Editor’s note: Print still lives; Nordin Award modified

Print is dead.  Long live print!

The decision by the CMA Board to move College Media Review to an online-only publication in 2011 was a difficult one. As with the publications we advise that are moving to online-first or online-only models, the combination of cost factors and the ability to serve readers with a more timely, converged distribution model weighed into the decision.

MugLogo_BerglandThanks to the efforts of Associate Editor Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, Managing Editor Debbie Landis and Webmaster Bill Neville, the change in distribution method has not resulted in a drop off in quality.  As evidenced by the many fine topical articles and an excellent, Nordin award-winning research article by Holly-Katharine Johnson in this edition, the journal continues to provide very useful and informative pieces.

But, the online-only model does have the potential to have a negative influence on college media research, a concern raised by both readers and contributors. With some administrators and promotion/tenure review committees discounting research published in online journals, it’s understandable that some authors—even CMA members—would choose to first submit their college media research to print journals instead of CMR.

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Research Spotlight: Black and White and Still Read All Over

An Examination of the State of College Newspapers in a Turbulent Time

By Lisa Lyon Payne
Virginia Wesleyan College


Abstract: This paper provides an initial investigation of the current state of the college newspapers among liberal arts schools in the southeast. An online survey using both open and closed-ended questions examines variables such as method and frequency of publication, use of advertising and online presence. Only 37.5% of respondents reported having a journalism program at their institution, and those who contributed to the student newspaper came from majors ranging from biology to philosophy. While a full 100% of respondents reported having advertising in their college newspapers, about one-third of respondents reported they did not have an online edition of the paper. Most publications were fewer than 10 pages and did have a faculty adviser to the publication. Of the schools that participated, a majority said there is no class credit associated with their publications. Also of interest, just more than half of respondents stated staff writers receive some form of compensation for their contributions to the publication; where this compensation comes from varies.

MugLogo_PayneIntroduction

What do Twitter, the iPad and a campus newspaper have in common? Current literature suggests that all three are a preferred communication choice for many of today’s college students (The Washington Times, March 8, 2012). Despite the slow and agonizing decline of traditional newspapers, research indicates that even in this modern, wireless world of communication, many college students gravitate toward the print version of their campus newspaper over an electronic version. Additionally, despite the woes of the traditional news daily, many student newspapers appear to be weathering the storm with fewer economic troubles (Keller 2008, Supiano 2012).

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