Student and professional journalists dealing with restrictions on sports coverage

By Frank D. LoMonte
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center


Fueled by billions in television and licensing revenues, college athletic departments are increasingly stiff-arming journalists by restricting access to practices and games. Meanwhile, media industry leaders are looking for ways to respond.

MugLogo_LoMonteThe start of football season in August 2012 brought a wave of new restrictions on journalists—professionals and students alike—who cover college athletics. Threatening to revoke press credentials or close practices, coaches at several schools, including the University of Southern California, Washington State University and the University of North Carolina, ordered journalists to refrain from reporting on player injuries observed during practices.

In recent years, colleges and athletic conferences have become increasingly assertive about controlling how media organizations use the information and images they gather at sporting events. Continue reading Student and professional journalists dealing with restrictions on sports coverage

College media considered variety of ethical questions in 2012

By Daniel Reimold, Ph.D.
University of Tampa


Who owns the content published by campus media: the outlets that publish it or the students who create it?  What should you do when sources want to review their quotes?  What are the ethics of email interviewing?  And how do you determine when content is controversial or graphic enough that readers deserve a warning?

MugLogo_ReimoldThroughout the past calendar year, the student press faced these ethical questions and a number of others.  Some were especially intense.  Others were multimedia-specific.  And still others played out in real time.

The quandaries, debates and ultimate decisions serve as potential roadmaps for other student staffers and advisers who may deal with similar dilemmas in 2013.

In that spirit, here is a sampling of student press ethical scenarios or decisions in 2012 worth mulling over.  The bottom line: In each case, with the facts presented, how would you respond? Continue reading College media considered variety of ethical questions in 2012

Live-blogging: A way to engage students, readers

A Case Study From Texas

By Sarah Maben and Dan Malone


Editor’s Note: Today’s college students probably expect immediacy more than any generation before them. Live-blogging by college media can help meet such expectations. It can also be a means for attracting readers, who enjoy feeling as if they are part of an unfolding story, according to Sarah Maben and Dan Malone, assistant professors in the Department of Communication Studies at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Malone is the adviser for Texas News Service, Texan TV News and Cross Timbers Trails magazine. Maben mentors student journalists and serves with Malone on the student publication board. Here, they describe Tarleton State student journalists’ forays into live-blogging, what occurred, and what might be next for live-blogging by student journalists at Tarleton State.

Once the Texas News Service began using a live-blogging system, more student journalists volunteered to cover events. Continue reading Live-blogging: A way to engage students, readers

Florida A&M officials announce new adviser for spring semester 2013, say they didn’t censor

The Famuan situation

By Debra Chandler Landis
Managing Editor, College Media Review
Student Publications Adviser, University of Illinois Springfield


Florida A&M University officials insist they weren’t censoring student journalists when they postponed publication of The Famuan for two weeks the month of January 2013 and required student editors who thought they had jobs for spring semester to reapply.

The decision to take these actions, university officials told the College Media Review and other media and media law organizations, stemmed from a libel suit filed in December 2012 against The Famuan and the university. The suit, brought by Keon Harris, says, in part, that the student newspaper wrongly reported that he had been suspended from Florida A&M because of his involvement with the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Continue reading Florida A&M officials announce new adviser for spring semester 2013, say they didn’t censor

Legal Issues: Florida A& M and The Famuan

Q&A with Student Press Law Center

The College Media Review’s Debra Landis asked Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, to weigh in on censorship and libel in the wake of a series of actions by Florida A&M in January involving the student newspaper, The Famuan. Among other things, the university temporarily halted publication, required editors who thought they had jobs for spring 2013 to reapply for their jobs, removed the editor-in-chief who had served in the top position fall semester 2012 and hired another student instead.

Asked how college media can avoid censorship, LoMonte says, “Getting your facts rights is the cheapest censorship insurance you can buy.” Continue reading Legal Issues: Florida A& M and The Famuan

Study Abroad offers journalism students unique opportunities

As globalization becomes an increasingly important part of modern life, universities are launching study-abroad programs in ever more remote and exotic destinations

Cambodia1

Editor’s Note: The main focus of this issue is study abroad, highlighted by this and another article by CMR Vice President Rachele Kanigel.  Kanigel is the executive director of   ieiMedia, an organization sponsoring journalism study abroad opportunities this summer in Italy, France, Turkey, Israel and Northern Ireland.

By Rachele Kanigel


In a rural province of Cambodia, a broadcast journalism student from California State University, Fullerton shoots video of a blind man being fitted with a prosthetic hand, a replacement for the appendage that was shot off in the 1970s when he was fleeing the Khmer Rouge.

Continue reading Study Abroad offers journalism students unique opportunities

Sláinte! Learning community journalism in rural Ireland

Getting the story in Ireland

By Andrea Breemer Frantz, Ph.D. and Lindsey Wotanis, Ph.D.


Photo 3
(Credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood University): Elysabethe Brown (Marywood University) stays behind to capture a shot at Staigue Fort while Molly Boylan (Marywood University) walks ahead.

In his book Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local, Jock Lauterer notes, “Few institutions of higher education offer classes called ‘Community Journalism.’”

This is especially true for the small journalism programs struggling to offer comprehensive curricula with too few hands and too many demands from an industry in mid-reboot.

Thus, according to Lauterer, journalism school graduates are “largely untrained and totally unprepared” for what they will likely face in their first jobs.

But as he and others have suggested, it comes down to this: It’s the story, stupid. And in that concept of “story” we also know it’s about reporters immersing in community to see its issues and experiences through the lens of those who live them.

The challenge lies in helping students, who are inherently transient, to define themselves as part of a community, even if temporarily.  Through a study abroad opportunity in Ireland, American journalism students did just that: immersing themselves in local Irish culture to report for a village’s annual publication.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Combining study abroad and undergraduate research

Make it a double

By Robert Bergland


While combining reporting and study abroad is an excellent way to enhance students’ skills while increasing their understanding of the world, combining research with study abroad is yet another way to double the educational value of a trip to another country.

acroplis4Study abroad and undergraduate research are often considered two separate facets of applied learning. However, they can be very compatible, and combining them can enhance the learning experience for both activities. For the students enrolled in Spring 2010 in Global Journalism Research, a special topics class offered for the first time at Missouri Western State University, that combination led to an experience they will not soon forget. The goals were simple:

  • to expose students to media systems in other countries
  • to teach students about mass communication research methods
  • to have students undertake full-fledged, publishable-quality research projects
  • to have as many students as possible present their research findings at an international conference Continue reading Combining study abroad and undergraduate research

Journalism Study Abroad Programs

Providing an international perspective

J460: Reporting on HIV/AIDS in AfricaMany journalism schools offer study-abroad opportunities, which may include year- or semester-long exchange programs or shorter-term faculty-led trips.

These journalism programs are open to students from any school:

Continue reading Journalism Study Abroad Programs

Contagion: Viral Articles in Student Media

Media phenomenon is both misunderstood and under theorized

 By Holly-Katharine Johnson, M.F.A.
Professor of English and New Media
Mercer County Community College


Abstract: How does the viral media phenomenon add complexities to the obligations of student journalism and what demands does it place on student reporters and on college media advisers? To get at that question we must first establish a working definition of “viral article” as applied to online content, and then try to understand what kinds of articles go viral and why. Case studies will point up the benefits and the problematic outcomes of viral student reporting, allowing for a detailed analysis of the strategies college media advisers can use to assist students in anticipating and handling viral content.

“There is always an innate human urge to put something out there and see what people are going to make of it. We are doing exactly the same thing as the guys who were painting on caves.”

-Lee Clow from Art & Copy

Continue reading Contagion: Viral Articles in Student Media