Welcome to the launch of the web-only version of College Media Review, the flagship publication of the newly-dubbed College Media Association, Inc., itself the new moniker for the organization formerly known as College Media Advisers since 1983 and founded as the National Council of College Publications Advisers way back in 1955. Judging by that pattern, we brace for another name change around 2039. But by any name, we’re the largest organization of college media advisers in the country, and role of College Media Review remains the same.This edition is the latest transformation of the publication, which is launching to an all-digital format to save print costs and, in a sense, to practice what we and our colleagues are preaching and teaching.
We recognize the new and expansive storytelling opportunities this form allows us. As much as we are proud of our print product, it was limited to just that and, in an age of multimedia storytelling, left us strapped to tell the stories in the most compelling manner.
The irony of that in a college media publication does not evade us.
While the magazine has stayed abreast of the seismic shifts in the digital and social media landscapes in recent years, we’ve been limited to reporting about them with text, photos and screen captures. Our move to a digital format opens the screen for our contributors, particularly those whose worlds revolve around online and broadcast media, to better tell their stories and define the issues that face our industry. This issue of College Media Review probably won’t look like the next one — we’re still tinkering in the short term with what we’re going to offer and how we’re going to do it. We’re also taking the long view in how we’re going to expand CMR develop it as a resource for research.
So, keep reading.
This edition includes a report from Daniel Reimold on the pressures facing terrestrial college radio stations as universities, more and more, pursue the sale of FCC licenses to the highest bidder. And Pat Lauro delves into the nebulous territory of social media policy when it comes to separating the coverage of news from commentary. The lines sometimes seem to blur when it comes to advisers’ social media relationships with students; Lauro offers some guidance in sorting that out, too. Reimold switches from radio to film when he interviews the Christopher Newport University staff and reviews its documentary of The Collegiate Times‘ coverage of mass homicides on its Virginia Tech campus in 2007.
From the standpoint of peer-reviewed research, Cliff Brockman, Bob Bergland and Dave Hon offer readers, in their 2011 Ken Nordin Award for Research study, analysis of some of the best college news websites, what makes them tick and how we all might learn from their successes. Also, Douglas Swanson reports from his peer-reviewed research that peer mentoring may kill two birds with one stone: journalism students seem to prefer it over traditional advising methods and it provides additional resources to advisers.
With all the changes, there remain some fixed points in this newest version of College Media Review. It depends on your readership, and it is a platform for an examination of issues that impact our profession. We want to want to hear from you.
Robert Bohler, Editor