Review: ‘College Media: Learning in Action’

Anthology of essays edited by Gregory Adamo and Allan DiBiase

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin

In a time when college media budgets are being cut, access to information is increasingly difficult to obtain, and continued presence on campus seems precarious at best, many college media advisers are faced with having to justify not just their own positions, but often the very existence of the media outlets they advise. “College Media: Learning in Action,” an anthology of essays edited by Gregory Adamo and Allan DiBiase (2017), provides a plethora of arguments for not only the quintessential importance of college media outlets, but also for strengthening and investing in them for the future.

Adamo, an associate professor in the School of Global Journalism and Communications at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and DiBiase, who has taught philosophy and the philosophy of education at several universities, have collected research and essays from  college media advisers, professors, journalists, former journalists, and others to detail “the variety of ways students learn through participation in” college media, thus justifying “support of these rich, alternative learning opportunities.” Because, the editors argue, colleges today are increasingly assessing, and questioning, their commitment to this kind of learning, “it becomes increasingly important to understand and describe what happens in these unique spaces lest they become assimilated into more ubiquitous templates for learning or eliminated completely.” The goal of this anthology should be cause for jubilation for the ever-increasing number of college media advisers who face diminished funding and wavering administrative support. This book provides valuable data to bolster arguments for the future of both the advisers and the media outlets. Continue reading Review: ‘College Media: Learning in Action’

Communicating with millennials in the newsroom and classroom

Shifting preferences for technology use, abbreviated word choices

By Carol Terracina Hartman
CMR Managing Editor 

Molly Ivins’ earliest collection of essays, titled “Molly Ivins can’t say that, can she?” (1991) highlighted an era of communication in which we questioned the manner and mode of commentary about public officials and each other.

Flckr Creative Commons

Now with the growth of a generation in our classrooms that is less inclined to speak to or call each other by phone and more inclined to “snap” or “tweet” each other, communication styles and mannerisms direct this question toward our classrooms: “can they say that?” and conversely, “can we say that?”

We attribute the changes in politeness and acceptability to technology use – and abbreviated word choices – and decrease in oral communication. Doesn’t everyone say “please” in a text?

We’ve addressed this trend in multiple CMA sessions the last three national fall conventions. Jane De Roche, of Mira Costa College, raised this question in a 2016 CMA session in Washington, D.C., asking, “how do we respond to millennials in class when they say ….?”

Continue reading Communicating with millennials in the newsroom and classroom

Learn about publishing opportunities at spring CMA convention session

Spring Convention is March 7-10 in NYC

By Lisa Lyon Payne
CMR Editor

Advisers interested in dipping their toes in the academic research waters of college media are invited to attend a session on publishing opportunities in College Media Review at the CMA Spring National College Media Convention in New York March 7-10.

The session is designed to encourage and motivate both established and emerging scholars to consider a contribution to CMA’s research journal. For those interested in the idea of research, but unsure where or how to start, consider the following five ideas to jump start your scholarship: Continue reading Learn about publishing opportunities at spring CMA convention session

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

‘The Post’ inspiration even for those not working in media

Meryl Streep in The Post (2017), Photo by Niko Tavernise, 20th Century Fox.

Young journalists can take home lessons from ‘The Post’

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

If there was ever a time for a feel-good movie about the media, it’s now. And in “The Post,” Director Steven Spielberg and big-name stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks realize the power and role of the media.

However, the movie goes well beyond showing how a newspaper and a few strong-willed editors and reports can change the course of a country. It brings in a modern discussion of the role of women, limits that need to be placed on government, the need for the First Amendment and even how media outlets also need checks and balances.

For a long-time journalist, it was fascinating to watch molten lead set into words, newsrooms filled with typewriters, copy editors given 30 minutes to work on one story and papers shipped out in hand-tied bundles. It was disheartening to see Katharine Graham portrayed as less than powerful, even weak, leader with shaking hands. She never came across that way when played by Nancy Marchand in the television series Lou Grant. But as her character develops, watching her finally make a decision with such potential negative ramifications and then walking down the steps of the Supreme Court, even in the shadow of The New York Times, was inspirational. Continue reading ‘The Post’ inspiration even for those not working in media

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’