Ethics conference honors Walter Cronkite, ‘the most trusted man in America’

Bob Bergland introduces a panel at the Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics. Panelists discussed "Ethics in the Trenches" and included Derek Donavan, public editor of the Kansas City Star; Bridget Blevins, news Director of KQ2 television; Greg Kozol, digital content director of the St. Joseph News-Press; Ross Martin, editor of the Platte County Citizen and Adam Waltz, anchor and producer at Fox 26 KNPN. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Bob Bergland introduces a panel at the Walter Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics. Panelists discussed “Ethics in the Trenches” and included Derek Donavan, public editor of the Kansas City Star; Bridget Blevins, news Director of KQ2 television; Greg Kozol, digital content director of the St. Joseph News-Press; Ross Martin, editor of the Platte County Citizen and Adam Waltz, anchor and producer at Fox 26 KNPN. Photo by Bradley Wilson

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

In an era where decisions to cover something and to publish something can be made in second, not hours or days, college educators — and working journalists — continue to struggle with how to teach ethics and what to teach. Clearly, it is more than giving students a link to a code of ethics and putting them out on the streets.

To foster education in media ethics, Missouri Western State University hosted the Cronkite Conference on Media Ethics for the second year including academic presentations, panel discussions, lectures and open discussions on various aspects of ethics.

Continue reading Ethics conference honors Walter Cronkite, ‘the most trusted man in America’

Government officials reminded to be transparent in their actions

Sean Flynn, assistant United States attorney and deputy chief of the civil division, speaks during the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Bradley WIlson
Sean Flynn, assistant United States attorney and deputy chief of the civil division, speaks during the AEJMC Scholastic Division meeting at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Access to information sometimes takes a nudge, sometimes more

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Perhaps nothing is more frustrating to a college media adviser or a student working on the college media than being told that they — or their students — can’t have information. Sometimes just a phone call to the appropriate person can resolve the problem but often members of the media have to resort to filing a public information request.

While public university attorneys and other officials — acting on behalf of the state government — sometimes delay and appeal to the state attorney general’s office, sometimes just the request itself can remind public officials that their jobs are supposed to be conducted in a transparent fashion accountable to the public.

When members of the Scholastic Journalism Division of AEJMC met down at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in January, two federal government officials discussed the Freedom of Information Act.

Continue reading Government officials reminded to be transparent in their actions

Austin Shoot-out: Texas Our Texas

Photographers had to contend with a soggy shoot in Austin


By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

The assignment was rather straightforward. “Texas, Our Texas.” Give the judges a feel of a piece of the story of Texas, Our Texas. Routine life. Daily life. Work. Play. Offer an analysis of the state that goes far beyond the superficial.

Then came the rain. Lots of it. More rain that Austin had ever seen in a single day — 16 inches.

Then came the tornadoes. Damaged a school south of Austin. Closed the airport.

But the 60 or so students who indicated they wanted to participate in the Shoot-out and the 47 who finally participated persevered and documented a little slice of life in Texas during the College Media Association / Associated College Press convention in Austin over Halloween weekend. Continue reading Austin Shoot-out: Texas Our Texas

Vinny Vella, at 22, takes home piece of Denver Pulitzer

Young journo is a strong advocate for value of internships

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor


Vinny Vella is a journalist from Philadelphia. He graduated from La Salle University in 2012 with a bachelor’s in communication and a minor in marketing. He is working as the night cops-and-crime beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News.

But at age 22, while working as a Dow Jones News Fund intern at the Denver Post, Vella participated in editing stories on the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and got his name on a Pulitzer Prize. In the submission for the prize, Editor Gregory Moore said, “Once again, Colorado would be ground zero to mass murder.”

His story just isn’t that different from many recent college graduates completing internships, job hunting and discovering the power of quality journalism. Except, of course, he has his name on a Pulitzer Prize.

Follow Vinny on Twitter @Vellastrations and read some of his impressions on the importance of gaining real-world experience outside the classroom.

Vincent Vella of La Salle University listens during the tour of the post-production room. Vella will be doing his internship at The Denver Post. Austin American-Statesman, Thursday, May 24, 2012. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Vinny Vella of La Salle University listens during the tour of the post-production room. Vella will be doing his internship at The Denver Post. Austin American-Statesman, Thursday, May 24, 2012. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Continue reading Vinny Vella, at 22, takes home piece of Denver Pulitzer

Shoot-Out provides photographers on-location learning opportunity

From the contest coordinator’s notebook: change, evolution the constant in student photojournalism

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Twice a year, photojournalists come to the College Media Association’s national conventions to share ideas, to meet other college photojournalists and to visit another part of the country. And twice a year about 60 of them choose to learn by doing, participating in the CMA Shoot-Out, an on-site photo competition and critique, an event that has helped students as they begin their work as visual communicators.

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CMR Managing Editor Bradley Wilson is entering his second decade of work with CMA’s on-site “Shoot-Out” for student photojournalists.

Mark Watkins, a participant when he was a student at Georgia College and State University said, “Winning ‘Class Favorite’ at the Shoot-out in Chicago in 2012 was the moment I decided to pursue photography as a career. It was a challenge, and I remember thinking not just how a photograph communicates something, but for the first time how I can communicate something through a photograph. It seems a small distinction, but I think it makes all the difference.”

When I first started helping out with the Shoot-Out, in 2004, students still used film. The contest was limited by how many rolls we could afford to develop, 30. So it didn’t take long to move to a digital paradigm. In 2005, to be precise. Kansas City. The theme for the contest was “Kansas City Portrait.” Then as now, we challenged students to “to get outside that box.”

FIRST PLACE 2005: Nathan Lang, Johnson County Community College (Anne Christiansen-Bullers, adviser) — Kansas City’s 106th homicide of 2005
FIRST PLACE 2005: Nathan Lang, Johnson County Community College (Anne Christiansen-Bullers, adviser) — Kansas City’s 106th homicide of 2005

Continue reading Shoot-Out provides photographers on-location learning opportunity

For photojournalists, internships are a must

Baltimore Sun photo intern Al Drago dances after making an early deadline at the Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers preseason NFL game in Baltimore, M.D. in August 2014. Photo by Rachel Woolf.
Al Drago dances after making an early deadline at the Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers preseason NFL game in Baltimore, M.D. in August 2014. Photo by Rachel Woolf.

‘Eyes of History’ winner shares views on developing skills as photojournalist

By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D.
Midwestern State University

Al Drago
Al Drago

The White House News Photographers Association honored Elon University senior Al Drago this month as part of its 2015 “Eyes of History” student still photography contest.

The journalism major from Durham, N.C., was selected following a public judging, hosted at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. The contest’s judges were Matt McClain, a staff photographer with The Washington Post; Allison Shelley, an independent documentary photographer and multimedia journalist; and Brendan Smialowski, a photojournalist based in Washington, D.C.

The chief photographer for “Elon Local News” and former photo editor for The Pendulum, Drago has gained several accolades in recent years. The National Press Photographers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and North Carolina Press Photographer Association have all recognized his work. Continue reading For photojournalists, internships are a must

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 German student offers tips on being College Photographer of the Year

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


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

Philadelphia College Media Convention Shoot-Out 2014

FIRST PLACE — Tim Kothlow, California Baptist University (Michael Chute) TimothyJohn.Kothlow@calbaptist.edu: 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) TimothyJohn.Kothlow@calbaptist.edu: 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.

Continue reading Philadelphia College Media Convention Shoot-Out 2014