CMR’s Research Annual available for download

College Media focus of research activities

College Media Review’s Research Annual is now available for download from this site.

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Volume 52 for CMR contains peer-reviewed research relating to college media and its practitioners that was published by the College Media Review (CMReview.org) during the 2014-2015 Academic Year.

To download a copy of this volume, CLICK HERE.

For previous editions of the Research Annual, see the “Archive” link at the top of the home page.

 

Research (Vol. 52) Do college students want to see political news in their newspaper?

Campus Readership Habits

Jeffrey B. Hedrick, Ph.D.
Jacksonville State University


The future of print newspapers is a topic for discussion due to declining circulation numbers over time, as online news consumption rose sharply in recent years, coupled with the costs and technological challenges of the rapid advance of the mobile era (Sasseen, Olmstead, & Mitchell, 2013). Some publishers have decreased their fulltime staff, while larger papers have eliminated bureaus in hot news zones. Several daily newspapers with high circulation numbers in one Southern state (Alabama) have in fact reduced their publication frequency, eliminating at least one day and as many as four days. The Anniston Star no longer prints a Monday edition, while the Huntsville Times and Birmingham News have eliminated their Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday print editions. Those who work with students in college media are challenged by survey findings that indicate the job market for 2013 communication graduates seeking employment has “stalled,” unfavorable findings recruitment-wise for programs in general (Becker, Vlad, & Simpson, 2014, 1).

Jeffrey Hedrick

Jeffrey Hedrick

University newspapers have also been affected by economic conditions and socio-cultural changes as well (Craven, 2013). Educational revenue is unpredictable and undependable, particularly in southern states like Alabama that practice “proration,” the process of making mid-year budget cuts (Public Education in Alabama After Desegregation). States are spending about 28 percent less on higher education than they did in 2008, with Alabama spending 39.8 percent less per student (6th highest cut) over the past six fiscal years: FY08 to FY13 (Oliff, Johnson, & Leachman, 2013). These conditions are prompting student media advisers nation-wide to explore ways to make ends meet and maintain circulation numbers. Continue reading

German student offers tips on being College Photographer of the Year

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Mario Wezel

By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D.
Midwestern State University

Since 1945, the College Photographer of the Year competition has been the premier competition for college photographers. Last spring, CPOY, administered at the University of Missouri, announced the winners selected from 11,024 still images, 82 portfolios, 456 picture stories and 169 multimedia stories and projects entered by 545 student photographers from 99 colleges and universities in 18 countries.

CPOY named Mario Wezel of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany, as the 69th College Photographer of the Year. Wezel’s work was awarded Gold in the portfolio category, as well as awards of excellence in Documentary and in Interpretive Project. Continue reading

Teaching journalism beyond our newsrooms

On educating non-journalism students, colleagues, and administrators about 1A, the role of the campus press and media advisers

By Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D.
Marywood University

Cheryl Reed, former adviser of The North Wind, the student newspaper at North Michigan University, is the latest casualty in war between College Administrations and the First Amendment. Just a few months earlier, it was Jim Compton, former adviser of The Calumet at Muscatine Community College in Iowa.

TheWoodWord_Wotanis

In five years of advising Marywood University’s student newspaper, The Wood Word, I’d never once received a phone call asking me to “rethink” something until…

At a time when colleges and universities around the country are facing enrollment crises, student newspapers that publish less-than-favorable stories about their campuses are seen by administrators as ‘problems’ that need handling. So are their advisers, who are often also faculty members. Sadly, the solutions to the problems are usually censorship or termination of the media advisers.

Reports have suggested that at Northern Michigan, Reed and the student in line for the editor-in-chief position were fired after the student newspaper published reports critical of the administration and of the university’s finances. Reed has since filed suit against the newspaper’s board of directors. The suit names five students and Steve Neiheisel, the university’s vice president for enrollment management and student services, whom Reed claims influenced the students to terminate her.

“Colleges and universities need to foster an open environment where student media outlets are free from interference, even from publication boards,” said College Media Association (CMA) President Rachele Kanigel in an email to members about the case. “There are many ways to bully student media and removing an adviser is simply that: bullying.” Continue reading

Convergence can work…

… it just might take three years

By Steven Chappell
Director of Student Publications
Northwest Missouri State University


We have spent the past three years working hard to converge our student media operations, which include a yearbook, newspaper, radio station and TV station.
 
NWMU_Minions

Make the newspaper’s printing a cause for celebration for the whole media family in a Student Media Day.

Part of that process has been convincing the students that it is in their best interests to work together and cross media to better position themselves for employment post-graduation.

We’ve worked on several initiatives in that time, but the most effective has been our Student Media Day, which coincides with the weekly printing of our student newspaper, The Missourian.

Continue reading

Story is story, regardless of medium

There are more similarities than differences

By Andrea Frantz
Adviser, KBVU 97.5 FM The Edge
Buena Vista University

I’m not sure where to start with ‘lessons learned’ during this past academic year because 2014-15 has really been about redefining my advising identity. In some ways, becoming the adviser to a radio station after a career of student newspaper advising feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, professionally speaking.

New York trip kids

Andrea Frantz (in the shades) with students from Buena Vista University at the New York College Media Association convention in spring 2015.

Why the change? My university has navigated the turbulent waters of the four-year, residential campus enrollment reality better than most. But it has still been forced to re-evaluate how it prioritizes budget choices.

So, like others across the nation, we’ve seen our share of belt-tightening. When a colleague announced his retirement last year, we knew immediately that his line wouldn’t be replaced, and the four Musketeers running our digital media department would morph to just three in 2015-16. This meant not only that I’d take on new preps in photography and audio, but that I’d also assume the reigns of our FCC-licensed radio station. Continue reading

Advisers should teach, nudge, offer advice and listen

… But allow students to lead

By Chris Poore
Adviser, The Kentucky Kernel
University of Kentucky
 


It’s not about you.

I learned that early in this job, and I’ve been reminded of it often.

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Chris Poore, adviser of The Kentucky Kernel, the student newspaper at the University of Kentucky, also has a farm business where he delivers eggs door-to-door in downtown Lexington. The Poore Farm sign was a gift from students and presented by Becca Clemons and Rachel Aretakis, two former editors, seen it the photograph with Poore.

I would even advise you to put that phrase on your wall.

It would remind you that each time you get a complaint you should listen, but then make sure students talk to the complainer and resolve the problems themselves. It would remind you that when students make mistakes, you should offer suggestions but make sure the solutions for dealing with those mistakes come from them. And when there are problems on staff, it would remind you to offer your advice but make sure students are driving toward the resolution. Continue reading

Research (Vol. 52): Guiding principles in an age of instantaneous publication

College Students, Media Advisers Agree with Professionals Regarding Publication of Graphic Spot News Images

By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D.
Midwestern State University


BradleyWilson3

Bradley Wilson, Managing Editor College Media Review

Introduction – Professional photojournalists have been discussing what types of photos they should take and publish since the dawn of the profession. College media advisers and college photojournalists join that discussion more frequently as technology evolves. When dealing with basic photojournalistic ethics, the research and the abundance of prior literature provide a foundation for a discussion about what types of spot news photographs media outlets should publish in an era when all individuals armed with a digital camera can call themselves photojournalists on the scene of a spot news event.

Background – During the last half of the 19th century, photography was becoming an integral part of society. Photographers carrying bulky cameras documented building, still objects and, for those people who could sit still for the long exposures, formal portraits. By the time of the Civil War, photographers such as Matthew Brady carried their cameras to the action to show battlefields, camps, towns and people touched by the war. When a selection of Antietam photos went on exhibit in Brady’s gallery in New York in 1862, The New York Times wrote: “Mr. Brady has done something to bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our dooryards … he has done something very like it” (“Brady’s Photographs,” 1862). As historian Naomi Rosenblaum (1984) said of photography at the time, “The photograph was regarded as an exemplary record because it was thought to provide an objective — that is, unaltered — view of solid fact and achievement.” Continue reading

Prevention of college media adviser firings

No foolproof methods, but steps, resources to consider

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series.

By Jody Kleinberg Biehl
University at Buffalo


The recent firings of three college newspaper advisers are a sobering reminder of how fragile newspaper advising jobs can be. Often advisers are not tenured faculty, but have renewable yearly contracts that can be denied at the whim of administrators unhappy about student coverage.

WilliamFYurasko2385674185_a0c78d36dd_bThis, said, Chris Evans, CMA adviser advocate chair, makes advisers vulnerable. Some – like recently fired Cheryl Reed of Northern Michigan — have come to believe that untenured faculty should not take advising jobs because it puts them too much at risk. Evans himself, said his job at the University of Vermont is on a contract basis, but he regularly takes steps to protect himself.

What are some of those steps? What can advisers who want to push their students to be tough journalists, but who also want to make sure they keep their jobs do? Continue reading

Advisers under fire (and fired)

Advisers, students fighting spate of adviser firings in six months

Illustration by Sean MacEntee via Creative Commons

Illustration by Sean MacEntee via Creative Commons

Editor’s note: This is the first of two parts. The next story will focus on strategies for developing campus educational initiatives in support of First Amendment and student voices.

By Jody Kleinberg Biehl
University at Buffalo


Three college media advisers been fired in the past six months – a spate Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, calls “one of the worst stretches I can remember.”

Cheryl Reed from Northern Michigan University, James Compton of Muscatine Community College in Iowa, and Patricia Roberts of Delta State University in Mississippi, have all lost positions as student media advisers since November.

And all of them – along with their students — are fighting back. Continue reading