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.

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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.
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When Disaster Strikes a College Community

Coping with disaster... Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.

Coping with disaster… Long Island University and Mercer County Community College. Background photo Brian Birke, Creative Commons.

Surviving Sandy, other storms and a flood–and getting the college paper out

By Carolyn Schurr Levin


One of the most important, albeit seemingly routine, tasks of a college newspaper staff is the physical act of getting the newspaper out.

MugLogo_LevinBut what happens when a crisis hits, as it did when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, only to be followed the following week by a nor’easter?

Among the college newspapers hit by Hurricane Sandy were the Pioneer, the weekly student newspaper at Long Island University Post in Brookville, N.Y., and the College Voice at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. The College Voice publishes every three weeks.

In anticipation of the forecasted strong winds and hurricane conditions, Long Island University Post cancelled all classes on Monday, Oct. 29. Administrators encouraged students who could to evacuate the dormitories and return home. Approximately 600 students remained in the dorms during the storm.

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Transitioning from the professional newsroom to the college newsroom

From professional reporters and editors to professional advisers: Veteran advisers share their stories

By Alexa Capeloto
John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY


Illustration by Colten Bradford, The UIS Journal

Illustration by Colten Bradford, The UIS Journal

Jake Lowary says he loves advising The All State student newspaper and Monocle yearbook at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. But he recalls “a definite learning curve” moving from professional newspaper reporter to college media adviser nearly two years ago.

The curve can feel steep when reporters and editors become advisers.

On one hand, working with college media can feel like a natural extension of a journalism career. You pass on all the things you learned as a journalist to future generations, and stay connected to news production via a student newspaper, online publication or broadcast station.

MugLogo_CapelotoOn the other hand, professional journalists may have far less experience developing budgets, helping students craft media bylaws and attending campus meetings as an adviser and/or faculty member rather than as a reporter covering the meetings.

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Research Spotlight: Black and White and Still Read All Over

An Examination of the State of College Newspapers in a Turbulent Time

By Lisa Lyon Payne
Virginia Wesleyan College


Abstract: This paper provides an initial investigation of the current state of the college newspapers among liberal arts schools in the southeast. An online survey using both open and closed-ended questions examines variables such as method and frequency of publication, use of advertising and online presence. Only 37.5% of respondents reported having a journalism program at their institution, and those who contributed to the student newspaper came from majors ranging from biology to philosophy. While a full 100% of respondents reported having advertising in their college newspapers, about one-third of respondents reported they did not have an online edition of the paper. Most publications were fewer than 10 pages and did have a faculty adviser to the publication. Of the schools that participated, a majority said there is no class credit associated with their publications. Also of interest, just more than half of respondents stated staff writers receive some form of compensation for their contributions to the publication; where this compensation comes from varies.

MugLogo_PayneIntroduction

What do Twitter, the iPad and a campus newspaper have in common? Current literature suggests that all three are a preferred communication choice for many of today’s college students (The Washington Times, March 8, 2012). Despite the slow and agonizing decline of traditional newspapers, research indicates that even in this modern, wireless world of communication, many college students gravitate toward the print version of their campus newspaper over an electronic version. Additionally, despite the woes of the traditional news daily, many student newspapers appear to be weathering the storm with fewer economic troubles (Keller 2008, Supiano 2012).

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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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Bullying at a glance

Bullying can occur in all workplaces, including college newsrooms

Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done.

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Newsroom bullying will take tolls on students, adviser if left unchecked

Consequences of bullying are very real in workplace

By Jamie Tobias Neely
Eastern Washington University

Newsroom bullies, who may target other students out of earshot of their advisers, can be tricky to spot.

But the consequences of bullying, such as increased absenteeism and turnover, are not. An adviser who ignores newsroom bullies risks hampering student learning, damaging the quality of the publication and even hindering his or her own career.

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The Red & Black: The making of a student media revolution

The move from daily print to digital impacts advertisers, readers and, most of all, students

By Ed Morales
University of Georgia

The Red & Black: The Next Generation

Dynamic shifts sometimes find roots in the oddest of places, so the genesis of The Red & Black‘s move to a digital-first format can trace back to a summer night when an athletic director was caught red-handed with a pair of women’s underwear resting in his lap.

It was an early Thursday in the summer of 2010 when Damon Evans, then the athletic director at the University of Georgia, was pulled over in Atlanta and charged with driving under the influence. With him in the car when the arresting trooper approached the driver’s side window was a young woman who was not his wife, her red panties in his lap.

The news broke at 6 a.m., just as a weekly summer edition of The Red & Black (the paper was daily during the fall and spring semesters, weekly during the summer) hit the boxes.

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Red & Black newspaper reinvents itself as Version 2.0

Student editor: I helmed a revolution

By Rachel Bowers
University of Georgia

I walked into The Red & Black newsroom with one goal: To cover the University of Georgia football team.

But I left having helmed a media revolution, transitioning from printing a newspaper five days a week to publishing daily online, along with printing a 24- to-28-page newspaper once a week and a new monthly magazine.

Red & Black Version 2.0 (University of Georgia)

The day Ed Morales, the editorial adviser, told me The Red & Black would change from a daily publication to a weekly one, my jaw dropped.

I was standing in his office in front of him as he sat at his desk. He let the idea resonant before continuing. After a long, in-depth conversation in which Ed explained the ideas of the new website, the magazine and the weekly format, I left his office bursting at the seams with excitement. I knew what The Red & Black was going to do would be innovative. I wanted to be a part of it, in whatever role — it just so happened my role would be as editor in chief.

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