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Humor us -- take steps to prevent comedy from becoming tragedy

(02/26/11 1:00pm)

“Dying is easy – comedy’s hard.” The origin of the Hollywood aphorism is murky, but its truth is undeniable.April 15 may be America's annual day of dread, but for those who advise student publications, it's April 1 -- the day that hundreds of Sara Silverman wannabes find out that they're much less funny than they think they are.Student journalists at Columbia University got off to an early start this year.


Peabody Award-winning NPR feature on campus sexual assault provides a road map for college journalists

(04/03/11 4:46pm)

The inability of campus disciplinary systems to deal adequately with sexual-assault cases has been a subject of intense media scrutiny. Rarely has the story been told with as much depth and effectiveness as in NPR's series, "Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes," in which multiple student victims came forward and told their stories on the record, putting their voices on-air and their faces online to dramatize the frequency with which forced sex goes unpunished. On Thursday, the producers of the "Seeking Justice" series were honored with one of 39 Peabody Awards, perhaps the most prestigious award in all of broadcasting, presented annually by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The series explores the impact on victims -- some of whom end up dropping out of school to avoid contact with their attackers -- when a student conduct system that was never designed to handle serious criminal offenses deals out little-to-no punishment. It also highlights -- for victims and for journalists -- the availability of a little-known resource, the U.S.


College radio stations declare "moment of silence" to mark the "death" of independent student voices on the airwaves

(04/27/11 5:17pm)

Critics sometimes bemoan the "sameness" of programming across the over-the-air radio dial, but for one minute on Thursday, listeners truly will hear exactly the same thing whether they are in Missouri or Maryland or Michigan: The sound of silence. Not the Simon and Garfunkel classic, either.


SUNY-Brockport editor wins SPJ recognition for weathering intimidation

(07/19/11 9:34am)

A New York college editor who kept up his fight for public records from a hostile student government that threatened him with legal action has won a national First Amendment prize recognizing his tenacity. The Society of Professional Journalists named Bill Matthias the winner of its annual Robert D.G.


Marshall student journalists honored for persistence in pursuing police records

(08/03/11 5:39pm)

Two college journalists at West Virginia's Marshall University have won the Society of Professional Journalists' prestigious "Sunshine Award" for exposing the existence of an off-the-books set of campus police reports separate from the ones made available for public review. The SPJ will recognize Samantha Turley and Marcus Constantino for a series of October 2010 stories in their campus newspaper, The Parthenon, documenting that the Marshall University Police Department selectively withheld some crime reports from a log provided to student journalists. The existence of "off-the-books crimes" came to light as journalists from The Parthenon inquired into widespread rumors about a sexual assault in a campus dorm (a complaint that police ultimately decided they lacked the evidence to pursue). Any report to police of a serious crime such as rape should show up in the daily crime log available for public inspection, but the log provided to The Parthenon made no mention of it. Turley and Constantino will receive their award at SPJ's national convention Sept.



Report: The road to journalism's future runs straight through college campuses

(11/06/11 9:30pm)

Students aren't the future of journalism. They're the present. That's the bottom line of a report from the New America Foundation, a public-policy think-tank chaired by Google's Eric Schmidt that includes prominent journalistic thinkers such as The Atlantic's James Fallows among its leadership. The report, "Shaping 21st Century Journalism," concludes that America's 483 (or so) journalism schools must fill the gap left by dwindling professional news staffs by refocusing their efforts on the creation of content for public consumption.


Western Washington University senators reject proposal on newspaper archive 'takedowns'

(11/10/11 6:56pm)

The student senate at Western Washington University on Wednesday voted down a resolution designed to compel student media to change online archives if alumni found content that damaged their professional reputation. Last week, the student senate heard from members of WWU’s student media arguing the proposal infringed on their First Amendment rights and was otherwise ineffective because student government does not oversee student publications. Of 11 senators, none voted for the proposal.


BREAKING: Univ. of Wisconsin – Milwaukee newspaper announces lawsuit against former student government officials for theft

(12/11/11 10:56pm)

Student journalists at The UWM Post at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee announced late Sunday they plan to sue two former student government officials, alleging they participated in the theft and destruction of 800 copies of the newspaper in November October. In a news story, the paper said it's own investigation revealed former Student Association President Alex Kostal directed his office manager to steal the newspapers.




Hundreds rally for Bridgewater State columnist attacked over gay marriage editorial

(02/23/12 1:47pm)

It’s not often a student journalist is targeted with violence over something they’ve written. It’s even rarer for an entire school to rally behind them. Bridgewater State University student journalist Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, who wrote a pro-gay marriage editorial last week, was allegedly assaulted over her opinion piece.




The joke is on these college editors -- offensive April Fool's humor can backfire, badly

(04/07/12 12:37pm)

T.S. Eliot was right. April is the cruellest month -- if you're the editor of a college newspaper.Like the blooming of cherry blossoms and the return of the robins, April reliably brings the painful and entirely unnecessary self-destruction of some student journalists' careers, when attempts at April Fool's humor go horribly wrong.Each year, parody editions of campus newspapers push the boundaries of good taste -- and occasionally, good judgment.





Seattle college paper returns to print four years after censorship controversy

(06/15/12 3:17pm)

Four years after its print edition was canceled, The New City Collegian is back in business — for one day, at least. On Tuesday, the student newspaper at Seattle Central Community College published its first print edition since 2008, when it found itself at the center of a national censorship debate that resulted in the elimination of all funding for the newspaper and the resignation of the faculty adviser. The newspaper has been operating as an online-only publication since that time.