Embracing change one sound byte at a time

Storytelling still at the heart of journalism

By Andrea Frantz
Buena Vista University

If I’ve learned anything in my 30 years of teaching journalism, it’s that change is hard, but inertia will be the death of any academic program.  What I teach today, at its heart, hasn’t changed a lot. Journalism has always been about great storytelling.  But it looks and sounds a lot different.

A 2018 Washington Postarticle by Christopher Daly, posits the seismic changes we have seen in the journalism field in the last couple of decades are not all dire.  According to Daly, “NPR is having a banner year, as are MSNBC and Fox News. The New York Times,The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are reporting record numbers of digital subscribers…Podcasting, which did not exist as a career five years ago, is exploding.”

In fact, it’s the podcast explosion that brings me to my own embrace of change.

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(Research Vol. 56) Posting, Tweeting, Instagraming

Examining the Social Media Linking College Media to ‘Home’

Carol Terracina-Hartman
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Robert G. Nulph
Missouri Western State University

ABSTRACT: Successful college media programs, when judged against their peers, are located in academic departments with faculty-level advisors (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2013; Kopenhaver 2015). This study aims to examine communication practices and messages of universities and academic departments that promote these top college media outlets using social media tools. Which is preferred: Facebook or Instagram for celebrating an award? Does a university tag a student newspaper? Or does the department take the lead in announcing? Or does a college newspaper post its good news, tag its home institution, and then academic departments and colleges like, share, retweet, repost and tag? Perhaps the institution, department, and/or student media outlet chooses none of these, making them virtually invisible? The posts – whether celebratory, recruiting, spotlighting an alum, or introducing editors – enhance not only visibility for the college media program, but also produce a level of association between student media and their home institutions.

Scholars increasingly have documented dialogic principles of university systems with potential students in recent years, finding that first impressions persist, influencing the opinions of those applicants who later become first-year students throughout their years on campus (Aquilani and Lovari 2009; Gordon and Berhow 2009).  Additional research finds that much web communication targets donors, alums, and research-granting agencies before addressing student or potential student audiences (Hewitt and Forte 2009; Will and Callison 2006). Yet highlighting student achievement through the web can be a key mark of visibility for any student program and critical to department recruitment (Kent and Taylor 1998). Continue reading “(Research Vol. 56) Posting, Tweeting, Instagraming”

Free First Amendment workshop to educate community

‘Express Yourself’ is this year’s theme

By Mark Witherspoon
Special to CMR

Registration is now open for the First Amendment Workshop at Iowa State University from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday, April 12.

This free workshop is designed for those interested in the First Amendment – students, teachers, advisers, media professionals and community activists – who want to create creative First Amendment activities in their communities. Sessions include a First Amendment refresher mini-course, discussion about current conflicts, an event planner how-to, a group brainstorm about ideas to educate others about the First Amendment and more.

Registration includes lunch, coffee breaks, a T-shirt and a First Amendment tool kit. Space is limited.

From April 8 to 12, the ISU campus will recognize each of the five freedoms in the First Amendment. The theme this year is “Express Yourself.”

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Student photojournalists document ‘city that never sleeps’

Photo Shoot highlights NYC Convention

When the photojournalists gathered in a dank room in New York City, they really didn’t know what to expect. Every year, the Photo Shoot-out is a little different. A different theme. Different contestants. And the city is just never the same. Every day is a bit different from the day before.

This year, the theme  — “The city that never sleeps” — gave students the option to find something new that told a piece of the story.

Jim McNay, former director of the visual journalism program at Brooks Institute of Photography, said, “These students showed considerable variety in what they were able to photograph around New York City. They really ‘worked the subject’ and captured a wide range of life.”

But it wasn’t easy. Continue reading “Student photojournalists document ‘city that never sleeps’”

Book review: Journalism under fire by Stephen Gillers

Protecting the Future of Investigative Reporting

Book by Stephen Gillers

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin

For better or for worse, journalists became the story in 2018. In addition to being named as Time’s “Person of the Year,” journalists “taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths” were also honored by being called onto stage just before midnight to push the button that began the lowering of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball, ushering in 2019. “In one of the world’s most famous public squares, it is fitting to celebrate free press and free speech as we reflect on where we’ve been during the past year and what it is we value most as a society,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, the organizer of the New Year’s event.

Although Americans may no longer agree on much, we can probably all agree that 2018 was a difficult year for journalists, and not only because the phrases “enemy of the people” and “fake news” were bantered around so often that they no longer jarred us. (Remember the days when we were all able to agree upon whether a fact was true or false?) Head shaking and hand wringing aside, what can–and should–be done to protect present and future journalists? In “Journalism Under Fire: Protecting the Future of Investigative Reporting,” Stephen Gillers, the Elihu Root Professor of Law at New York University Law School, answers that question, offering provocative, if perhaps wistful, solutions.

Gillers begins with two premises. First, a free press is essential to American democracy. Second, because the First Amendment, legislation, and court opinions are the primary sources of press freedom, the meaning of freedom of the press must begin with what the law says. Based upon these assumptions, he examines the First Amendment’s Press Clause through the framers’ intended meaning, textual analysis, and an intricate and detailed survey of the preeminent press cases (New York Times v. Sullivan, Branzburg v. Hayes, Cohen v. Cowles Media, and all of the other cases we teach in our media law classes). He argues that, although the Supreme Court has in recent decades ignored the Press Clause, the clause nonetheless gives a distinct set of rights to the press that the Constitution does not give to all speakers. Those rights are not static, but must change and expand as new circumstances arise. The press, Professor Gillers argues, needs protection against liability for defamation and privacy invasion, for the right to protect confidential sources without risking jail, and for how it gathers news. Continue reading “Book review: Journalism under fire by Stephen Gillers”

CMANYC19 goes beyond ‘how to’ to ask ‘how do we’

College Journalists convene in New York

By Carol Terracina-Hartman
For College Media Review

The College Media Association conference in New York City — #CMANYC19 — offers standard broad range of workshops, on-site publication critiques with a professional for student staffs, and tours of professional media outlets beginning March 6.

And this year’s lineup of speakers is anything but standard, reaching beyond the “how to” of news production to ask, “how do we”?

Recruiting top editors from Vice, #CMANYC19 gives college media students a chance for a — not just to attend a lecture. Chat with Vice’s master brand Executive Editor Dory Carr-Harris: What is her vision for Vice? What are the struggles? and accomplishments?

Vice.com is arguably one of the greatest successes of new media: How do the editors target their audience? How do writers build credibility? How does new media grab old readers?

Managing Editor Rachel Shallom heads up the biweekly newsletter, The Cohort, focusing on women in digital leadership. She also curates a newsletter featuring news and moves in digital journalism.

Continue reading “CMANYC19 goes beyond ‘how to’ to ask ‘how do we’”

Undergrads to compete for new research award

‘Research in Action’ at CMA’s New York Conference

The College Media Association will host its first annual undergraduate research panel at the CMA Spring Convention in New York this year. “Research in Action” will feature students from three universities who will present their works and compete for CMA’s first Apple Award in Undergraduate Research.

Cheyenne Mathews, from University of Alaska Anchorage, will present “Media Literacy Education in Alaskan Schools: A Content Analysis of Alaskan School Districts’ Curriculum.” This content analysis examines media literacy instruction and the role of journalism offerings in the largest Alaskan school districts.

Brandon Liemer, from Florida Atlantic University, will speak on “The Podcast Era: Emerging New Media to Enhance Academia.” His study explores the use of podcasts as a new, emerging and contemporary form of media. He employs survey research to examine student interest in podcasting and the possibility of including it in communication curricula.

Valerie Miller and Henry Tasker are from Virginia Wesleyan University. They will co-present “Digital Deception: Examining Source Credibility and Native Advertising in Online News Editorials.” This experiment assesses college students’ ability to identify native advertising and corresponding media literacy and source credibility levels.

The session, at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 7, in Marquis B of the New York Marriott Marquis, will include Kelly Messinger from Capital University as the panel moderator. Elizabeth Smith from Pepperdine University will serve as the discussant.

Research (Vol. 56) Plagiarism in College Media

Is plagiarism a problem? Is there a solution?

By Carolyn Schurr Levin
with the research assistance of Paola Guzman

Introduction

The article raised red flags immediately. The topic was studying tips for final exams. The student writers on the staff love pitching this type of “list” assignment. The stories do not entail a lot of investigative reporting and are relatively easy to write. The school newspaper [1] publishes them routinely. But, this one didn’t sound right to the faculty adviser, when she read it as part of her weekly newspaper laboratory course [2]. The story included sentences like, “Leave yourself ample time.” The adviser’s students simply did not use the word “ample.” So, she plugged the story into a free online plagiarism checker, something that she does not routinely do when she reads stories written by the students in her class. Within minutes, she found the blog post that the story was copied from, essentially verbatim.

The adviser emailed the student, a senior broadcasting major poised to graduate from college in a mere few weeks, and asked her to stop by the adviser’s office before class the following morning. The student inquired in her email response about the purpose of the meeting. The adviser told her that she had some concerns about the story submitted that week.

The adviser and the student met the next morning in the adviser’s office. The adviser showed the student her story, side-by-side with the blog from which it had been copied, with the identical paragraphs highlighted in yellow. The student looked at both, wide eyed, and said unflinchingly, “We can’t do that?”[3]

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College Student-Run News Entities and Communications Agencies

Finding Solidarity in the Era of ‘Blame the Media’

By Doug Swanson
California State University, Fullerton

Being a journalism or broadcast educator was never an easy job. These days, under the shadow of ‘fake news’ and amidst the widely-promoted claim that journalists are ‘enemies of the people,’ the work can seem immensely more difficult. The rewards can seem more elusive.

College media advisers are educators who teach students to become responsible citizens in a noisy world in which a multitude of media so persuasively point in the opposite direction. Regardless of the specific media entity advisers work with, there are common opportunities and challenges. College student-produced publications and broadcast operations have much in common with the quickly expanding population of student-run communications agencies. There’s much we can learn from each other. We must work together to strengthen our educational presence and show clearly our public value in these tumultuous times. Continue reading “College Student-Run News Entities and Communications Agencies”

Research (Vol. 56): The Best Medium for the Story

A Case Study of Integrated Student Media

By Patrick Howe and Brady Teufel

Abstract

This study explores the quantifiable and cultural changes that occurred at one large college student media outlet during the five years after it combined several distinct media to form a fully “integrated” newsroom. The study draws on participant observation, in-depth interviews, examinations of web and social media analytics and written analysis performed by student leaders to identify key objectives and outcomes. It explores obstacles, both cultural and technological, that arose, and it identifies opportunities for other college media to serve audiences using a similar approach.

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