If you register on its site, Princeton Review will give you a list of schools ranked by the quality of their newspapers. That’s great news for the Daily Collegian of Penn State, this year’s No. 1, up from No. 6 in 2011. The rest of the Top 10:
2. UNC Chapel Hill
5. University of Wisconsin – Madison
6. University of Kansas
7. University of Maryland – College Park
8. University of Florida
9. University of California Santa Barbara
10. University of Georgia
The listings don’t actually say anything about the publications honored, leaving you only to guess why they ended up so high. Two years ago, one blogger strafed the rankings, saying they came from a fuzzy survey question.
I’ve asked Princeton Review for more on that. But Daily Collegian was publishing in the center of an enormous story all last year as Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexual abuse and coach Joe Paterno was fired. Yale’s Daily News had its great and missed columnist Marina Keegan, but it also had to investigate a fabulist who was once on staff. And University of Georgia independent newspaper The Red & Black kept Poynter staffers busy for a good part of last week with a student walkout and a scuffle between its publisher and a reporter.
Syracuse University’s paper was number 13, while N.C. State, number 18, ended up on top of Northwestern University, number 20 in this list. Some of the country’s best journalism schools are missing entirely from the list of best student newspapers, including Columbia University, University of Missouri at Columbia, and University of Southern California.