Readers of student media often have questions about things in the news. College journalists can provide answers using the “frequently asked questions” format.
Korie Dean, a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, specializes in FAQ stories. She’s reported and written them about topics such as COVID restrictions, health insurance and bans on outdoor burning.
“You might find yourself asking questions about a new law that’s gone into effect, a confusing term that’s related to the news of the day, a viral post on social media or just about anything else,” says Dean, a 2021 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. “Those topics make for fantastic FAQs, because they’re things people undoubtedly have questions about and will be searching (literally searching on Google — SEO is key!) for answers on.”
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%.
Community College student newspapers illustrate publishing trends
By Richard Cameron Cerritos College
What types of stories do community college student newspapers publish on their online sites in a typical semester/quarter? That was the original purposed of a content review of 46 California community college student publications conducted for the spring 2020 term.
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” Sherlock Holmes, “A Study in Scarlett” (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Of course, the spring 2020 term turned out to be anything but typical as COVID-19 caused a mid-term shutdown of campuses and a shift to remote instruction. While not intended, the bifurcated study was fortuitous in timing, however, as it appears all campuses will start a new academic year with remote instruction, indeed the whole academic year may be remote.
Slightly less than 40% of California’s 119 community colleges offer associate degrees in journalism, and an important component in those degrees requires course work on the student publication. Forty-six have online publications. The colleges offer multiple levels of enrollment in publication courses, from beginning to advanced, and nearly all combine up to four levels of courses into one newspaper staff, so the mix of experience on a given staff varies greatly from campus to campus. Continue reading “College media reporting during a tumultuous spring”
Community journalism ‘never more important’ than now
By Megan Wehring Texas State University
The Pew Research Center continues to report on declining newspaper circulation (“its lowest level since 1940”), revenue (“declined dramatically between 2008 and 2018”) and employment (“dropped by nearly half between 2008 and 2018”).
But Frank Blethen, in a Washington Post column, says, “Local journalism has never been more important or sought after.”
And longtime journalist Joyce Dehli calls local journalism “an essential force in our democracy.”
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.”
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.