A trio of unconventional convention sessions

Teaching mindsets instead of skills in Dallas

By Michael Koretzky

Having presented at CMA conventions for 12 years, I’ve learned as much as I’ve taught. The biggest lesson: Students seek survival skills more than technical skills. The reason is simple: Before they can excel, they must cope.

In other words, survival means gaining control of inner demons before mastering InDesign. Running a college news outlet is the most stressful extra-curricular activity on campus, for two big reasons:

  1. It’s the only one constantly on deadline, and deadlines equal stress. If Student Senate can’t meet quorum, who cares? But if the newspaper doesn’t print or post on time, there’s hell to pay.
  2. It’s the only one that hires anarchists on purpose. Reporters need to question authority, which means they tend to do so with their sources – and their bosses. Arguments in college newsrooms can easily escalate from professional to personal, because everyone is new at managing conflict.

That’s why three sessions at the newly rejuvenated CMA-ACP convention in Dallas impressed me so much. They had nothing to do with a particular skill and everything to do with a general approach to life…

Coffee with the Elderly

About 40 percent of college and university students are 25 or older, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. This statistic can make for interesting dynamics, especially in community college newsrooms: Oftentimes friction occurs when older students try to manage younger ones. And it’s even worse when younger editors supervise older staffers. Continue reading A trio of unconventional convention sessions

Smith heads CMA’s research panel

College Media research papers sought

By Lisa Lyon Payne
CMR Editor

Recently appointed CMA research chair, Elizabeth Smith, assistant professor of journalism and student media adviser at Pepperdine University, will organize two annual peer-reviewed research panels showcasing top scholarly research on all aspects of college media. Smith took her post in January 2018.

Elizabeth R. Smith

Smith says examining the various aspects of college media is critical in our role as advisers.

“I believe it is the responsibility of journalism faculty to produce high-quality research on topics most pertinent to college journalism and student journalists,” Smith said. “My own line of research has followed this passion, and I want to continue to encourage and support others to do so, as well.”

Continue reading Smith heads CMA’s research panel

Call for academic research papers

AEJMC, CMA panel showcases college media research

Each year at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) convention, the Council of Affiliates and College Media Association sponsor a panel where scholars present research on topics related to college media. The College Media Association is currently accepting submissions of original, non-published research on all aspects of college media and advising college media. Papers will undergo a blind review process, and top research will be presented Thursday, August 9, at the 2018 AEJMC Convention in Washington, DC (Aug. 6-9).

Submission deadline is April 1.

Top research will be presented at the 2018 AEJMC Convention in Washington, DC

Only full-length research papers are acceptable. Papers should include an abstract between 250 and 500 words. Full papers should be no longer than 25 pages, excluding references, tables and appendices. Continue reading Call for academic research papers

Payne assumes CMR editorship

“Invitation to get more involved in CMA.”

By Lisa Lyon Payne
CMR Editor

Four years ago, I received an email from then CMA President Rachele Kanigel with the subject line “Invitation to get more involved in CMA.”

The opportunity that followed, serving as CMA’s research chair, opened my eyes to the exciting and meaningful research our college media peers conduct, enhancing our lives as educators and advisers. Helping to cultivate and showcase the important works presented at the CMA academic research panels not only forged new relationships with my colleagues, but also strengthened a deep commitment to expanding and improving the body of knowledge in college media research. I am a research nerd at heart.

I am honored to have been chosen to serve as the new CMR editor, and I am looking forward to the challenge of building upon the great work of my predecessor, Debra Chandler Landis.

I currently chair the communication department at a small, liberal arts university where, along with my journalism and communication teaching responsibilities as an associate professor of communication, I advise The Marlin Chronicle, the student-run newspaper. Continue reading Payne assumes CMR editorship

Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a growth tool for college media

Workplaces can benefit from setting goals

By Debra Chandler Landis

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for individuals. They’re for workplaces, too.

And, they can apply to college media’s news, business and advertising staffs.

December might not be the best time to ask college media staffs to set resolutions; their minds are on the last stories to report for the semester or quarter and the final projects to complete and exams to take.

However, resolution setting could be an excellent component of a back-to-school staff retreat or planning session for spring.

There are myriad possibilities for resolutions, which can serve to boost creativity, collegiality, job enjoyment, and overall production.

“The New Year is often seen as a chance to start fresh. These resolutions are probably easier to achieve than your new exercise plan….and more rewarding” is the headline for an article on the website, Inc., by Adam Heitzman, co-founder and managing partner of HigherVisibility. HigherVisiblity is a Tennessee-based agency that offers internet marketing services ranging from search engine optimization, pay per click management, affiliate marketing management, website design, social media marketing, and email marketing services.

Continue reading Setting New Year’s resolutions can be a growth tool for college media

‘What The Best College Teachers Do’

Book Review and interview with author Ken Bain

By Carolyn Schurr Levin

Sometimes a book comes along that justifies repeated exploration years, even decades, after it was written.

“What The Best College Teachers Do,” by Ken Bain, is such a book.

What The Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain

Although it was published in 2004, its insights are uniquely applicable to journalism professors and college media advisers in 2017.

The book, which has become a top selling book on higher education, has been translated into 12 languages and was the subject of a television documentary series in 2007. It captures the collective scholarship of some of the best teachers in the United States by not just recording how they think but also conceptualizing their practices.

Bain’s premise is simple. During 15 years of study, he looked at what the best educators do to help and encourage students to achieve remarkable learning results.

Of course, that is what we all want – remarkable learning results. We strive, every week, to guide out students to achieve those remarkable results. Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we don’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a roadmap toward that success? That is where Bain’s book comes in.

“I centrally focus on how people learn and how best to foster that learning,” Bain said in a recent telephone interview from his office at the Best Teachers Institute in New Jersey. The institute, according to its website, “collaborates with faculty and administrators to transform their curricula, courses, and even individual class sessions into powerful new learning experiences for their students.”

Continue reading ‘What The Best College Teachers Do’

Research (Vol. 55) — Street Smarts

Using Narrative Media Instruction and Experiential Learning to build Cultural Competency in Future Journalists

By Michael Longinow
and Tamara J. Welter

Introduction — Few lessons are more vivid from the presidential election of 2016 than the awareness that many of those most prominent in U.S news media do not know the real people that comprise audiences they claim to be serving[1]. Linked to this lesson is the attention given, since before that election, to the growing effects of “fake news” that uses stereotype and false perceptions of cultural reality to promote stories about marginalized people groups.[2]

Student journalism stands as a key resource for reform of these problems. As tools for guiding a grasp of critical thinking through investigation, narrative discovery and understanding of audience, the campus newsroom and classrooms of student media advisers have the potential to equip future leaders in American journalism with a deeper grasp of, and respect for, cross-cultural encounter, making students aware of the ways that audience can inform their approach to those far different from themselves.

Few research studies have brought learning theory to an examination of cross-cultural encounter as a teaching tool for guiding Millennials toward excellence in long-form journalistic storytelling in the 21st century.[3]  This paper will use experiential learning theory to show the ways that a cross-cultural pedagogy can have lasting effects on students’ approach to understanding themselves as journalists and their readers and viewers as a globally interactive audience. It will highlight ways in which experiential learning serves as an important pedagogical tool to bring Millennials from cross-cultural awareness to cross-cultural competency through encounter in pursuing long-form journalistic storytelling. It will suggest experiential learning as an antidote to cynicism among this age group about the role of fact-based journalism in 21st century media cultures.[4]

Continue reading Research (Vol. 55) — Street Smarts

News literacy

It’s an important topic for class and newsroom staff development

By Pat Winters Lauro

CBS President Leslie Moonves scandalously said during the run-up to the 2016 GOP primary that Donald Trump is “bad for America, but he’s damn good for CBS.”

Moonves was talking about TV ratings, but the same could be said about news literacy, which includes the development of skills to discern fact, opinion, bias and hidden agendas.

While news literacy has been discussed for years, new such discussions are burgeoning, thanks to Trump’s dismissing news stories critical of him, his family, or administration as “fake news” and calling the press “the enemy.”  These discussions are beacons for all who view journalism as essential to a free society.

News literacy is a topic for classrooms and college media newsrooms.

Continue reading News literacy

A Cautionary Web Tale

Cyber security issues hit too close to home

By Carolyn Levin 

As anyone who has advised a college newspaper knows, you never really get a vacation, even during the summer months when you publish less and may not be paid. Which is why, when I returned from a week away in early August (during which I really, truly tried to disconnect), I was not altogether surprised to discover that our newspaper website had been infected with a virus.

And, not just any little virus. When I opened the site on my first day back, just to take a look while starting to plan for the fall semester, the entire screen went red, with a warning notice, “ZEUS VIRUS DETECTED.”

Nothing subtle about that.

Continue reading A Cautionary Web Tale