(Research Vol. 56) Posting, Tweeting, Instagraming

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Examining the Social Media Linking College Media to ‘Home’

Carol Terracina-Hartman
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Robert G. Nulph
Missouri Western State University

ABSTRACT: Successful college media programs, when judged against their peers, are located in academic departments with faculty-level advisors (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2013; Kopenhaver 2015). This study aims to examine communication practices and messages of universities and academic departments that promote these top college media outlets using social media tools. Which is preferred: Facebook or Instagram for celebrating an award? Does a university tag a student newspaper? Or does the department take the lead in announcing? Or does a college newspaper post its good news, tag its home institution, and then academic departments and colleges like, share, retweet, repost and tag? Perhaps the institution, department, and/or student media outlet chooses none of these, making them virtually invisible? The posts – whether celebratory, recruiting, spotlighting an alum, or introducing editors – enhance not only visibility for the college media program, but also produce a level of association between student media and their home institutions.

Scholars increasingly have documented dialogic principles of university systems with potential students in recent years, finding that first impressions persist, influencing the opinions of those applicants who later become first-year students throughout their years on campus (Aquilani and Lovari 2009; Gordon and Berhow 2009).  Additional research finds that much web communication targets donors, alums, and research-granting agencies before addressing student or potential student audiences (Hewitt and Forte 2009; Will and Callison 2006). Yet highlighting student achievement through the web can be a key mark of visibility for any student program and critical to department recruitment (Kent and Taylor 1998).

Prior research looked at visibility and presence between college media and their home institutions (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2016). This study goes deeper, examining the type of communication, for what, and when it occurs. Analysis of the top 20 award-winning programs indicates low levels of visibility and of association: most media outlets are identified as “professional-level opportunity” with a hyperlink and first references are three clicks from a department webpage (21.43 percent). For award honors, a university posts a press release in “News,” often with a submitted photo, but rarely with tags or hyperlink to the news outlet (28.57 percent). Occasionally, these honors are posted on the college or department’s homepage, (9.52 percent) but the treatment is the same: no tags, no URL. Conversely, the news outlets post a Tweet to their feed and often share to Facebook their award photos with tags to their news outlets and the organization honoring them (16 percent). With the association to their university quite clear, college media organizations could use these results as confirming a need for to build two-way relationship in association and visibility.

Keywords: College Media, Visibility, University, Internet, Social Media

INTRODUCTION

Social media offer organizations powerful tools to spread their messages and connect with individuals uniting around a common purpose and goals. The use of social media is no longer limited to simple interactions and announcements; research indicates users anticipate and expect specific features, which heavily influences first impressions (McAllister-Spooner 2008). Additionally, these initial impressions are lasting and carry a persistent digital impression.  Social media usage then has become more than a casual, leisure activity for most users; it becomes a tool for building a relationship.

In addition to interaction, entertainment and information, social media have developed into a powerful tool for marketers, advertisers and public relations professionals (Lewis 2010).  Given their heavy web access and social media usage, college students represent a nearly boundless consumer base for these professionals.  Social media outlets allow targeted marketing and advertising.  Students who use social media as a top news source agree that public relations and advertising professionals should measure and analyze content about what is being communicated about them on social media sites (Lewis 2010).

The popularity of social media grows daily: YouTube is the second most visited website (global and U.S.); Facebook is a close third, Twitter posts at number eight, and Instagram at number 11 (Alexa 2018). These are strong options for connecting – not only between individuals, but also between people and organizations (Briones, Kuch, Liu, and Jin 2011).

Among academic institutions, social media offer options for spreading their messages to present, past, and future network members. This communication tool presents the possibility to expand the institution’s social network by applying messages of visibility and association.

Throughout an academic year, many organic opportunities occur to promote or highlight college media events or activities, e.g., kickoff meeting and/or recruitment, first edition or broadcast, conference attendance, awards announcements. Such announcements would be expected to be highly visible among the department news, websites, and perhaps university homepages – similar to announcements of student accomplishments in athletics, science and the arts (Griffith and Liyange 2008).

Therefore, this study explores the nature of the relationship between college media and their home institutions and whether it is expanding in visibility and association as the emergence of social media permits colleges and academic departments to communicate in ways that are increasingly familiar to the millennial generation.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

Social Media

Research on social media is an active area, yet the method is still under development as scholars debate its precise approach. Treem and Leonardi suggest this lack of development extends to thin theory development as well (2013).  “Many studies of social media use provide insights about a specific tool, in a particular organizational context, but they do not develop theory about the consequences of social media use for organizing” (Treem and Leonardi 2013, 145).

These authors offer four theoretical principles for which social media usage can alter organizational processes of communication, two of which are visibility and association. Prior literature notes social media have an ability to boost visibility with regards to both information and behaviors, which leads to unique consequences (Boyd et al. 2010; Grudin 2006). One primary characteristic is the presentation of content communally, which means that posts, likes, updates, tags are all available, easily located, and viewable for other employees. Treem and Leonardi (2013) report their concept of visibility is linked to the “amount of effort people must expend to locate information” (150); therefore, they argue social media likely can provide users two-way interactions to make once-invisible knowledge, preferences, and connections visible. If people don’t know information is available or information is not easily accessible, research shows they are not likely to search for it (Brown and Duguid 2001).

Social media usage also permits a level of association through use of the technology. Thom-Santelli and Muller (2007) found IBM employees valued specific social media tools, such as tagging, for not only boosting their visibility but the option to attract specific audiences.  Among scholars, association is conceptualized as actor-generated, but with social media, the technology uses algorithms to generate suggestions for further associations (“you may also like” or “people you may know”). Treem and Leonardi (2013) identify three outcomes that occur with social media associations: supporting social connection; access to relevant information; and enabling emergent connection (164).

Prior literature points to social media usage support of associations (existing and new) as potentially facilitating a new community that assists employees. A study by Jackson et al. (2007) found that users viewed social media usage as a route toward association with others in the network as well as a method to further their personal networks.  Keywords, tags, likes, bookmarks and other tools indicated relationships and interactions as well as potential relationships.

Access to information, as mentioned above, needs to be visible or users won’t seek it.  Tagging tools, according to results in Thom-Santelli, Cosley and  Gay (2010), are more useful when a network presents clear associations, thus making information more visible. Users are more active when they can tag and share information to a visible network. Further, scholars have noted that users within organizations report that visible associations and visibility of content in a network offer a solid method for employees to maintain connection with what is happening in the organization (Kosonen and Kianto 2009; Zhao and Rossen 2009).

For the purposes of this study, we use Kaplan and Heinlein’s definition of social media (2010), as Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content. (62)

Additionally, we use Agichtein et al. (2008) to define social network sites:

User-generated content domains that include blogs and web forums, social bookmarking sites, photo and video-sharing communities, as well as social networking platforms such as Facebook and MySpace, which offers a combination of all of these with an emphasis on the relationships among the users of the community. (183)

With this definition then, the social network of an institution of higher learning would, of necessity, focus on the student population. Given the necessary amount and flow of communication with students, it would be natural to assume students are the first targeted population. But research says otherwise.

Will and Callison (2006) analyzed websites of 3,738 universities for content and approach, finding donors, then alumni, then current students and potential recruits are the target audiences. The content subsequently reflected this order.

Visibility

Historically housed in the study of political science, scholars would link visibility to presence and measure citizen responses to physical appearances of those seeking visibility; now, scholars characterize visibility both in organizational and issue-specific arenas.  How and whether a person appeared at an event, whether it was a scheduled news or social event, or post-crisis, such as weather or terrorism, for example, offers one option to measure visibility based upon presence and the citizen responses to these appearances.

As technology advances and communications media embrace new tools, new pathways are created for visibility; digital communication creates many options for two-way discourse.  Once seeking positioning and power through presence, the concept of visibility in recent research is examined in relation to public relations, branding, and relationship-building – essentially organizational dynamics (Yang and Kent 2014).  Thus, visibility in an organization can be as much about association as about presence.

For this study, we borrow Treem and Leonardi (2013) to operationalize visibility: “Amount of effort people must expend to locate information” (150).  We also borrow from Brunner and Boyer (2008, 152): “Uses organizational behavior to present content communally.”

Both of these studies build on Brown and Duguid (2001): “If people don’t know information is available or information is not accessible, research shows they are not likely to search for it” (150).  Additionally, we define presence with respect to association: “parties are communicating in a shared space (or place)” (Anderson 1994,  26).

College Media

Reviewing comparative research focusing on college media produces an array of findings.  Much research aims to examine a newsroom trend, such as technology usage or digital first decisions, or a specific issue, such as covering protests on campus, for a defined timeframe. Little research, however, examines relationships between home institutions and college media unless addressing funding mechanisms or censorship attempts.

Highlighting student achievement through the Web can be a key mark of visibility for any student program (Kent and Taylor 1998). For academic departments, Facebook is the departments’ preferred communication for recruitment (82 percent) and often (66 percent) accompanied by a logo (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2016). Yet, pertinent information, such as office address, via hyperlinks, rarely appeared.  For live events, such as elections, sporting events, and guest speakers, Instagram dominates (78 percent), although it is not commonly used (54 percent of messages).

Prior literature indicates most frequent Web mentions to college media appear on a department webpage and reference “professional-level setting” (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2016). Results indicated Twitter as preferred for a congratulatory message (78); however, 46 percent of those messages linked to award announcements. What’s also significant is what’s missing: proper names of the media outlet, conference name and sponsor, and award won. “So proud of our journalism students!” one university wrote, posting a photo. Who won, what did they do, and where?

METHODS

To develop a sample of collegiate media programs that display national-level success in student media competitions, the authors collected results from five years (2011–2016) of five national-level student media competitions: Associated Collegiate Press, College Media Association, College Broadcasters, Inc., Broadcast Education Association and Society of Professional Journalists.  The choice of these organizations balances broadcast, online and print college media outlets and provides depth of national student media competitions.

Analyzing five years of results from these competitions produced a dataset of 184 institutions with at least two national-level wins. The data were sorted for total number of awards with greater weight given to those institutions with fewer competitions allowing for the possibility the same work received national honors at multiple competitions. Further analysis sorted the data for first-place awards, then second, and then third, and honorable mentions. The resultant sort identified the top 20 programs across these various student media groups (Table 1) for further analysis.

TABLE 1: TOP 20 PROGRAMS

Using this information, a visibility measure was created to analyze several variables, including promotion, internship focus, award praise, recruitment, conference attendance, event coverage, alum spotlight, description of media outlets, and introduction of editors. The codebook operationalized visibility employing three measures: number of clicks to reach college media from homepage, which social media platform is used for visibility, and whether visibility includes social media tools, such as tags, retweets, reposts, likes, and others. Measurement at the department level included presence in department description (e.g., “real-world experience,” “learning lab”), awards praise, historical narrative, facilities description, or promotion of coverage (live and produced).

Using a random sample of five university homepages with at least five college media outlets, three coders plus one author conducted a pilot test. Procedures included locating the institution’s primary URL and clicking social media icons to locate posts beginning August 1, 2017. To confirm, coders also opened up the social media websites, located university accounts, and scrolled to August 1, 2017. While some universities and some departments maintain buttons to “news” or “social media” on their respective home pages, some don’t and position their social media icons at the bottom of their pages, along with contact information.

Training in pairs occurred as coders reported some difficulty identifying media outlets at some university campuses. Not all posts identify the student media outlets by name; often just “students,” “student journalists,” or even “student editors” is used. Even posts on a homepage may be devoid of clear identifying information or even a hyperlink. To allow for a possibility of chance agreement, a 2×2 reliability test was conducted, achieving an average score of .82. Two coders further coded the sample of top 20 colleges (see coding protocol in Appendix A).

Therefore, with these and many more studies as foundation, this study offers the following research questions:

  • RQ1: How visible is college media on a college homepage?
  • RQ2: How visible is college media on a department homepage?
  • RQ3: Is social media used to increase the visibility of college media?
  • RQ4: Do differences exist in how various student media outlets are presented?

RESULTS

After a visual inspection of the data, the authors ran frequencies for all variables. The results are as follows. RQ 1 asked how visible is college media on an institution homepage. Our measure captures this by tracking the number of clicks from university homepage to the first digital mention: coders found 35.56 percent of the time institutions required three clicks to first digital mention, while 64.45 percent needed 0 to 3 (with zero being on the homepage) and 35.54 percent required 4 to 6 clicks (Fig. 1).

Findings were coded for themes, marking the content of the first digital mention: the most frequent post is award recognition at 28.57 percent, with description of student media second at 21.43 percent, followed by preview of print coverage and live coverage both recording at 11.9 percent (Fig. 2).

Additionally, coders were asked to identify the type of social media tool used at the institution level; results show the most prevalent option used is blog post or E-net News, with 47.5 percent of responses, and links to media outlets following at 22.5 percent, and Facebook post third at 15 percent (Fig. 3).

RQ2 posed a similar question: how visible is college media at the department level? From the department webpage, coders needed at least four steps to reach the first digital mention of college media: 23.81 percent, followed by 3 (21.43 percent) and 1 (16.67 percent) steps respectively (Fig. 4).

Nearly half of the content in these mentions is description of student media (45.24 percent) while awards announcement follows at 28.57 percent, with recruitment and promotion of produced coverage posting at 9.52 percent (Fig. 5).

Lastly, coders analyzed website content for social media usage trends in content relating to college media. The most common tool is hyperlinks to media outlets (48.89 percent), with Twitter following at 20 percent, and blog post or E-net News third most prevalent at 17.78 percent. Facebook was the least used at 4.44 percent.

While a glance at the data set of the top 20 award-winning college media programs reveals that 10 have an undergraduate student population greater than 15,000 and thus, qualify as mid-sized or large campuses, results of the data analysis do not indicate a correlation between student population and number of awards won.

Additionally, the authors investigated whether student population correlated to social media activity with regards to the most common categories: awards, preview of content, and description of student media. The data analysis results don’t support a conclusion that population correlates to visibility, as defined in this study.

After reviewing a subsection of the data collection, which asked which social media tool appeared most commonly, results indicated that newspapers (print) used social media most often to feature descriptions of student media first (47 percent) followed by award coverage and preview of upcoming content tied at 20 percent.  TV stations, in contrast, used social media as first mentions to highlight award coverage (33 percent), followed by previews (25 percent) and internships (17 percent). The two media outlets differ in terms of how visible they are on a university homepage (see Figure 6) and what they can offer in terms of optics.

To further investigate levels of visibility and answer RQ3, which asked, “Is social media used to increase the visibility of college media,” coders confirmed the usage findings noted above with a secondary search of social media platforms. Beyond using the social media icons on the institutions’ homepages and the department’s website to examine posting content for mentions of college media outlets, coders opened the application website of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and launched searches not only for an institution’s account, but any mentions of college media that might come from an administration sub-account, such as the news office or public relations department.

Results indicate the home institutions as a whole show greater reliance on news releases posted via a “News” link on the university homepage with several rotating expanded features than posting to social media accounts and directing readers to the university homepage (76 percent). These rotating news items do not feature tagging or appear as shares or tweets on the social media accounts; therefore, it appears that using such tools is not a routine practice. To date, the communications tools available through social media platforms do not appear as part of convergence as the use of such options as sharing, tagging, tweeting, or reposting are minimal at just 24 percent for institutions and 26 percent for departments.

To further answer RQ3, coders conducted an alternate measure of searching for college media employing what many visitors to university and department webpages might do: the simple use of the “search” function. Searches for “college media,” “student media” followed up with the individual student media outlets’ names were the terms used in this order (Table 2).

TABLE 2: FINDING STUDENT MEDIA THROUGH “SEARCH” VS SOCIAL MEDIA

The results substantiated this paper’s conclusion that the lack of visibility persists even at a basic level of a user attempting to directly search for information on student media through functions designed to provide information. What is critical to note is the number of student media outlets existing at the top award-winning institutions and the number located through a direct search. It must be noted that researchers would expend greater amount of time and effort seeking this information, expecting visibility while guests to the sites, such as future students or parents of student journalists, might stop looking sooner not knowing the information existed (see for example, Kusumawati 2017; Treem and Leonardi 2013).

The final question, RQ4, asked whether individual institutions treated or presented their college media outlets differently. This question primarily is an effort to investigate how funding streams for media outlets might dictate how much association or visibility any individual student media outlet might receive. Coders report they noted no differences with respect to visibility; however, it must be noted that 19 of the top 20 programs in the dataset are located within academic departments, which may account for some degree of this consistency. Additionally, with 61.9 percent of institutions requiring three clicks to first digital mention and 38.1 requiring four-six clicks or more to first digital mention suggests a consistency in relationships between college media and “home.”

Lastly, a crosstabs and a chi-squared test of association were conducted to study whether success and visibility are associated for the programs in which coders reached first digital mention in three clicks or fewer. We report a significant interaction: (x2(1) = 129.3 P < .001.

DISCUSSION

A primary goal of this study is to further analyze the level of visibility and association between college media and their home institutions, primarily through social media and digital technology. Given the vast array of technological options available that social media adoption affords and a decade’s worth of data showing the “Internet Generation” (Diddi and  LaRose 2006) are more likely to communicate digitally when seeking information on academic institutions (Gordon and Berhow 2009), it is worthwhile to examine how programs that offer students an array of options – practical experience, competition, conference attendance, scholarships and other ways in which they can assume leadership posts and earn honors – while  students are promoted in organizational literature. The current social media technologies allow for types of visibility and presence that were nearly impossible to create in professional settings not too long ago. How they are implemented today is worthy of study for the patterns they create and the values they suggest.

With a significant interaction found between successful programs and reaching them from “home” in three clicks or fewer, a slight value of visibility and association is suggested. The possibility of intention could be measured in a further study of all mentions of student achievement, such as an automotive team win at the state fair or the debate team’s success, and analyze frequency and characteristics of posts, tags, tweets, and more associated with these news items through social media. Additional studies could compare content reporting athletic teams (advances, scores, profiles) and compare to news of students in non-athletic arenas. Clearly, such data could reveal further values about target demographic and values of promoting students. Such analyses also could assess if and how student news and achievements are used for marketing and recruitment. As prior and current literature show, a digital footprint, especially a social one, affects future students’ information gathering on university choices (e.g., Poock and Lefond 2001; McAllister-Spooner 2008; Greenwood 2012) and their impressions of universities as a whole.

Universities hosting college media outlets would do well to embrace the array of options social media usage offers and employ these tools in not only lauding student achievement, for example, but with an eye toward recruiting future students. Routine posts, such as a “share” or “retweet,” announcing a new edition to the newsracks, or an upcoming key interview on a TV or radio broadcast, would serve not only campus community with information, but also the community at large as well as build the networked community.  While student media is regarded as a proving ground for future journalists, it is viewed as a résumé builder and a “semi-realistic environment” (Nelson 1988) where future journalists learn their craft (Neidobf 2008). With such perceptions, future students, and possibly donors, would be interested to know such programs exist at any given campus. Prior studies of Twitter show the role of adding hyperlinks to a tweet has a key role in providing information, but also the association carries with it an expectation of reciprocity from other users, essentially “reciprocal linking” (Holton, Baek, Coddington, and Yaschur 2014, 33).

During data collection, the coders noted that college media outlets themselves had grown in frequency and content in social media postings since a prior study (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2016). The content promoted not only awards, conference attendance, and recruitment, but also coverage, editions hitting the newsracks, upcoming articles, specialized coverage such as protests, elections, and campus speakers, and more. Tagging, posting, tweeting, and sharing were prevalent and done fairly smoothly. What was missing were any tags or tweets to their departments or home institutions despite the fact that their coverage centered primarily on campus and campus-related events.

Perhaps it is editorial independence that prompts student media outlets not to associate with their home institutions first through social media although their mission indicates their news content focuses on campus news, such as sports, speakers, commencement, and other academic milestones. Covering the campus best and first is the primary goal; perhaps student media strive to emulate professional news outlets and give everyone a voice, rather than appearing to serve administration.

One step student media outlets can take as a whole to boost their visibility is address to transparency. Prior content studies of online editions (Hettinga, Clark, and Appelman 2016) observed a distinct trend (n = 61, or 15 percent) in the absence of identifying information, such as contact (email and phone number); publication schedule; statement of editorial independence [e.g., “This publication is a product of JRN 251 and does not reflect the opinions of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University, or the Board of Trustees”] and funding structure (if part of student affairs or an academic department) on the opinion or forum pages, and other identifying information, such as memberships. Hettinga, Clark and Appelman (2016) report this trend as consistent with results examining presence/absence of posting corrections policy specific to a digital edition. “The lack of transparency in errors and corrections, then, could be seen as part of a larger lack of transparency across the publication” (10).

LIMITATIONS / FUTURE RESEARCH

Any study of college media involves a level of complication as no two campuses share the same organizational or digital structure; thus, any attempt at scrutinizing communication for quantitative analysis involves a risk of missing or miscategorizing content.  Requiring coders to travel the same digital route to locate specific information suggests this information exists only in one path, even if it is a common one.  Such is a weakness of coding protocols that risk self-report bias.  Conducting the search for visibility variables in two formats should account for, and correct, the possibility of  missing the desired information.

A second limitation occurs when a college media outlet is barely visible at the department level.  If the only information present on a department homepage is a listing of student media opportunities with hyperlinks to the various outlets, coders took 5-6 steps to reach that location and often found nothing to mark: no hashtags, no information, no award honors, no contact information, no recruitment announcements. As the protocol listed “hyperlink” among the options of “does the department use social media with first reference to student media?” it is misleading if it’s just a hyperlink and nothing more.

As this paper was an outgrowth of two prior research projects, the results suggest persistence in attitudes and practice. A prior study of visibility (Terracina-Hartman and Nulph 2016) offered suggestions for student news outlets to incorporate social media responsibilities into staff positions and develop sound practices with regards to branding and promotion. Given the anecdotal evidence observed, that appears to be occurring. The conclusions of this paper highlight the need for universities and departments to develop strategies to incorporate the options of social media to establish relationships with student media programs and strengthen association through defined visibility efforts. Such a strategy can only benefit information sharing on current college media activities, recruitment efforts of future communications media students, maintain connections with alumni of the program, and showcase current state of the media for advisory boards and board of trustees members.


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APPENDIX A

Basic Information: Descriptives

  1. Coder
  • Carol
  • Robert
  • Justin
  • Alex
  1. Identify the institution (please select one).
  • Arizona State University
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Kent State
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Elon University
  • St. Cloud University
  • Penn State University
  • Ithaca College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Marshall University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Brigham Young University
  • Rowan University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Maryland
  • Indiana University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Montana
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
  1. Select one form of media at this campus to focus on for this survey
  • newspaper (print)
  • newspaper (online)
  • radio station
  • TV station
  • yearbook
  • magazine (print or web update)
  • web-based newsroom
  1. Campus Media name (write in name of the media institution next to appropriate institution):
  • Arizona State University
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Kent State
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Elon University
  • St. Cloud University
  • Penn State University
  • Ithaca College
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • Marshall University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Brigham Young University
  • Rowan University
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Maryland
  • Indiana University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Montana
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
  1. How many steps does it take from the university homepage to first digital mention of student media?
  2. Please indicate what is the first mention
  • award recognition
  • conference attendance
  • preview of live coverage
  • preview of print or produced coverage
  • guest speaker
  • recruitment
  • internships
  • alum spotlight
  • introduction of student editors
  • description of student media
  • anniversary / historical commemoration
  • none
  • Other (please specify)
  1. Please indicate which type of social media is used (please select one):
  • 1= Twitter (Tweet with or without Twitpic)
  • 2 = Twitter (Retweet with or without Twitpic)
  • 3 = Facebook post (with or without photo)
  • 4 = shared Facebook post
  • 5 = Instagram photo
  • 6 = blog post or E-Net news
  • 7 = hyperlinks to media outlet
  • 8 = none
  • Other (please specify)
  1. Does the mention to student media include an article from university news service?
  • 1 = Yes
  • 2 = No
  • 3 = Not sure
  1. Does the mention to student media include hash tags, tags, a URL or other form of social media association with student media?
  • 1 = Yes
  • 2 = No
  • 3 = Not sure
  1. Please locate college media in appropriate campus department. How many steps does it take to get to first digital mention?
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • more than 6
  1. Please locate college media in appropriate campus department. How many steps does it take to get to first digital mention?
  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • more than 6
  1. What is the first mention?
  • awards recognition
  • conference attendance
  • promotion of live coverage
  • promotion of produced news coverage
  • guest speaker
  • internships
  • recruitment
  • alum spotlight
  • introduction of student editors
  • description of student media outlets
  • none
  • Other (please specify)
  1. Which type of social media is used?
  • Twitter (tweet or with or without Twitpic)
  • Twitter (RT with or without Twitpic)
  • Facebook post
  • shared Facebook post
  • Instagram photo
  • blog post or E-Net news
  • hyperlinks to media outlets
  • none
  • Other (please specify)
  1. Does the mention include an article from university news services?
  • 1 = Yes
  • 2 = No
  • 3 = Not sure
  1. Does the mention to student media include a hashtag, tag, URL or any other social media tool to associate with student media
  • 1 = Yes
  • 2 = No
  • 3 = Not sure
  • Thank you!
  • Please click “Done” and loop back to record more data.

APPENDIX B

School 1st 2nd 3rd HM total # of Comps
1 Arizona State University 41 32 12 25 110 2
2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 35 32 7 16 90 4
3 Kent State 11 24 9 6 50 5
4 University of Oklahoma 6 12 10 19 47 3
5 Elon University 16 13 8 10 47 4
6 St. Cloud State University 20 10 6 6 42 2
7 Penn State 14 15 1 7 37 4
8 Ithaca College 11 24 4 4 35 4
9 Savannah College of Art and Design 10 18 2 5 35 4
10 Marshall University 8 20 3 3 34 3
11 University of Miami 8 6 7 10 31 2
12 University of Southern Indiana 7 16 3 3 29 2
13 Brigham Young University 6 9 4 9 28 2
14 Rowan University 4 20 1 2 27 2
15 University of Missouri 10 15 25 1
16 University of Maryland 9 15 1 3 24 2
17 Indiana University 5 5 3 11 24 3
18 University of Minnesota 13 10 23 2
19 University of Montana 8 12 2 1 23 2
20 University of Wisconsin OshKosh 4 17 1 22 2
21 Louisiana State University 3 16 2 21 2
22 Colorado State University 4 16 20 2
23 Goshen College 6 9 4 19 2
24 Iowa State University 2 7 1 8 18 3
25 North Carolina State (Raleigh) 10 7 3 4 17 2
26 University of Florida 5 9 1 2 17 2
27 Michigan State University 3 14 2 17 2
28 Ball State 9 3 2 2 16 2
29 Cal State Fullerton 3 2 5 6 16 2
30 University of South Dakota 3 13 16 2
31 Baker University 8 5 3 16 3
32 Western Kentucky University 3 5 1 7 16 3
33 Texas State University 4 11 15 2
34 West Virginia University 4 4 2 5 15 2
35 San Francisco State University 6 1 1 6 14 1
36 University of Georgia 3 11 5 9 14 1
37 University of Wisconsin 3 11 3 4 14 2
38 University of Arkansas 1 4 1 3 14 2
39 Appalachian State 4 1 1 1 14 3
40 Berry College 2 11 3 5 13 1
41 Baylor University 4 3 2 2 13 2
42 University of Texas at Austin 4 8 13 2
43 Minnesota State University 3 8 13 2
44 California Baptist University 2 3 13 2
45 University of Alabama 8 3 13 3
46 Northwestern University 5 7 12 1
47 Central Michigan University 5 7 12 2
48 University of California at Berkeley 6 5 11 1
49 University of Southern California 2 5 4 11 2
50 University of Texas Pan American 2 7 2 11 2
51 University of North Texas 7 1 3 11 2
52 University of California (Los Angeles) 3 8 3 11 3
53 Northwest Missouri State 2 3 2 4 11 3
54 Loyola University (Maryland) 5 5 10 1
55 Columbia College of Chicago 1 9 10 1
56 Eastern Illinois 5 2 1 2 10 2
57 James Madison University 5 2 1 2 10 2
58 Southern Illinois 1 2 2 5 10 2
59 Georgia State 1 2 3 4 10 3
60 Illinois State University 1 8 9 1
61 American University in Cairo 4 5 9 2
62 Hofstra University 2 5 1 1 9 2
63 Cal State Chico 1 3 2 3 9 2
64 Missouri Western State University 4 2 3 9 2
65 Southern Utah University 7 2 9 2
66 Syracuse University 5 3 8 1
67 Coastal Carolina University 1 4 8 1
68 North Central College 1 7 8 1
69 University of Idaho 2 1 8 1
70 Washington State University 2 4 2 8 2
71 University of Nebraska 1 1 6 8 2
72 Rice University 1 2 5 8 2
73 Westminster College 5 2 7 1
74 Saddleback College 4 3 7 1
75 University of Kansas 3 4 7 1
76 Western Washington University 2 5 7 1
77 University of Michigan 1 6 7 1
78 University of South Carolina (Columbia) 1 6 7 1
79 St. Mary’s University 1 7 1
80 Flagler University 3 2 2 7 2
81 Truman State University 3 1 3 7 2
82 University of Texas at Arlington 3 4 4 7 2
83 DePaul University 2 5 7 2
84 University of La Verne 5 1 1 7 2
85 Loyola Marymount University 3 4 4 5 7 4
86 Nanyang Technical University 2 4 6 1
87 University of Utah 2 4 6 1
88 Southeastern Louisiana University 1 5 6 1
89 University of North Florida 1 2 6 1
90 Muskingum University 6 6 1
91 University of Iowa 2 6 1
92 Northern Arizona University 3 1 1 5 1
93 Bethany Lutheran University 2 2 1 5 1
94 Fordham University 2 3 5 1
95 Husson University 2 1 1 1 5 1
96 Loyola University (New Orleans) 2 3 5 1
97 University of Mississippi 2 3 5 1
98 University of Oregon 2 3 5 1
99 George Washington University 1 4 5 1
100 Harding University 1 4 5 1
101 Mississippi State University 1 3 1 5 1
102 Missouri State University 1 2 1 1 5 1
103 Texas Christian University 1 4 5 1
104 University of Texas (Dallas) 1 1 5 1
105 University of Wisconsin Milwaukee 1 4 5 1
106 North Idaho College 5 5 1
107 Oral Roberts 1 5 1
108 Oregon State University 5 5 1
109 University of Vermont 1 5 1
110 Otterbein University 1 3 1 5 2
111 Lyndon State College 3 1 1 5 2
112 Harvard University 4 4 1
113 Humbar College 3 1 4 1
114 Taylor University 3 1 4 1
115 Metro State College of Denver 2 2 4 1
116 Palomar College 2 2 4 1
117 South Dakota State 2 4 1
118 University of Illinois 2 1 1 4 1
119 Yale University 2 2 4 1
120 Abilene Christian University 1 3 4 1
121 Bowling Green State University 1 3 4 1
122 Oakland University 1 4 1
123 Ohio University 1 3 4 1
124 Pittsburg State 1 3 4 1
125 Southwestern College (California) 1 1 4 1
126 Virginia Commonwealth University 1 3 4 1
127 Azusa Pacific University 1 3 4 1
128 Boise State University 4 1
129 Eastern Washington University 4 1
130 Evangel University 4 1
131 Johnson County Community College 4 4 1
132 Kansas State University 1 1 2 4 1
133 Lamar University 4 4 1
134 Seward County CC 4 1
135 Stony Brook University 1 1 2 4 1
136 Temple University 3 1 4 1
137 University of North Alabama 4 1
138 Virginia Tech 4 1
139 Webster University 4 1
140 Westminster College of Salt Lake 1 1 4 1
141 Robert Morris University 3 1 4 2
142 City University of New York CUNY 3 3 1
143 Ferris State University 3 3 1
144 Liberty University 3 3 1
145 Chattahoochee Technical College 2 1 3 1
146 Florida State University 2 1 3 1
147 University of Connecticut 2 1 3 1
148 University of Nebraska at Omaha 2 1 3 1
149 University of Pittsburgh 2 1 3 1
150 Indiana State University 1 2 3 1
151 SUNY Oswego 1 2 3 1
152 University of Louisiana at Monroe 1 1 1 3 1
153 Midwestern State University TX 3 3 1
154 San Antonio College 3 3 1
155 Vanderbilt University 2 1 3 1
156 Elizabethtown College 2 2 1
157 Loyola University, Chicago 2 2 1
158 Wayne State University 2 2 1
159 American University 1 1 2 1
160 Bridgewater State University 1 1 2 1
161 Cal State Longbeach 1 1 2 1
162 Cal State Northridge 1 1 2 1
163 Kennesaw State University 1 1 2 1
164 Mt. San Antonio College 1 1 2 1
165 Pacific Union College 1 1 2 1
166 Purdue University 1 1 2 1
167 Quinnipiac University 1 1 2 1
168 Texas Tech University 1 1 2 1
169 University of Tennessee at Martin 1 1 2 1
170 University of Toledo 1 1 2 1
171 Bismarck State College 2 2 1
172 Cabrina College 2 2 1
173 College of Brockport 2 2 1
174 Henderson State University 2 2 1
175 Illinois University Edwardsville 2 2 1
176 Lee University 1 1 2 1
177 Lewis University 2 2 1
178 Oklahoma City University 1 1 2 1
179 Oklahoma State University 1 1 2 1
180 San Jose State University 2 2 1
181 SUNY New Paltz 1 1 2 1
182 Texas A&M 1 1 2 1
183 University of Kentucky 2 2 1
184 University of San Francisco 2 2 1

Carol Terracina-Hartman lives in two worlds: journalism and academia. In her 20 years as an environmental journalist, she has written, edited and produced for public radio, metro and community newspapers, niche and general interest magazines. Since entering academia, she has been advising college newspapers, magazines, and helping establish campus radio stations. She teaches editing & design, investigative reporting, big data reporting, communication & public opinion, and more. In addition, she is co-Managing Editor of College Media Review. She received her doctorate from Michigan State University in Media & Information Studies. In 2018, she was honored with a Distinguished 4-Year Newspaper Adviser Award at the fall National Convention in Louisville.

Robert G. Nulph, Ph.D., is an associate professor of convergent journalism and Chair of the Department of Communication and Journalism at Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, Missouri). Dr. Nulph has been a student Media/radio/TV adviser for over 30 years with professional experience in radio, TV and film. With more than 280 productions under his belt, this award-winning producer/director/photographer is always looking for the next visual challenge. Robert’s screenplays, co-written with James Lennert, “The First Tapestry,” and “The Donut Shop” were featured in Ken Rotcop’s Pitchmart. He received his doctorate from the University of Kansas.

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