Research Annual released for 2013-14

College media research the focus of Vol. 51

By Bob Bergland
Missouri Western State University


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Welcome to the second College Media Review Research Annual. Although College Media Review remains in an online format, we once again are compiling all of the year’s research into an annual publication, in PDF form and also available in hard copy as a print-on-demand book.

The continued presence of the Research Annual is critical in three main ways. First and foremost, it serves as a vehicle for disseminating key research about the field. This research answers many questions both new and experienced advisers have about how college media operates outside of their campuses. Those who follow the CMA listserv know that it is peppered with questions from advisers about issues such as editor pay, content, advertising and ethics. As with last year’s edition, this Research Annual is able to answer some of those questions, providing hard data for editors, advisers and deans, going beyond just anecdotal examples. Second, this journal also provides a publication outlet for CMA members. While a few other journals have published some studies about college media, there is no friendlier home for such research than College Media Review, and no place that encourages such diverse methodologies. Having this Annual be available in print form also helps scholars who are at institutions stuck in the 20th Century who are not as accepting of online journals for promotion and tenure consideration, even if those articles are peer-reviewed. Finally, the continued existence of College Media Review and \ the Research Annual and CMA in general (the Nordin Award for research, the CMA conventions and the CMA slot at the AEJMC convention) help promote future research—sort of a “if you build it, they will come” approach, except, of course, that College Media Review has been around for more than half a century. Hopefully that future research will answer more questions posed on the listserv and elsewhere. Continue reading

Research (Vol. 51): Digital Ethics in an age of instantaneous publication

Students more tolerant of digital photo manipulation of graphic, spot news images in college media

By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D.
Midwestern State University


Bradley Wilson, Managing Editor Visual Journalism, College Media Review

Introduction — At two national college media conventions, advisers filled the room to talk about policy development, policies ranging from when to refuse advertising to how readers can submit letters to the editor to what types of manipulation can be done to photojournalistic images and when. The advisers in each of the sessions were not the only ones indicating they wanted help developing some or better policies for such situations. Indeed, only 17 percent of respondents — and only 20 percent of college media advisers — to the survey at the foundation of this research indicated they had any policies regarding the digital manipulation of such images, a clear indication that there is room for the development of guidelines and sample policies for colleges and universities to use as a starting point. The results of this survey showed students were much more tolerant of significant digital manipulation than either advisers or professionals demonstrating need for training, discussion and clear wording of ethical principles and guidelines. Whether dealing with basic photojournalistic ethics or digital ethics, both photographs from the 2013 Boston Marathon and the abundance of prior literature provide a specific case study for discussion.

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Research (Vol. 51): Just Hit Reply

How Student Journalists Use Email in the Newsroom

Sara Baker Netzley
Bradley University 


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This article examines the way in which student journalists use email on the job. College students working at campus newspapers across the country participated in an online survey asking them how often they use email to conduct certain newsgathering tasks, including using email to conduct interviews with sources. It also asked about their perceptions of the quality of such interviews and their use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The findings could have implications for how these students will conduct themselves in professional settings upon graduation and how journalism educators should approach this topic in the classroom.

Research (Vol. 52): Campus media reflect changing information landscape

Efforts to serve their communities strengthening

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series examining the state of college media advising. The first part discussed the role of the adviser, salary/compensation packages and job status. This part profiles student media operations, including demographics, budgets, financing support, and staffing.

By Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Associate Editor, CMR

At no time in the evolution of college student media has change been so rapid or provided so many questions and challenges as today. Nor is any media operation immune from the effects of this change.

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Lillian Kopenhaver

Newspapers command the status of the most numerous of campus student media, and, as such, have been affected to a greater extent by the changes in the way we deliver information today, just as professional newspapers have faced growing challenges.

Caroline Little, CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, commented, “Newspapers continue to command a huge audience and remain the most-trusted source of news and information. While that will not change, there has been a key shift in the way information is delivered and audience is engaged” (Little, 2014).

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Research (Vol. 51):  Campus media advisers credentials

Is there a doctor in the newsroom?

Carol Terracina-Hartman
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Robert G. Nulph
Missouri Western State University 


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This study looks at campus media programs nationwide, focusing on the roles of campus media advisers and skills instructors and their credentials and relationships with award-winning program. Data show a strong majority of advisers leading award-winning programs have 15+ years working in professional media. Additionally, non-terminal degree holders teach 67 percent of skills classes related to campus media participation. But, the literature indicates university administrations often sacrifice professional media experience for doctorates in advertising for new hires. As survey responses and prior research indicate, increasing numbers of advisers compose their own job descriptions; data collected in this new line of research has potential to alter administrative definitions and classifications of adviser and skills instructor positions.

Research (Vol. 51): College Student Media Advisers Fare Well

Faring Well Despite Uncertain Times

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on college media advising. This first article discusses the role of the adviser, salary/compensation packages and job  characteristics. Part 2 will appear next week and profiles student media operations, including demographics, budgets, financing support, and staffing.

By Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Associate Editor, CMR

As the song says, “The times they are a-changin’”(1964). And that is true of the college and university student media scene as well.

The three decades since this survey was first conducted have witnessed tremendous changes in the way student media advisers do their jobs and in the way the media themselves deliver the message. The biggest change, of course, is in the media themselves which these individuals advise.

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Lillian Kopenhaver

In order to trace those changes, over the past three decades the College Media Association has regularly surveyed its membership to provide longitudinal data on the role, responsibilities, working conditions, compensation and status of college and university student media advisers in the U.S. These surveys request data about the media operations they advise as well. This is the eighth survey in that series; the first was in 1984, followed by replications roughly every four years up to this one in 2014. Continue reading

Philadelphia College Media Convention Shoot-Out 2014

FIRST PLACE — Tim Kothlow, California Baptist University (Michael Chute) Rebellion. Najee Jouyner age 15 moves with speed but grace as he performs numerous tricks at the site.

FIRST PLACE — Tim Kothlow, California Baptist University (Michael Chute) Rebellion. Najee Jouyner age 15 moves with speed but grace as he performs numerous tricks at the site.

Twenty-three students submitted 41 images for critique on Saturday and entry into the competition as part of the “Shoot Out” at the National College Media Convention in Philadelphia this fall.

The quality of time images at this fall’s shootout was as high as ever. And the students seemed very engaged in documenting the city, which was definitely photogenic.

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the fifth-most-populous city in the United States, and the core of the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia are Philly and The City of Brotherly Love, the latter of which comes from the literal meaning of the city’s name in Greek “brotherly love,” compounded from philos “loving,” and adelphos “brother.” Philadelphia is known for its arts and culture including Independence Hall. The cheesesteak and soft pretzel are emblematic of Philadelphia cuisine, which is shaped by the city’s ethnic mix. The city has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city.

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Book Review: ‘Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices’

Observations of 15 media scholars from seven countries

Hardcover: 240 pages; Publisher: Routledge (Sept. 18, 2014)

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin

EthicsCoverBecause the ethics of online journalism has created so much debate, hand wringing, and frustration, and because I teach a course in Media Ethics every semester, I was especially anxious to read the collaboration of “emerging best practices,” set forth in the recently released Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices, edited by Lawrie Zion, associate professor of journalism at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and David Craig, professor and associate dean at Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.

In this thoroughly researched work, 15 journalism professors and media scholars from seven countries have joined together to connect ethical principles with in-depth guidance on best practices in a wide range of areas. Each contributor has a chapter, with chapter titles including “Fostering and Moderating Citizen Conversations,” “The Case for Curatorial Journalism…Or, Can You Really Be an Ethical Aggregator?,” “Live Tweeting: The Rise of Real-Time Reporting,” and “Data Journalism.”

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Scholarship for photojournalists to study abroad

Award is memorial to James Foley

In honor of the courageous men and women who risk their lives in order to report from the world’s most dangerous places m eiMedia has established the James Foley Memorial Scholarship in memory of the photojournalist who was tragically executed while covering the war in Syria.

This $5,000 photojournalism scholarship covers tuition, program fees and meals for participation in our Urbino program, jointly sponsored by James Madison University and Iowa State University. The winner will work with two award-winning photojournalists in an experiential program that runs through the month of June 2015. The recipient is responsible for his/her own airfare. Continue reading

New editor takes helm at CMR

Debra Chandler Landis is College Media Review editor

Dear Colleagues,


Debra Chandler Landis

A few years ago when I began writing for the College Media Review—thank you, Robert Bohler, for saying yes to my ideas and publishing my work!—being asked to edit the College Media Association’s flagship journal was not on my radar screen.

But, as we tell our students, be open to change and new ventures.

I felt humbled and honored when Bob Bergland asked me to become managing editor for CMR. And now, as Bob has moved to the CMA Executive Board as secretary, I have assumed the editorship.  Thank you, Bob, for your kind words and support!

Because CMR is now online—when I started writing for it, it was a print publication—CMR is evolving.  We are striving, for example, to update popular articles more frequently on the CMR site while continuing to have a strong research publication presence. Also look for greater use of social media.

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