Review — ‘Passion and Perseverance’ for student journalists and their advisers:

Create a culture of grit, says author and professor Angela Duckworth

 Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin, Stony Brook University School of Journalism


Think of grit, and you may immediately think of John Wayne in the film, “True Grit,” or Jeff Bridges in the 2010 remake.

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“THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE,” BY ANGELA DUCKWORTH

But grit, says Angela Duckworth, applies to college students and professionals of diverse interests and vocations—including journalism.

Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, offers sage advice that can be applied to college media.

The advice: Create a culture of grit, Duckworth passionately argues in her recently released book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” and in her 2013 TED Talk, which has been viewed more than 8.5 million times. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences run by the private nonprofit organization Sapling Foundation, under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”.

Duckworth defines grit as a combination of passion and perseverance exhibited by high achievers, even when they are faced by challenges and hurdles. People act more gritty, she writes, when they’re around gritty people—hence the call to create cultures of grit. Continue reading

Research (Vol. 53) — Convergence, Higher Education

A Survey of Convergence in Missouri Higher Ed Journalism Programs

StLouisArch_CreativeCommonsPatHawks

Mark Smith, Ph.D.
Truman State University

Don Krause, M.A.
Truman State University


Abstract: With changes in how audiences receive information, much attention has been placed on the implementation of multi-media storytelling tools and convergence of media outlets to enhance the news consumption experience. Through a survey administered to both print and broadcast association members advising student media in Missouri, as well as a focus group comprised of broadcast journalism advisers, this study closely examined the status of convergence at institutions of higher education in Missouri and the challenges of converging. A significant finding reveals that advisers introduce convergent storytelling techniques in coursework and have engaged colleagues in discussions of convergence, yet in practice convergence in student media in Missouri higher education remains a challenge for faculty advisers and students. Some of the reasons for the lack of convergence include the different ownership structures of student media within the same university, lack of time among advisers to oversee implementation of convergence as well as learning software to aid in the effort, and difficulties in working through university IT departments to implement combined websites. Continue reading

Research (Vol. 53) — Corrections and the College Web

Exploring the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites

Kirstie E. Hettinga
California Lutheran University
Rosemary Clark
The Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania
Alyssa Appelman
Northern Kentucky University

Ahhhhh. Photo by Kenny Louie via Creative Commons

Errors: “Ahhhhh.” Photo by Kenny Louie via Creative Commons

Abstract: A previous study found that college newspapers have perceived levels of credibility on par with their professional counterparts, but suggested that quality could be assessed in other ways. Previous research has documented the potential for error corrections to increase perceptions of quality. In a content analysis of College Media Association members’ websites (N = 419), the researchers found that some college publications are publicizing corrections, but some are not. Additionally, these practices seem to depend on publication and university differences. Similarities between college and professional publications are noted, and recommendations for improvement are discussed. Continue reading

CMR Extra — Quick Links

Media watchers analyze print, broadcast coverage of Trump and Clinton

From the CMR editor’s desk…


Who knows the number of total news stories and columns written—and those that will come–about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton since the 2016 presidential campaign began?

CMR_arrow26_RotateBut here are a few links to print and broadcast commentary and coverage CMR thought you might find interesting.

The links are not  “new” as in today,  but the articles offer viewpoints from multiple voices from recent months.

More such links will be shared once the Republican and Democratic conventions unfold this summer, and as the country heads into the 2016 presidential election.

Trump hits CNN as ‘the Clinton network’ | TheHill

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/278346-trump-calls-cnn-the-clinton-network

May 2, 2016 … “They do call it ‘the Clinton network,’” he told Chris Cuomo on the network’s …. from a media wh*re who can’t get enough free media coverage.

Forget Trump and Clinton, Cable News Networks Are…

http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2016-03-18/forget-trump-and-clinton-cable-news-networks-are-winning-the-2016-election

Mar 18, 2016 … A strategist for one Republican presidential campaign, who asked not to be named, tells U.S. News that cable networks are covering this … Continue reading

Making the most of campaign opportunities

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From the Royal Purple. Photo by Amber Levenhagen.

Royal Purple staffers cover campaign visits to Wisconsin by presidential hopefuls

CMR Staff Reports

Ideas for news stories can often come from personal experiences.

That goes for political coverage, too, as illustrated by coverage of a Donald Trump rally by staff of the student newspaper, The Royal Purple at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“Students in a class after mine were talking about how the security and press were taking over their neighborhood because they live near the Holiday Inn in Janesville which hosted the Trump Rally.

“Many in the community said they opposed this choice, not only because of its close location to residential areas, but because it sends a political affiliation,” recalls Carol Terracina Hartman, adviser to The Royal Purple student newspaper.

Continue reading

A cautionary tale of a coverage firestorm

Reflections and recommendations from the adviser of the college newspaper that published what the Daily Beast described as ‘the most racist front page in America’

By Shawn W. Murphy
SUNY Plattsburgh


I took one look at the paper and my heart sank. I sighed. I knew this would understandably hurt feelings and upset readers. I did not predict, though, that it would yield a Daily Beast article titled “College Paper Prints The Most Racist Front Page in America.” Once this article was published online, the clickbait medium, along with social media, immediately drew attention to what had happened on our campus. Oct. 23, 2015, would have been like any other Friday morning during the academic year, in which I, as faculty adviser to the student-run newspaper Cardinal Points, read and mark up the hot-of-the-presses issue in preparation for my Monday night post-publication critique delivered to the entire staff, except on that morning there were a slew of emails in my inbox and messages on my phone.

sean-murphy

Shawn Murphy

I did not know about the firestorm that was to come. I did not know that there would be many more email and phone messages from regional and national reporters who wanted to interview me and the student-editors. I did not know about the hate emails that the students on staff and I would receive from people on and off campus. I did not know that administrators and faculty – including journalism professors in my own department – would come down so hard on the newspaper, its student staff, and me. I did not know that I would witness student-editors in utter anguish and tears about the backlash for what the felt was a one-time mistake in the production process, not a malicious act of racism. And I did not know how lonely and difficult it would be to defend students’ First Amendment rights and explain what my professional organization, College Media Association, considers to be a legally and ethically sound best practice for a newspaper adviser – the post-publication critique without mandatory prior review.

This article for College Media Review marks the first time I have spoken publicly about what happened. I did not speak with any of the local, regional and national reporters who asked to interview me for a quick sound-bite quote to drop into a story they had already written. And it was suggested to me that I channel interview requests to the college’s director of marketing and communications. Instead, I wanted to tell the whole story under my own terms and in my own words; after all, there was no one closer to it than me and the student-editors. I wanted to let enough time pass so that emotions could subside, then explain how it all went down. In doing so, I would explain how this situation came to be; examine what have been the ramifications for the college, the department, the newspaper, its student-editors, and me as the adviser; outline what structural measures Cardinal Points have taken in the aftermath to regain trust and credibility; and offer advice to my advising colleagues across North America.

This is a cautionary tale to other advisers at public colleges. Continue reading

Students in the trenches for political coverage

The Alestle at SIU-Edwardsville keeping tabs on presidential campaigns

Bernie

Photo courtesy Alestle


Covering presidential campaigns can be an “invaluable experience” for student journalists, promoting staff collaboration and providing important content for college media, according toTammy Merrett, who advises The Alestle at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, a university with an enrollment of about 14,000 students and about 23 miles from St. Louis. Merrett, a college media adviser with 19 years of student newspaper advising experience, has worked in the field as a professional journalist–both as a reporter and editor–since 1986.

“The staff plans to continue its periodical coverage of the presidential campaigns as Election Day quickly approaches,” Merrett said. “During this season of presidential campaigning, The Alestle  has kept up with the latest issues regarding the candidates as they battle for their parties’ nominations.”

Continue reading

Book Review: Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights: Mediating Suffering

Insightful articles examine media’s attempts to inform the world about suffering

By Susan S. Novak
SUNY Potsdam

Student newspaper advisers and journalism teachers know the difficulties of helping young reporters understand the nuances of objectivity and bias, false balance and fair reporting. We ask such questions as: Do we know our audiences? Are we framing? Employing a U.S.-centric or regional slant? Supporting only one side?

Edited by Tristan Anne Borer. Published by Zed Books (2012); 264 pages, $36.95 (paper). ISBN 10: 1780320671 ISBN 13: 9781780320670P

Edited by Tristan Anne Borer. Published by Zed Books (2012); 264 pages, $36.95 (paper). ISBN 10: 1780320671 ISBN 13: 9781780320670P

Advocacy creep into news reporting is concerning, but in some stories, a degree of advocacy may have a legitimate place. Even some well-known reporters have argued the point: In a 1996 article about the Bosnian War coverage, Sherry Ricchiardi quotes CNN’s Christiane Amanpour as saying, “”In certain situations, the classic definition of objectivity can mean neutrality, and neutrality can mean you are an accomplice to all sorts of evil. In this case, genocide and crimes against humanity,” and Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute as suggesting that in this war, “presenting the other side in the interest of neutral reporting is ‘simple-minded.’”1 (26)

Human suffering is an area of coverage that reporters should consider carefully, and this is the focus of Tristan Anne Borer’s 2012 volume Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights: Mediating Suffering.

Continue reading

Christian university takes on national politics

FloridaCoerageEdit

Coverage amidst the Palm trees: (from left) Ryan Teason, Aaron Broghamer and Brent Primus.

Student journalists take on presidential political coverage in Florida

By Danielle Mendocha
Palm Beach Atlantic University


Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio dropped by the neighborhood the other day along with the national and international press.

Providing news coverage were The New York Times, CNN, a Japanese TV network… and journalists from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

These days PBAU journalism students are covering national politics for the campus press and the nearby Cox daily newspaper and building portfolio credits along the way.

“Student portfolios that include only parking and cafeteria woes aren’t the kind of content that typically impresses an employer,” noted PBAU journalism professor Michael Ray Smith, author of “7 Days to a Byline that Pays.” “The dean suggested that PBA’s journalism program get off campus and cover the news, and what better venue than the U.S. presidential race?’

Continue reading

NYC Shoot-out: Students of CMA

Photographers given opportunity to reflect on conference attendees

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

I couldn’t be at the College Media Association convention in New York City this spring. It was just bad timing the week before our spring break. Yet I knew there would be an enthusiastic group of students wanting to participate in the Shoot-out. Jack Zibluk again stepped up to help with the administration.

NPPA_New_Logo_Nov2012_OnWhite

Co-sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association

But I wanted to get a feel for what I was missing. So working with Brandon Stanton’s basic reporting concepts in Humans of New York, I tweaked the assignment to challenge the students so we could all have a little fun and learn a little more about our conference attendees as well.

Just based on the results, I’d say everyone had a little fun and learned something in the process. It was good to see that the students had time to get out of the hotel, visiting different parts of the city that never sleeps. The top entries made me feel like I was there.

But they went beyond that. The best entries also gave me some insight into the individuals who attended the convention. The write-ups didn’t take a shot-gun approach, telling me a little about a lot. They took an in-depth approach, as Stanton does, telling a lot about a tiny piece of the person’s life. If there was ever a time to exercise what a friend of mine used to say — “If you have five minutes to take a person’s photo, spend three minutes getting to know them and two minutes taking their picture. — this is it. Get to know them. Pick one interesting aspect of their life and tell me more about that.
Continue reading