‘Tweetalongs’ merge social media, traditional police ridealongs

Engaging Twitter Audiences

Washington State University student journalist’s live observations during police calls provide followers with glimpse of the nightlife near campus. Such reporting should be considered with caution, SPLC warns.

By Dan Reimold
University of Tampa

Stephanie Schendel

This past academic year, Stephanie Schendel, the cops and courts reporter for The Daily Evergreen at Washington State University, has participated in occasional “tweetalongs.”  During these weekend ridealongs with patrolmen from the Pullman Police Department, she has tweeted live observations, providing followers with a candid, witty glimpse of quirkier after-hours community goings-on.

Continue reading ‘Tweetalongs’ merge social media, traditional police ridealongs

Bisher a writer for the ages, for all ages

Sports journalism icon dead at 93

Robert Bohler
Texas Christian University

It may say the most about sports writer Furman Bisher’s impact on generations of readers as well as fellow journalists that two of the greatest tributes paid to him following his death at age 93 on Sunday came from scribes who make their livings covering stock car racing and golf. Both ESPN’s Ed Hinton, who covered NASCAR for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Bisher’s guidance, and long-time golf writer Larry Dorman describe a man who respected the disciplines of the sports and their place in sporting culture, and perhaps Bisher’s greatest mark was that he could embrace such separate—and disparate—cultures. He was as equally at home writing about Richard Petty and Bill Elliott as he was Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. And in doing so, everything else fell in-between with equal doses of wit, warmth, respect and, if he felt the case warranted, sharpness of tongue.

Continue reading Bisher a writer for the ages, for all ages

Investigative Reporting on Campus

Kent State reporter draws national attention with unraveling of  university’s controversial relationship with would-be donor

By Dan Reimold
University of Tampa

Doug Brown, an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater at Ohio’s Kent State University, is the most famous student journalist so far in 2012.

Doug Brown

Early last month, Brown reported on the past legal troubles of Jason Cope, an alumnus who was preparing to donate $1 million to the Kent State athletics program and have the school’s basketball court named after him.  He dove into the story after the paper’s web editor received an email from a stranger with a one-sentence tip: “Google Jason Cope v SEC.”

What Brown discovered: A bit more than a decade ago, as branch manager of a financial firm, Cope had been part of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of close to $9 million.  He was found guilty of breaking federal securities laws that “involved fraud and deceit” and ordered with his co-defendants “to pay a total of more than $19 million in penalties.” Continue reading Investigative Reporting on Campus

Kent State Investigation: A Student Reporter’s Story

In Doug Brown’s own words on his investigative reporting:

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Kent State University student journalist Doug Brown has received national recognition in journalism circles for his coverage of the withdrawal of a $1 million donation to the university’s athletics department from an alumnus whose investment firm once defrauded investors of nearly $9 million.

Daniel Reimold interviewed Brown about this continuing story and the reporter’s use of public records in his investigative reporting. Continue reading Kent State Investigation: A Student Reporter’s Story

Editor’s Corner

In with the old in the new year

If you’ve been following the CMA listserv since the first of the year, you’re familiar with the case of the East Carolina University newspaper adviser who was fired after controversy over the publication of a full-frontal photo of a streaker at a Pirates home football game. And, by now, you’ve probably heard about the blunder by a community news blog managed by Penn State students whose premature reporting of the death of coaching icon Joe Paterno was picked up by national media. Continue reading Editor’s Corner

Funding issues and independence

Dependence on student fees for media operating budget creates instant conflict of interest

By Debra Landis
University of Illinois Springfield

The scene seems surreal: Journalists asking politicians for money to help keep their operations going.

That is exactly what happens in U.S. institutions of higher education when the leaders of college publications that depend on student fees to augment newspaper operations are required to appear before student government groups to ask for money. Continue reading Funding issues and independence

When controversial coverage lands on advisers

Embattled advisers should look to alumni networks, training and legislation to protect their jobs.

By Debra Landis
University of Illinois Springfield

This year hardly had started before another college media adviser was fired following a controversy over student-managed content. Paul Isom, the student publications director at East Carolina University, lost his job after editors at the The East Carolinian newspaper published a full-frontal photo of a streaker among a series of photos on the front page. Continue reading When controversial coverage lands on advisers

Memoir: “I wanted to ask you a question about a story I’m reporting on.”

One new adviser navigates his uncharted territory into media advising at a private school.

By Robert L. Kaiser
Canisius College

The first sign I was destined for a strange relationship with Canisius College’s athletics program came at 8:48 on a sub-freezing, snow-encrusted Buffalo night in mid-February 2011, when the college’s mascot — a mutant creature straight out of Greek mythology — connected with me through social media. Continue reading Memoir: “I wanted to ask you a question about a story I’m reporting on.”

Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

Student media advisers give high marks for priorities, performance of publication boards

By LEI XIE and JAMES SIMON
Fairfield University

Abstract – College journalists often have their work evaluated by campus Media Advisory Boards. Student editors complain some boards have used their oversight role to censor or indirectly exert control over the print or broadcast product. This exploratory study seeks to determine how often Media Advisory Boards exist and what factors correlate with a school having such a board.  This study, based on a national survey of members of the College Media Advisers organization (N = 157), is designed to provide baseline data on such questions as how boards differ in title and size, what characteristics of a school help explain differences in the composition of a board, and what are the most common functions of a board. The results can be useful to schools considering creation of such a board, to schools examining the operations of their current board, and to various constituencies – student editors, journalism faculty, administrators – involved with the student press. Continue reading Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

Research spotlight: Top student news websites share multimedia, interactive features

As college budgets become tighter and news consumer habits change, all eyes are on how student media is adapting to changes. This study of student news websites that sit in the Pacemaker Winners’ Circle describes the features that push them to the front of the pack in multimedia, interactivity and content management.

Continue reading Research spotlight: Top student news websites share multimedia, interactive features