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.

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

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Campus Tour Guides Gone Wild

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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 #1 (Targets: Guns & Normcore Fashion)

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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

The Daily Show Features Michigan Daily in Fun Segment on Clickbait Journalism

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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart featured The Michigan Daily in a special segment on last night’s episode in which correspondent Jordan Klepper satirically mocked the newspaper’s valiant effort to practice serious journalism in the clickbait era.

At the start of the segment, Klepper asks top staffers at the University of Michigan student paper what journalism is all about. Their earnest replies: “Well-researched. … Informative. … Journalism is the ability to tell a story in a way that empowers people.” Klepper’s take in response: “Is this what they’re teaching you here? Oh, we are so f*cked.” Read More

New Movie Has College Media Connection: Five Thoughts on ‘Dear White People’ Trailer

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The trailer for “Dear White People,” an upcoming feature film with Sundance festival recognition and a major college media connection, hit the web last week. Yes, it has earned far less buzz and fewer YouTube views than the subsequent trailer for “Fifty Shades of Grey” (which has a plot that I must point out is built atop a student newspaper interview). But “Dear White People” has still garnered some press coverage and online debate.

On spec, the smart-satirical film appears to be a vehicle for an intelligent discussion about race relations in modern America — especially among the millennial generation. It centers on students at a fictional university who sport fairly strict — and seemingly somewhat funny — racial and ethnic divides and attitudes.

It also features some campus press theatrics, including a student radio show called “Dear White People” which riles up the student body and the school’s powers-that-be. And there is a separate plot involving an individual described as “only technically black” who is “recruited by the otherwise all-white student newspaper to go undercover and write about black culture.” Interesting. Read More

College Media Geeks: Candace Baltz, Student Media Director, Washington State University

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Over the past two years, Washington State University student media director Candace Baltz has helped save and re-energize The Daily Evergreen.

On the brink of financial collapse a few semesters back, the WSU campus newspaper is now turning a profit, swimming in awards and laying the groundwork for some bold expansion and innovation efforts. Her own personal and professional investments in this success have left Baltz with a profound respect for the students involved in every aspect of the Evergreen’s operations. Read More

Daily Mississippian Op-Ed ‘Dear White Gays’ Goes Viral, Gets Picked Up By Time Magazine

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University of Mississippi student Sierra Mannie recently penned an op-ed for The Daily Mississippian that went viral for its blunt message to gay white men: Stop encroaching on and ignorantly appropriating black female culture.

The piece — republished on Time.com and currently boasting more than 1,200 Facebook likes — doubles as an open letter from Mannie to the gay male community. It is so cutting one admirer on Twitter tells Mannie she has employed her “keyboard like a samurai sword.”

As Mannie writes, “I don’t care how well you can quote Madea, who told you that your booty was getting bigger than hers, how cute you think it is to call yourself a strong black woman, who taught you to twerk, how funny you think it is to call yourself Quita or Keisha or for which black male you’ve been bottoming — you are not a black woman, and you do not get to claim either blackness or womanhood. It is not yours. It is not for you.” Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Super Bowl Rings, Cheerleader Uniforms & Other NFL Inspiration

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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

Throwback Thursday: The Most Famous Student Press Headline Ever?

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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 1968, the undefeated Harvard University football team stormed back from a seemingly insurmountable 16-point deficit in the final 42 seconds to tie the similarly undefeated Yale University football team. The late-season rivalry game’s outcome was soon after immortalized in The Harvard Crimson with the headline, “Harvard Beats Yale, 29-29.” It ran on the front page, above the fold, even above the paper’s nameplate. Read More

New College Grad with Cerebral Palsy is ‘Australia’s Most Unique Journalist’

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Marlena Katene recently interviewed the music group MKTO without speaking a single word — at least verbally. The recent college graduate from Gold Coast, Australia was born with high-tone cerebral palsy, rendering her “non-verbal, living in a verbal world.” Read More

‘Best of College Media 2014′: Video Mash-Up Spotlights Award-Winning Student Work

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For the past five years, Julie Freeman has put together special mash-ups featuring standout student journalism. The video love-fests, hosted on Vimeo, spotlight in quick-hit succession an array of photographs, designs, feature stories and investigative reports by college media outlets or individual undergraduates that have nabbed recognized regional and national awards.

Freeman, the assistant adviser for student publications at Baylor University, calls each video, simply, “Best of College Media.” She premiered the 2014 edition last week. It’s definitely worth taking a look. Read More

After Sexy Snapchat Fundraising Stunt, Student Radio Station May Be Sold or Restructured

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In the aftermath of a below-the-belt fundraising attempt gone awry, administrators may be itching to sell the student-run radio station at California Polytechnic State University. At the very least, they are pushing for a dramatic restructuring.

As I previously posted, this past semester, two student hosts of “Getting It In,” a (weirdly-named) sex talk show on Cal Poly’s KCPR-FM, decided to up the ante on the station’s fundraising by promoting a “sexy Snapchats” deal involving pictures of the pair’s penises and rectums.

A portion of a Facebook message they posted in late April to their listening audience: “For only $20 dollars you can have a week of sexy Snapchats featuring the hosts of ‘Getting It In.’ If you have ever been curious about which one of us has a birthmark on our penis or which one of us has a tighter butt hole, this is your chance to find out.” Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: A Survival Guide for the Parents of Students

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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

Buzzworthy Drone Blog Began as Class Project

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People name their drones. You can construct a drone from scratch using a 3D printer. Apparently “drone selfies are becoming a thing.” And drones don’t just shoot photos, videos and (for military purposes) bad guys. One model also blasts music, including “a rendition of the U.S. national anthem that would put Daft Punk to shame.”

These are just a few of the fun facts I gathered during a recent scroll-through of the Tumblr blog Drones at Home. Launched last semester as a class project by three Columbia University journalism graduate students, the blog is unique for its focus on the lighter side and stateside activities of the increasingly ubiquitous flying machines. Collectively, its posts prove the devices are quietly exploding nationwide and are being used for much more than surveillance and targeted assassinations.

The young blog’s best recurring feature: “Me and My Drone.” It’s a fascinating, tech-geeky Q&A with impassioned drone owners — from the founder of a volunteer network of drone pilots who assist “search and rescue operations for missing persons” to a recent college graduate nicknamed “Drone Girl.” Read More

State Press at ASU Shifting from ‘Digital-First’ to ‘All-Digital,’ Dropping Print Newspaper in Fall

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The State Press at Arizona State University will no longer publish its weekly print newspaper and in the fall will operate instead as an “all-digital publication.” It is at least the fourth student paper in five months to completely abandon print, and by far the most prominent.

In a press release issued yesterday afternoon, ASU student media director Jason Manning confirmed, “We are no longer a so-called ‘digital-first’ media organization — we are a media organization in the digital age. Our audience and our advertisers are highly mobile and social and the legacy print product does not serve their needs.” Read More

The Maneater at Mizzou Unveils an Online Makeover ‘That Belongs in 2014 and Beyond’

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The Maneater, the nearly 60-year-old student newspaper at the University of Missouri-Columbia, has just unveiled an online makeover that its editor-in-chief Katie Pohlman says “belongs in 2014 and beyond.”

As Pohlman tells me, “This redesign is the first major facelift the Maneater has received since 2008. There have been redesigns in the past, but no big overhaul like this one. Last year, we redesigned our print product, but we wanted to do something different with our online one.”

Among the more noticeable changes conceived and carried out by Pohlman, managing editor Lauren Rutherford and online development editor Tim Tai: larger visuals, enhanced mobile and tablet responsiveness, an updated masthead synchronizing it with the print version, a background color shift from light gray to white for a cleaner overall look and “lists on the side updated … with a snapshot of our articles and our presence on social media.” Read More

Angry Ex-Con Causes Columbia Spectator to Close Newsroom, Issue Staffers a Warning

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The Columbia Daily Spectator at Columbia University has temporarily closed its newsroom due to the threats of an angry ex-convict who first appeared in the paper in the early 1970s.

The 60-second summary: In 1974, Daniel Mingues, 18, was convicted along with a few others in the mugging and murder of a Columbia University professor two years before. The Spectator of course dutifully covered the whole shebang — the stabbing, subsequent investigation, criminal case and final sentencing (screenshot of the latter story below). Cut to the present. Mingues, now 57, has served his time (for that incident and apparently a number of others), but is still holding a grudge against the paper for writing about him way back when. Read More

1 Million Story Ideas Special: Does Your School Offer a ‘Death Class’?

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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

Enrollment at Journalism Schools in Decline Nationwide, Two Years Running

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The number of students attending journalism schools nationwide and the amount enrolled within many individual programs has slightly declined for two straight years, flying in the face of roughly two decades of steady growth.

According to the results of the leading related annual study — a survey of nearly 500 journalism and mass communication programs overseen by University of Georgia researchers — PR and advertising majors are doing fine. But fewer students are centering their academic work on just journalism — you know, the pure, newsy, All-the-President’s-Men-inspired kind. (American Journalism Review calls it “classical journalism, which involves holding governments accountable, exposing inequities and reporting on world affairs.”)

One year’s decline is a hiccup, a rough patch, possibly even a full-on aberration. Two years — while not yet labeled as anything close to a full-blown trend — appears to be a cause for some genuine concern.

Cue head-scratching, industry-blaming and increases in prospective students’ financial aid packages. Read More

An Open Rant to College Officials: ‘Stop the Spin & Let the Sunshine In’

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A whole bunch of very important people representing a slew of über-significant journalism, media and open government organizations very recently wrote a letter to President Barack Obama with a simple, heartfelt message: Open up, “stop the spin and let the sunshine in.”

More specifically, the leaders of 38 nationally-recognized orgs — including ACP, AEJMC, CMA, JEA, IRE, ONA, Poynter, SPJ and SPLC — banded together to form what I’m calling The Transparency Brigade. Their mission: “urging changes to policies that constrict information flow to the public.” Read More