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.

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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.

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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.

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Student and professional journalists dealing with restrictions on sports coverage

By Frank D. LoMonte
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center


Fueled by billions in television and licensing revenues, college athletic departments are increasingly stiff-arming journalists by restricting access to practices and games. Meanwhile, media industry leaders are looking for ways to respond.

MugLogo_LoMonteThe start of football season in August 2012 brought a wave of new restrictions on journalists—professionals and students alike—who cover college athletics. Threatening to revoke press credentials or close practices, coaches at several schools, including the University of Southern California, Washington State University and the University of North Carolina, ordered journalists to refrain from reporting on player injuries observed during practices.

In recent years, colleges and athletic conferences have become increasingly assertive about controlling how media organizations use the information and images they gather at sporting events. Continue reading

Study Abroad offers journalism students unique opportunities

As globalization becomes an increasingly important part of modern life, universities are launching study-abroad programs in ever more remote and exotic destinations

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Editor’s Note: The main focus of this issue is study abroad, highlighted by this and another article by CMR Vice President Rachele Kanigel.  Kanigel is the executive director of   ieiMedia, an organization sponsoring journalism study abroad opportunities this summer in Italy, France, Turkey, Israel and Northern Ireland.

By Rachele Kanigel


In a rural province of Cambodia, a broadcast journalism student from California State University, Fullerton shoots video of a blind man being fitted with a prosthetic hand, a replacement for the appendage that was shot off in the 1970s when he was fleeing the Khmer Rouge.

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First Amendment Mileposts in 2012

Four noteworthy First Amendment cases for college media in 2012

By Frank D. LoMonte
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center


MugLogo_LoMonteWith the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Hazelwood ruling approaching on Jan. 13, the College Media Review asked the Student Press Law Center’s executive director, Frank D. LoMonte, to take stock of the state of free expression rights on college campuses –which, as LoMonte notes, “is a frequent source of litigation, as courts try to make sense of a shifting and sometimes muddled area of First Amendment law.”

During 2012, courts decided four particularly noteworthy cases directly bearing on the legal rights of student journalists and bloggers – including one especially significant case recognizing that the Constitution can protect advisers as well as students against retaliation by public institutions.

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When controversial coverage lands on advisers

Embattled advisers should look to alumni networks, training and legislation to protect their jobs.

By Debra Landis
University of Illinois Springfield

This year hardly had started before another college media adviser was fired following a controversy over student-managed content. Paul Isom, the student publications director at East Carolina University, lost his job after editors at the The East Carolinian newspaper published a full-frontal photo of a streaker among a series of photos on the front page. Continue reading