Editor’s Corner

In with the old in the new year

If you’ve been following the CMA listserv since the first of the year, you’re familiar with the case of the East Carolina University newspaper adviser who was fired after controversy over the publication of a full-frontal photo of a streaker at a Pirates home football game. And, by now, you’ve probably heard about the blunder by a community news blog managed by Penn State students whose premature reporting of the death of coaching icon Joe Paterno was picked up by national media. Continue reading

Funding issues and independence

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

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

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

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

Research Spotlight: Media advisory board — friend or foe?

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