REVIEW: Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing and Selling Books in the Digital Age”

Daniel Reimold book a journalism textbook and newsroom resource

By Debra Chandler Landis
Managing Editor, College Media Review


It’s time for the news meeting, and the story ideas from the college journalists are lackluster.

“There’s not a lot going on” seems to be the prevailing sentiment.

But, of course, more seasoned journalists would say, “There is always something going on and stories to be told.”

ReimoldBookcoverSpeaking somewhat metaphorically, Daniel Reimold said he wants journalists to “jump and sing about their story ideas.”

Reimold challenges journalists to look below the surface of stories and brainstorm ideas for new coverage—and provides hundreds of ideas from multiple sources  in “Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing, and Selling Stories in the Digital Age” (Routledge, 2013).

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For some college newspapers, it’s not digital first. It’s digital only

Economics is a driving force in the digital only transition

By Miriam Ascarelli
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Two words: Digital first.

That was the trend of this 2013-2014 school year as a parade of student newspapers from the University of Missouri Maneater to The Daily Egyptian at Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced plans to scale back print publication days and ramp up their digital presences.

For some newspapers scaling back on print editions, the changes were part of a proactive strategy to stay ahead of the iGeneration, which already lives on the web, according to Bryan Murley, an associate professor of new and emerging media at Eastern Illinois University. But for others, Murley said, digital-first was an imperative motivated by a double whammy: declining ad revenue as national advertisers use social media instead of print ads to target college students and declining print readership as indicated by too many newspapers remaining on racks.

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Combatting stress on the job…

Advisers deploy different strategies to try to maintain a healthy balance in their lives

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University


Most jobs come with some level of stress, and advising a student media group is no exception. Advisers cope with that stress in a number of ways, from finding a good work/life balance to making sure students are trained to deal with day-to-day crises themselves.

Stress can bring on headaches, cause teeth grinding and mouth sores and contribute to a number of physical ailments including heart disease, according to Web MD.

Physical, emotional and environmental changes all contribute to stress. These stressors, when unmanaged, can begin to cause health problems or make already unhealthy conditions, like high cholesterol, worse, according to Web MD. Stress is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but doctors aren’t sure how stress contributes to the illness.

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A  Journey in College Student Media

 Challenges, Opportunities and Implications for the Future

By Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Florida International University

Ever since the publication in 1799 of the first college newspaper, the Dartmouth Gazette, and the founding of the oldest college daily in 1878, the Daily News of Yale University, college student media have attempted to mirror their professional counterparts.

Image courtesy of NS Newsflash

Image courtesy of NS Newsflash

With the First Amendment as a cornerstone, student media throughout history have challenged authority, reported the truth about their campus communities, ensured an accurate portrayal of facts, and sought to provide the public with information they need.

And—importantly—they have served as the foundation for the journalists of the future to train, practice and perfect their craft.

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I’ve graduated… now what?

An outlook of employment opportunities in the mass communication industry

By Kyle J. Miller
Dr. Charles A. Lubbers
University of South Dakota


The employment outlook in any field is dictated by the balance of supply and demand. However, the available supply of college graduates and the demand for the graduates to fill a particular job category in a field can vary greatly.

Table1_DegreesAccording to a 2012 study by Becker, Vlad and Kalpen, 51,784 bachelor’s degrees were granted in the U.S. in 2011, and that number was only slightly larger than the year before.  They also noted that during 2011, 203,561 students were enrolled in bachelor’s programs, a decline of .05 percent from the year before.

Undergraduate students are studying a growing number of specializations within the mass communication field. This reflects changes in the terms used to describe the specializations, as well as a growth in those areas as a result of newer technologies.  As noted in Table 1, journalism, once the dominant specialization in the field, now accounts for slightly less than 30 percent of the students.  The next largest group of students is located in strategic communication programs. Students studying radio/television generally made up 4.9 percent.  Clearly the concentration of students is located in the areas of journalism and strategic communications, with significantly smaller numbers in the telecommunications field.

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Niche publications deliver something for everyone

By Jessica Clary
Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta


-4By nature, all university publications are niche publications. The audience is typically hyper-local, similarly educated and knowledgeable about the same topics. A college newspaper article uses terms and vernacular specific to that college when describing traditions and nicknames.

College newspapers aren’t USA Today, and they shouldn’t be. They should be broad enough to deliver something for the entire campus population.

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Research: Student journalists’ use of student media

Sender-receiver, receiver-sender: A uses-and-gratifications study of student journalists’ use of social media

Vincent F. Filak
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh


ResearchFilak

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD RESEARCH PDF

Abstract: Uses and gratifications theory posits that audience members select media to satisfy specific needs. Social media, however, have allowed media users to select both media to consume and what media to produce/share.

This study of student journalists (n=285) revealed differences between the importance of specific gratifications in terms of what participants consumed and what they shared.

Vince Filak

Vince Filak

Additionally, the study examines which gratifications were most important in forming a positive attitude toward social media.

Being prepared when calamity strikes…

How College Media Can Plan For the Worst

By Carolyn Schurr Levin


In December 2012, College Media Review reported about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the Pioneer at LIU Post on Long Island, and the College Voice at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey.  Both campuses shut down, students were sent home, power was lost for days and publishing the student newspapers was, to put it mildly, a challenge.

Coping with disaster... Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.

Disaster and emergency planning can help media prepare for the unexpected. (Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons).

In the case of the Pioneer, the outside printing company for the newspaper couldn’t have printed the paper even if it had had power; it lost its roof to the storm. The 2012 CMR article, “When Disaster Strikes A College Community,” advised college media organizations to make contingency plans in the event of an unanticipated catastrophe similar to Hurricane Sandy.

Yet, over a year later, an informal email survey of college media advisers suggests that many organizations do not yet have such contingency plans.

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Working with that sports Info director behind the curtain…

CMR_sports-info-athletics_directors

Alex Johnson, Cartoonist, UIS Journal

By Justin Schneewind

 Needing prior permission to interview college athletes and coaches has become the norm rather than the exception for college and professional sports journalists, who must often first go through the school’s sports information director or athletic director.

That goes for in-depth pieces and after-game interviews, in-person interviews, texts, e-mails, Facebook and other forms of communication.

Sports information directors, with the blessings of their athletic directors, are increasingly forbidding journalists to communicate with players or coaches unless the communication has been arranged first by the sports information director or other one of the sports information director’s staff.

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The Future of the Venerable Yearbook

Embracing New Technology, New Ways of Doing Business

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University


While the college yearbook may no longer be published on many campuses, other schools are still publishing yearbooks as they embrace new technology and ways of doing business.

In the last 18 years, the number of college yearbooks printed in the United States dropped from about 2,400 in 1995 to about 1,000 today, according to a 2010 National Public Radio story.

“No definitive list exists of all of the books out there now, much less how that compares to any point in the past (or how they’re funded),” said Lori Brooks, convention chair for the College Media Association who has chaired CMA yearbook committees. “It’s information I hope we can start tracking at some point soon.” Continue reading