Being prepared when calamity strikes…

How College Media Can Plan For the Worst

By Carolyn Schurr Levin


In December 2012, College Media Review reported about the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the Pioneer at LIU Post on Long Island, and the College Voice at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey.  Both campuses shut down, students were sent home, power was lost for days and publishing the student newspapers was, to put it mildly, a challenge.

Coping with disaster... Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.
Disaster and emergency planning can help media prepare for the unexpected. (Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons).

In the case of the Pioneer, the outside printing company for the newspaper couldn’t have printed the paper even if it had had power; it lost its roof to the storm. The 2012 CMR article, “When Disaster Strikes A College Community,” advised college media organizations to make contingency plans in the event of an unanticipated catastrophe similar to Hurricane Sandy.

Yet, over a year later, an informal email survey of college media advisers suggests that many organizations do not yet have such contingency plans.

Continue reading Being prepared when calamity strikes…

Working with that sports Info director behind the curtain…

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Alex Johnson, Cartoonist, UIS Journal

By Justin Schneewind

 Needing prior permission to interview college athletes and coaches has become the norm rather than the exception for college and professional sports journalists, who must often first go through the school’s sports information director or athletic director.

That goes for in-depth pieces and after-game interviews, in-person interviews, texts, e-mails, Facebook and other forms of communication.

Sports information directors, with the blessings of their athletic directors, are increasingly forbidding journalists to communicate with players or coaches unless the communication has been arranged first by the sports information director or other one of the sports information director’s staff.

Continue reading Working with that sports Info director behind the curtain…

Assessment: More than just a dirty word

By Kay L. Colley

Texas Wesleyan University

College Media Review - 3 Advisors V3


Assessment: Just the mere mention of the word can send chills up and down the spine of any new or seasoned student media adviser. Whispered in hushed tones or thrown around as an expletive, this 10-letter word connotes educational balderdash, busywork and just plain wrong-headedness to many in the ranks of college media. But much like student media advisers are misunderstood by administrators, assessment is misunderstood by many student media advisers.

According to the National Academy for Academic Leadership, assessment is a process that describes the current situation of a person, program or unit providing evidence of this analysis. Assessment involves goals or outcomes, processes and inputs. Some assessment methods can include surveys, focus groups, portfolios and direct observation with multiple assessment methods being the preferred way to demonstrate meeting goals or outcomes. Continue reading Assessment: More than just a dirty word

Review: “The Good Girls Revolt: How The Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace” By Lynn Povich

Reviewed by Carolyn Schurr Levin


good-girls-revoltThe year 2012 was a big one for Newsweek.  After 79 years in print, the venerable newsmagazine published its last print issue on Dec. 31, 2012, transitioning to an all-digital format in early 2013.  The move reflected the challenges of a weekly publication in a world with a 24-hour news cycle, print advertising revenue declines and a growing online audience.  Perhaps as significantly as Newsweek’s digital transition, in late 2012, former Newsweek staffer Lynn Povich published The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace, her detailed chronicle of the 1970 lawsuit that she brought, along with 45 other women, charging the newsmagazine with discrimination in hiring and promoting women.  That lawsuit, Povich convincingly argues in her recent book, “has become a legacy for the young women who followed us.”

Continue reading Review: “The Good Girls Revolt: How The Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace” By Lynn Povich

Newspaper thefts, censorship efforts, roadblocks to public records and more: A Q&A with Frank LoMonte

Compiled by Susan Smith, media adviser at South Dakota State University


Illustration credit: Alexander Johnson, University of Illinois-Springfield.
Illustration credit: Alexander Johnson, University of Illinois-Springfield.

A record number of college newspapers were reported stolen in 2012, and while fewer have been stolen in 2013, such thefts continue, according to Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center.

Meanwhile, Hazelwood was cited in a case where a college refused to allow a student to student teach because of his unorthodox views, and some universities are attempting roadblocks to limit access to records that should be open.

CMR asked LoMonte for his take on such situations. (Please see sidebar for additional resources).

Continue reading Newspaper thefts, censorship efforts, roadblocks to public records and more: A Q&A with Frank LoMonte

Dealing with Newspaper Thefts: Advice from the Student Press Law Center

Newspaper theft a form of censorship

Also, see Q&A on theft with SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte

Newspaper theft is a crime. It is also a terribly effective form of censorship. Each year dozens of student newspapers and other publications across the country fall victim to thieves whose intent is to prevent the dissemination of news, information and opinion with which they disagree.

While most college newspapers are distributed without charge (most student media have determined it would actually cost more to collect money at the point of distribution than it is worth), they are certainly not “free.”

Continue reading Dealing with Newspaper Thefts: Advice from the Student Press Law Center

Training helps overcome beginning-of-semester hump

By Miriam Ascarelli, Kyle Huckins and Trisha Collopy


At Webster University in St. Louis, students at the school’s newspaper and Web site face a common challenge every year: getting new staffers up to speed and turning around the first content and print issue of WebsterJournal.com.

Image courtesy of NS Newsflash
Image courtesy of NS Newsflash

The students publish a back-to-school print edition and offer a new staff orientation in the same week.

“It’s a tough week for editors,” said Lawrence Baden, associate professor in Webster’s Communications and Journalism Department.
Continue reading Training helps overcome beginning-of-semester hump

The Future of the Venerable Yearbook

Embracing New Technology, New Ways of Doing Business

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University


While the college yearbook may no longer be published on many campuses, other schools are still publishing yearbooks as they embrace new technology and ways of doing business.

In the last 18 years, the number of college yearbooks printed in the United States dropped from about 2,400 in 1995 to about 1,000 today, according to a 2010 National Public Radio story.

“No definitive list exists of all of the books out there now, much less how that compares to any point in the past (or how they’re funded),” said Lori Brooks, convention chair for the College Media Association who has chaired CMA yearbook committees. “It’s information I hope we can start tracking at some point soon.” Continue reading The Future of the Venerable Yearbook

South Dakota State University Students Resurrect Yearbook

Jackrabbit finds new life on campus

By Susan Smith
South Dakota State University


In 2002, the students’ association at South Dakota State University eliminated its Jackrabbit Yearbook. Interest in the book had declined. Fewer people were working on the staff, and boxes of the free publication were left unclaimed by the student body.

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Vanessa Dykhouse (left), Editor Paul Dybedahl

In 2012, that same group sought out an editor to bring it back. Vanessa Dykhouse, a senator from the university’s arts and sciences college, answered the call and began planning to bring the book back to life. Dykhouse found an adviser, negotiated a print contract with the school’s print lab and began recruiting staff. A small but dedicated group of students spent two nights a week in the lower level of the SDSU student union putting out the book – with no funding and little journalism experience. But it had the support of the university community. The Collegian, SDSU’s independent, student-run newspaper, allowed the yearbook to use its office and computers to produce the book. The newspaper and radio adviser, Susan Smith, became the yearbook’s adviser. The Union’s Information Exchange front desk and the University Bookstore helped the group sell books. Continue reading South Dakota State University Students Resurrect Yearbook

Adapting to the changing media landscape

The Story of The Blue Banner

By Sonya DiPalma and Michael E. Gouge
University of North Carolina at Asheville


Abstract: This paper chronicles the obstacles encountered by the advisor and staff of a small college newspaper attempting to make the paradigm shift from a traditional weekly college newspaper to a multiplatform system. The traditional college print newspaper runs the risk of becoming antiquated as more young adults seek news from digital and social media platforms (Hubbard 2011; Beaujon 2012; The demographic 2012). Within this case study, the authors discuss the growing need for academic departments to abandon “silos” within mass communication in order to embrace the multiplatform approach to reporting and the strategic use of social networks to attract a college audience. While college students embrace social networks as the primary fountain of knowledge, the adviser and staff question how best to achieve a social identity for their college newspaper.

Introduction

For generations, working on the college newspaper was a training ground for aspiring journalists and editors. The skills learned on campus translated directly to entry-level positions that graduates enthusiastically filled. Cuts in newsroom staff have meant increased opportunities for college interns who often find themselves in the role of teacher for less technology savvy reporters (Thornton 2011).  Increasingly newspapers seek interns possessing web and multimedia skills as well as strong writing skills (Wenger 2011). Keeping pace with the dramatic changes experienced in newsrooms across the country presents a challenge for college newspapers, particularly college newspapers at small colleges. Continue reading Adapting to the changing media landscape