a nutshell, it was a complete war zone,” said Lee, 23, a business management major from Richton Park, Ill. “I have to admit, I was really scared, really scared. I saw people running past me with clothes they had just stolen out of stores. I saw people being injured from the riots. I saw [police] officers roaming the streets with a real intensity, on edge. … It took a lot for me to keep going, keep moving. But I didn’t turn around. I just kept shooting.” Read More

Students Share 9/11 Memories: ‘My Dad Told Us Bad People Crashed Planes Into Twin Towers’

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I still remember the silence on the other end of the phone.

On September 11, 2001, I was in my college residence hall in suburban Philadelphia. My father called me in the morning from his office fairly close by. We were talking nonstop over each other and watching NBC when the second plane hit the towers and it was clear the word accident would be replaced with attack.

In that initial moment of confusion, my dad dropped his work phone while craning his neck to get a closer look at a nearby TV. For about 30 seconds, I heard nothing but a staticky stillness, prompting me to whisper-hiss, “Dad? Dad, what’s going on? Dad, are you OK?” Read More

University of South Dakota Student Newspaper Photographer Killed in Car Crash

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Rebecca Kroeger, a sophomore at the University of South Dakota and a photographer for The Volante student newspaper, died at the start of the week in a two-car crash in Minnesota.

In a touching special editorial published yesterday — headlined “Remembering Rebecca: A Farewell to Our Photographer” — fellow Volante editors described Kroeger as “a beautiful person … a student wandering through life who happened to walk into our newsroom a year ago looking to shoot a few photos.” Read More

Daily Texan Editor: ‘Why Does the University of Michigan Insist on Secrecy?’


The editor-in-chief of The Daily Texan is publicly criticizing the University of Michigan for seemingly trying to scuttle his recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

In a guest column for the Detroit Free Press, DT EIC Riley Brands writes that “the way the University of Michigan handles requests for such information flies in the face of … transparency and erects nearly impenetrable roadblocks for investigative journalists and concerned citizens alike.” Yowza. Read More

100 Things I’m Learning at SPJ/RTDNA’s Excellence in Journalism 2014

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Brian Stelter has an itch. Kara Swisher has an “ultimate message.” And SPJ has a new ethics code.

Judging by just the tweets and vines, SPJ/RTDNA’s Excellence in Journalism 2014 Nashville extravaganza was chock full of helpful tips and tools for j-students and the pros — not to mention some mediatastic celebrity sightings. The Stelters. Swisher. ButtryCuillier. Koretzky. LoMonte. Hernandez. Tompkins. Nagler. Neuts. Ebersol. There was also a moment of silence for James Foley and Steven Sotloff. And some line dancing.

The #EIJ14 festivities are now past tense, but here’s a quick-hit rundown of the advice, links and vids I’m still presently chewing over, clicking on and learning from — on topics as varied as fact-checking, broadcast news writing, digital portfolio building, newsroom diversity, digital enterprise stories and lessons from Ferguson. Read More

Kansan Calls Out KU on Special Front Page, Homepage for Mishandling Student Rape Case

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The University Daily Kansan has responded to an alleged sexual assault case bungling by University of Kansas officials with an editorial bang-pow-boom — in print and online.

According to the top-notch KU student newspaper, this past October “a male student confessed to raping a female student in her dorm room after she got drunk at a fraternity party. He was found ‘guilty of non-consensual sexual intercourse’ — which is rape — by the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, the campus entity that primarily deals with sexual assault reporting through the university. … [T]he university proceeded by placing the student on probation, banning him from student housing and requiring him to write a four-page reflection essay as well as seek counseling.”

Those punishments, first brought to light by The Huffington Post, are being criticized as far too light by some members of the KU community. The school’s acting student body president: “When the University of Kansas doesn’t expel, doesn’t suspend and doesn’t even submit to community service someone who is an admitted rapist, we are absolutely not fulfilling our obligation to eliminate a hostile environment for our students.” Read More

Columbia Student’s ‘Mattress Performance’ Protesting Campus Rape Goes Viral

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A Columbia University senior is drawing a sudden burst of news media attention for her unique performance art project aimed as a “protest against the school’s sexual assault policies and her alleged rapist.” The Columbia Daily Spectator’s video interview with the student has amassed more than 600,000 views since its YouTube posting two days ago and become a core part of the story’s ascent to national prominence.

For her senior thesis, Columbia visual art major Emma Sulkowicz will be carrying around an extra-long twin mattress everywhere she goes during her final year at the Ivy League school — either until she graduates or her alleged rapist is expelled. The title of the thesis: “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight.”
Read More

Daily Collegian at PSU Declines to Participate in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for Ethical Reasons

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The Daily Collegian at Penn State University has declined to participate in the making of an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video, saying it “calls into question our integrity as an impartial reporter of the news.” For similar reasons, the paper will also not make a donation to The ALS Association.

As I previously posted, The Daily Iowan crew at the University of Iowa recently recorded a humorous Ice Bucket Challenge video that includes shrieks, a brief water balloon fight and a call-to-arms for other college media to join in the fun. The Daily Collegian was one of the outlets nominated by Daily Iowan editor-in-chief Jordyn Reiland to take part in the icy awesomeness.

Read More

More Than 1,000 Plainsman Copies Go Missing in Under Two Hours at Auburn University

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In a roughly 90-minute span last Thursday morning, more than 1,000 copies of The Auburn Plainsman were allegedly stolen from at least eight locations across the Auburn University campus. In a news story about the incident, the Plainsman confirms staffers have filed a related police report and a public safety investigation is underway.

According to the paper, a Plainsman adviser first became suspicious after coming across several news racks in the university’s student center that were empty — less than two hours after copies of the latest issue had been delivered. Read More

‘Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy': Student Newspaper Hazing Op-Ed Becomes a Book

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An infamous 2012 student newspaper op-ed detailing a Dartmouth University undergrad’s misadventures in an allegedly hazing-friendly fraternity is now a full-blown published memoir.

As I previously posted, in late January 2012, The Dartmouth published a personal piece by then-senior Andrew Lohse outlining the many degrading acts he said he’d endured in 2010 while pledging a fraternity at the Ivy League school.

In his confessional, headlined “Telling the Truth,” Lohse wrote, “I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool full of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen, and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beers poured down fellow pledges’ ass cracks; and vomit on other pledges, among other abuses. Certainly, pledges could have refused these orders. However, under extreme peer pressure and the desire to ‘be a brother,’ most acquiesced.” Yowza. Read More