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.

Student Journalists Debate ‘Death with Dignity': Selfish Act or Personal Right?

Roughly a month ago, Brittany Maynard ended her life on her own terms.

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‘Sex and a Whole Load of Carnage': UK Student Newspaper Criticized for Explicit Front Page

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It’s a Thursday morning in December, so here’s some free advice for college media mavens worldwide: You may want to steer clear of publishing a front-page story celebrating your student body’s sexual antics right next to a separate report on a series of suspected rapes. You’re welcome.

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Editor at OU Student Paper Criticizes No-Photo Policy in Campus Dining Halls & Markets

A section editor at The Post student newspaper is annoyed at a longstanding policy prohibiting individuals from taking photographs in the dining halls or on dining services property without permission.

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Cavalier Daily at UVA Praised for Reporting ‘Every Angle & Development’ of Rape Scandal

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The Cavalier Daily at the University of Virginia has been earning mass amounts of praise, professional news shout-outs and social media shares for its comprehensive coverage of a scandal involving “heinous allegations of rape.”

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Montana Student Journalist Breaks Rules, Raises Questions About Marriage, Drugs, Poverty & 3D Printing


At the moment, University of Montana senior Hunter Pauli is one of the most fascinating, in-your-face student journalists reporting and writing nationwide.

In a series of columns this semester for the Montana Kaimin campus newspaper, Pauli has fearlessly challenged — and even attempted to break — state laws, school rules and existing norms he finds ridiculous.


For example, in early September, he fought against a campus tobacco ban by smoking a Newport outside the UM School of Journalism, announcing the cigarette break two days in advance and live-tweeting while he was on it.

Soon after, he successfully 3D-printed a portion of a gun in the campus library — raising questions about our “mad rush toward technological progress.” A few weeks later, he took up the SNAP Challenge, living on less than $5 a day. As he wrote at the time, “De-classing yourself into hunger will teach you more about poverty and humility than any class.”

In October, he explored how to purchase marijuana and other drugs via the Internet, in part to prove that “[b]uying drugs online is illegal but safer than buying them on the street or making your own.” Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: ‘What I Be’ 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

Food Writing Advice: 8 Tips from Philadelphia Inquirer Food Editor Maureen Fitzgerald


By Lauren CarrollCMM correspondent

During a session at the 2014 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, Philadelphia Inquirer food editor and food blogger Maureen Fitzgerald shared a smidgen of her personal foodie journalism journey and offered tips to students eager to break into the food writing field.

As her session description asked, “Want to write about food for a living? Or improve the food writing you’re doing now? Learn about opportunities from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s food editor. One day you might write a profile on a celebrity chef, on other days you might write about ethnic food or molecular gastronomy plus review a restaurant or cookbook.” Read More

Photo Editor at Florida State Student Newspaper Reflects on Campus Shooting

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“A Facebook status reporting 12 gunshots heard outside of Strozier library is posted. Immediately I wake up my roommate. We turn on the TV looking for any news coverage we can find, with no results. My mind goes numb as my thoughts bounce around playing every possible situation through in my head. … I realize we need this covered. I have no choice but to turn off all emotions and get to work.”

Matthew Paskert, the photo editor of The FSView & Florida Flambeau at Florida State University, has penned a compelling personal essay describing his emotions and activities connected with this past Sunday’s campus shooting. Read More

Campus Newspaper to School: Don’t Make Students Report Thanksgiving Travel Plans

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The Columns campus newspaper at Missouri’s Westminster College is crying foul over a recent email requesting all students at the liberal arts school share their Thanksgiving travel plans with administrators. Read More

The Red Lips Project: Swarthmore Student Blog Offers Women a ‘Space to Express Their Power’

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Aditi Kulkarni is working to make women feel more powerful — one picture at a time.

The Swarthmore College sophomore founded and maintains The Red Lips Project, a Tumblr blog featuring original photos of women sporting red lipstick and answering a single question: “What makes you feel powerful?”

As Kulkarni explains on the blog’s About page, “Women are intrinsically powerful. But I realized that many of the women in my life don’t always have a space to express their power. I wanted to create a project to change this and give them that space.”

Participants’ responses to the “powerful” question touch on a range of emotional, social and physical triggers. For example, one young woman confirms, “What makes me feel powerful is voicing my own opinion.” By comparison, another woman tells Kulkarni, “What makes me feel powerful is a pen and paper, chai tea latte and a smile.” Read More

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?

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3Dear 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.

1Each 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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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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