Survey: College media continue despite pandemic

‘State of College Media’ survey results.

Special to College Media Review

Ninety-four percent of college media outlets continued production during the COVID-19 pandemic amid campus shutdowns and restructuring operations to work virtually, according to the results of CMA’s 2020 benchmarking survey.

The fourth annual “State of College Media” survey provides a snapshot of what college media operations face and also identifies industry trends. Approximately 135 CMA members nationwide completed the survey, which was distributed electronically on June 4, 2020.

The survey was sent to all 635 CMA members. This yielded a 44% open rate and a 34% click through rate. A follow-up reminder on June 16 had a 41% open rate and a 20% click through rate. Results were released on June 26, 2020. With a total of 135 members participating, the overall response rate is 21%.

Continue reading “Survey: College media continue despite pandemic”

Shoot-out participants continue despite COVID-19

11 photojournalists document city in crisis

Everything was pretty much ready to go for this spring’s Shoot-out in New York City. Then, as with so many other things, along came COVID-19 and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York issued a ban on meetings of more than 500 people.

“The spread of this coronavirus is not going to stop on its own, and we know that mass gatherings have been hotspots for the virus to infect large numbers of people quickly,” Cuomo said.

Under the guidance announced by Cuomo, most gatherings of more than 500 people were banned, including the College Media Association conference.

“Mr. Cuomo’s decision to limit gatherings of more than 500 people was an especially heavy blow to the theater industry, a crown jewel of New York City’s tourist trade. Last season, the industry drew 14.8 million patrons and grossed $1.8 billion,” according to an article in The New York Times March 12.

Quickly, the conference evolved and Saturday sessions, including the critique of the Photo Shoot-out led by Jack Zibluck, were moved to Friday. Otherwise, it continued as normal with 11 participants. Continue reading “Shoot-out participants continue despite COVID-19”

The Big Story: Uncharted territory

Pepperdine group
Students at the March 12 impromptu banquet, one-day after university officials announced they were moving to remote classes for the remainder of the semester.

College newsrooms shift focus amid coronavirus pandemic concerns

By Elizabeth Smith and Courtenay Stallings
Pepperdine University

“This is big.” That was the reaction of Graphic News Editor James Moore when Pepperdine University announced seven weeks ago the suspension of its international program in Shanghai, China, as COVID-19 spread across Asia. Over the next six weeks, as the virus spread across the world, the university eventually suspended all seven of its international programs and closed the Malibu campus, moving to all-remote instruction. James was right— it was big.

Over the past few weeks, university presidents have announced campus closures in rapid succession. While these closures pose unprecedented challenges for classrooms and campuses, they are uncharted territory for student newsrooms, too.

Continue reading “The Big Story: Uncharted territory”

Research (Vol. 57): Social Media Use and Yearbooks

How award winners deploy social media

By Robert Bergland

Northwest Missouri State University

Abstract: The Internet and social media have transformed all college media outlets, and the yearbook is no exception. But, while there have been some studies on the impact of these technologies on commercial and college newspapers, yearbooks have not received such scrutiny. This study of award-winning yearbooks attempts to shed light on how yearbooks are using social media to promote their events, their staffs and their content. Using the 22 yearbooks that have been named a finalist in the major competitions in the last three years, this paper examines the number of followers, the number of posts, the content of these posts and the follower response to those posts during the fall 2018 semester. Continue reading “Research (Vol. 57): Social Media Use and Yearbooks”

Washington Post editor: Press exists to hold government accountable

‘Important time for journalism in this country’

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

When Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron spoke to a crowd of hundreds of college journalists at the National College Media Convention, sponsored by the College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press, he was rather unassuming. For a man who has worked for the Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times and who has been portrayed in the movie Spotlight for leadership at the Boston Globe and coverage of the Boston Catholic sexual abuse scandal that earned the Globe a Pulitzer Prize in 2003, he seemed rather quiet.

But that’s just on the surface.

When it comes to standing up to the president of the United States or for the First Amendment, Baron is far from unassuming.

Baron acknowledged from the outset to a crowd of hundreds of college journalists, “This is a really important time for journalism in this country. Obviously our profession has come under assault primarily from this White House down the road, and so we have to be thinking a lot about what our profession is all about and what our role is in a democracy. We find ourselves having to defend ourselves in a way that we haven’t had to do in quite some time.”

Still, he saved his punchline for the end — truth and facts do not depend on someone’s opinion, who holds the most power or what’s the most popular. Continue reading “Washington Post editor: Press exists to hold government accountable”

(Research Vol. 56) Posting, Tweeting, Instagraming

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). Continue reading “(Research Vol. 56) Posting, Tweeting, Instagraming”

Student photojournalists document ‘city that never sleeps’

Photo Shoot highlights NYC Convention

When the photojournalists gathered in a dank room in New York City, they really didn’t know what to expect. Every year, the Photo Shoot-out is a little different. A different theme. Different contestants. And the city is just never the same. Every day is a bit different from the day before.

This year, the theme  — “The city that never sleeps” — gave students the option to find something new that told a piece of the story.

Jim McNay, former director of the visual journalism program at Brooks Institute of Photography, said, “These students showed considerable variety in what they were able to photograph around New York City. They really ‘worked the subject’ and captured a wide range of life.”

But it wasn’t easy. Continue reading “Student photojournalists document ‘city that never sleeps’”

CMANYC19 goes beyond ‘how to’ to ask ‘how do we’

College Journalists convene in New York

By Carol Terracina-Hartman
For College Media Review

The College Media Association conference in New York City — #CMANYC19 — offers standard broad range of workshops, on-site publication critiques with a professional for student staffs, and tours of professional media outlets beginning March 6.

And this year’s lineup of speakers is anything but standard, reaching beyond the “how to” of news production to ask, “how do we”?

Recruiting top editors from Vice, #CMANYC19 gives college media students a chance for a — not just to attend a lecture. Chat with Vice’s master brand Executive Editor Dory Carr-Harris: What is her vision for Vice? What are the struggles? and accomplishments?

Vice.com is arguably one of the greatest successes of new media: How do the editors target their audience? How do writers build credibility? How does new media grab old readers?

Managing Editor Rachel Shallom heads up the biweekly newsletter, The Cohort, focusing on women in digital leadership. She also curates a newsletter featuring news and moves in digital journalism.

Continue reading “CMANYC19 goes beyond ‘how to’ to ask ‘how do we’”

Publisher focuses on telling the truth, all aspects of the truth

Jeff Light
Jeff Light delivers the opening keynote address at the Associated Collegiate Press national convention in La Jolla, California, Feb. 28. Photo by Bradley Wilson

Fundamentals at the core of doing good work

Jeff Light, publisher and editor of the San Diego Union-Tribune, started off his talk reminding the 200-or-so students and instructors of the fundamentals, of the first-order rules.

  • Always write the headline first. It focuses the mind.
  • Always go to the scene of the crime.
  • Spell the names right. Be accurate in every detail.
  • Tell it straight.

These fundamentals, he said, help us do a good job of finding out what’s really going on.

“Listen to the voice of people who have something to say about it. Be open-minded about presenting all the points of view in a favorable light.”

As a former investigate reporter, he should know. Mark Witherspoon, editorial adviser at the Iowa State Daily, said it was precisely this background that made his talk interesting.

“The first thing I was impressed with was that Jeff Light was an investigative reporter that is now publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune. That doesn’t happen that often,” Witherspoon said.

Continue reading “Publisher focuses on telling the truth, all aspects of the truth”

Videolicious: It does one thing…

videolicious class
My classic selfie in Louisville with the 9 a.m. Videolicious class.

… but Videolicious does it really well

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

My session on Videolicious was at 9 a.m. on Friday, on a cold and drizzly day in Louisville. I expected about five people to show up. After all, Videolicious has been around for a while. Either you’ve heard of it and are using it. Or you haven’t heard of it and don’t care.

When I got to the room, there were already five people. Perfect.

Then five more. And five more. And, before you know it, there are about 25 people there. So much for a hands-on demonstration. But we tried. And we played.

I believe it when the folks at Videolicious say, “Video is the most popular content in the world.” And it’s growing. Continue reading “Videolicious: It does one thing…”