Funding issues and independence

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Dependence on student fees for media operating budget creates instant conflict of interest

By Debra Landis
University of Illinois Springfield

The scene seems surreal: Journalists asking politicians for money to help keep their operations going.

That is exactly what happens in U.S. institutions of higher education when the leaders of college publications that depend on student fees to augment newspaper operations are required to appear before student government groups to ask for money. Continue reading Funding issues and independence

When controversial coverage lands on advisers

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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 When controversial coverage lands on advisers

Memoir: “I wanted to ask you a question about a story I’m reporting on.”

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One new adviser navigates his uncharted territory into media advising at a private school.

By Robert L. Kaiser
Canisius College

The first sign I was destined for a strange relationship with Canisius College’s athletics program came at 8:48 on a sub-freezing, snow-encrusted Buffalo night in mid-February 2011, when the college’s mascot — a mutant creature straight out of Greek mythology — connected with me through social media. Continue reading Memoir: “I wanted to ask you a question about a story I’m reporting on.”

Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

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Student media advisers give high marks for priorities, performance of publication boards

By LEI XIE and JAMES SIMON
Fairfield University

Abstract – College journalists often have their work evaluated by campus Media Advisory Boards. Student editors complain some boards have used their oversight role to censor or indirectly exert control over the print or broadcast product. This exploratory study seeks to determine how often Media Advisory Boards exist and what factors correlate with a school having such a board.  This study, based on a national survey of members of the College Media Advisers organization (N = 157), is designed to provide baseline data on such questions as how boards differ in title and size, what characteristics of a school help explain differences in the composition of a board, and what are the most common functions of a board. The results can be useful to schools considering creation of such a board, to schools examining the operations of their current board, and to various constituencies – student editors, journalism faculty, administrators – involved with the student press. Continue reading Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

Joining the Click: College Media Review now digital only

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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. Continue reading Joining the Click: College Media Review now digital only

Research spotlight: Top student news websites share multimedia, interactive features

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As college budgets become tighter and news consumer habits change, all eyes are on how student media is adapting to changes. This study of student news websites that sit in the Pacemaker Winners’ Circle describes the features that push them to the front of the pack in multimedia, interactivity and content management.

Continue reading Research spotlight: Top student news websites share multimedia, interactive features

Research spotlight: Peer-to-peer mentoring works in the college newsroom

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Student journalists crave feedback on their work, but it doesn’t always have to come from their advisers. This study shows peer-to-peer mentoring positively impacts the students who participate and brings time-strapped advisers some relief as duties change.

Continue reading Research spotlight: Peer-to-peer mentoring works in the college newsroom

Filmmakers document how Virginia Tech’s newspaper coped with horrific tragedy

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By DANIEL REIMOLD, the University of Tampa

“Documenting Disaster” is a must-see film for student journalists and their advisers.  The 45-minute documentary, the work of four very recent graduates of Christopher Newport University, offers a glimpse into the newsroom of The Collegiate Times, the student newspaper at Virginia Tech, in the immediate aftermath of the April 2007 shootings. Continue reading Filmmakers document how Virginia Tech’s newspaper coped with horrific tragedy

Social media use forces the question: Where do you draw the ethics line in the cloud?

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By PAT WINTERS LAURO

The Journalists Code of Ethics has long been a bible for reporters, but following its rules in the world of social media is complicated. In a breaking story, do you re-Tweet important information without confirmation? What about the sticky matter of personal online identities?  These are the kinds of questions leading college media outlets to address ethics guidelines specifically for social media.
Continue reading Social media use forces the question: Where do you draw the ethics line in the cloud?

To friend or not to friend: Buddying up with students on social media is up to you

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By PAT WINTERS LAURO

To friend or not to friend your students?

The answer, says Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, is that it’s your call.

In high school, where students are under the age of 18, it’s generally accepted that teachers should not “friend” students on Facebook or any other social media site.  However, in college, where most are of legal age, it comes down to preference. Continue reading To friend or not to friend: Buddying up with students on social media is up to you