Articles about "Student journalism"

High school won’t allow student to write about medical marijuana

The Ledger

Lakeland, Fla., high school senior Abbey Laine wanted to write an article about medical marijuana for student magazine the Bagpipe. Her journalism teacher, Janell Marmon, told her she couldn’t do it, Greg Parlier writes in Lakeland newspaper The Ledger.

Frank Webster, who heads the school’s Multimedia Communications Academy, told Parlier Laine’s proposed article “does not fit our audience” and that “We are primarily about marketing and (being) a mouthpiece for Lakeland High and Harrison School of the Arts.” The school’s principal, Arthur Martinez, sided with the teachers, Parlier writes. Read more


NYT print edition will return to Yale’s dining halls

Yale Daily News

Copies of The New York Times are expected back in the dining halls at Yale University after students noticed in January that they were no longer being delivered, the Yale Daily News reported Monday.

Administrators are negotiating with the Times to switch to online subscriptions, but meantime the printed copies will be restored temporarily. The paper had been delivered daily to the dining halls since 2002, the college paper said:

In 2010, the subscription was called into question when a Yale College Council poll found that a majority of students did not read the paper in hard copy on a regular basis. In response to the poll, the YCC proposed reducing the number of copies delivered, restricting delivery to Sundays or providing online subscriptions instead. But the paper continued to be delivered until this January.

The Yale Daily News quoted Joy McGrath, President Peter Salovey’s chief of staff, as saying many students prefer reading the paper on computers, tablets or mobile phones instead of using hard copies. But student Catherine Wall told the campus paper she routinely read the printed paper with her breakfast and when the copies stopped, “it was as if Yale was trying to foster a sense of apathy.” Read more

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Handcuffed (Depositphotos)

College papers dropping arrestee names from crime blotters

Those arrested on the University of Connecticut campus this academic year may not feel lucky, but actually they are catching a break. Their arrests are being published in the student-run campus daily newspaper as has been typical for decades, but their names are not being made public.

In the fall of 2013, UCONN student editors ended — at least for this academic year — The Daily Campus’ long-standing practice of publishing names in its regular Police Blotter feature.  The change elicited some sharp questions from members of the paper’s board of directors, some head-shaking and exasperation from the journalism faculty and an apparent tweet by a former Daily Campus staffer who labeled the change as “lame.”

Emotional responses and resistance to change notwithstanding, UCONN’s student journalists are far from alone in considering whether to follow past practices when the Internet has bestowed immortality and eased access to all types of information. Read more

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Top student media content that made news, went viral in 2013

Snowballs. Blackface. Sorority segregation. A mistaken sex offender. “Some good advice from a Jewish mother.” Pre-game trash talk. Australian indecency laws. And Meryl Streep.

These are some of the startlingly diverse elements entangled within student media content that made news and went viral in 2013. Read more


University of Alaska professor accuses school newspaper of sexual harassment

Student Press Law Center | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner | The Sun Star

Sine Anahita, a professor at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, has filed two complaints about student newspaper The Sun Star, Samantha Sunne reports.

Anahita objected to an April Fool’s article that said the university plans “a new building in the shape of a vagina” and to another about hate speech. The university investigated the complaints and found no wrongdoing, but Anahita has appealed. The university’s report “has got enough factual errors and misattributions and faulty process that the chancellor has appointed an external reviewer,” someone who is presumably Anahita told Sam Friedman of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “The investigation was that sloppily done.” The paper didn’t identify the faculty member “because the university’s sexual harassment complaint process is designed to be confidential,” Friedman writes. Read more


Tenth campus newspaper theft of the year reported

Student Press Law Center

For the 10th time this year, a campus newspaper has reported the theft of multiple copies of its editions, the Student Press Law Center reported Thursday.

In the latest case,The Quinnipiac Chronicle of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., had 200 copies of its papers stolen and dumped in trash cans on Wednesday.

Newspaper’s staffers suspect the theft’s related to a story about the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, which is under investigation by the university for reports of inappropriate behavior. Steve McSpiritt, business manager of student media, told the law center:

“There’s no information in there except for what (university spokesman John Morgan) told us,” McSpiritt said. “It was only a few paragraphs, but it was clearly enough to start a backlash.”

The Chronicle’s was the second theft reported this week. Tuesday night saw the disappearance of the entire 4,000-edition run of The Saddleback College Lariat, based in Mission Viejo, Calif. Editor Phil Vogel told the law center’s Samantha Sunne that the papers were left as usual outside the newspaper’s office, but then went missing:

There wasn’t anything hugely controversial in the issue, Vogel said. The only thing slightly controversial in the issue was a front-page story about the limited security on campus at night, said Michele Hardy, a copy editor for the paper.

“It could be perceived as bashing,” Hardy said.

And that disappearance follows yet another theft reported by The Crusader newspaper of Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. The newspaper staff noticed its Oct. 10 monthly editions were disappearing from racks at an alarming rate, according to a law-center article:

“The last issue that The Crusader put out seemed to disappear from the racks in the blink of an eye,” staff wrote in an editorial published in its Nov. 6 issue. “Our main suspicion is that the newspapers are being taken off the racks with the intention of keeping students and faculty from reading them.”

The racks had to be restocked multiple times, New Media Director Diana Chavira told the law center. The story that might have incited the thefts was one about a drug bust on campus that two reporters covered while it was under way, Chavira said, adding that “apparently, a lot of people didn’t like that.”

Although some campus newspaper thefts may appear minor and the motives behind others are murky, all potentially involve serious First Amendment violations.

“It’s always a logical suspicion that when newspapers disappear, there’s a censorship motive behind it,” Frank LoMonte, the law center’s executive director, told Poynter by email following the Crusader theft.

It’s easy to assume most of the thefts are the work of students with a grudge against the campus newspapers, LoMonte wrote, but that’s not always the case.

“Amazingly, it’s often the college itself rather than some rogue student who turns out to be responsible, which doesn’t seem like it should be possible in the year 2013,” he said. “The idea that you can stop unwelcome news from reaching people by taking newspapers seems like it should have been left in 1950.”

The thefts this year are already too many, but the numbers were worse last year when the law center received 27 reports of stolen newspapers.

The numbers suggest no obvious trends. LoMonte said what is clear is that colleges are more image-conscious as competition for student applicants grows and courts and legislatures refuse to protect students’ First Amendment rights.

“When student speech is devalued, people don’t feel that suppressing it is any great loss to the community,” he wrote. “We have to work as a culture, starting with our K-12 schools, to help people appreciate that strong journalism is essential to a healthy community, and when we do that, people will stop thinking of newspapers as disposable.”

The law center provides guidance on preventing campus newspaper thefts and what student journalists can do after newspaper thefts occur. Read more

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PoynterVision: Tips for students in tough journalism market

There are more journalism students graduating every year than job openings in reporting. Still, in this tough market, there are a few things you can do to differentiate yourself, according to Allen Klosowski, vice president of mobile and connected devices at video advertising company SpotXchange.”Go out and make that happen,” said Klosowski.

Check out Matt Waite’s advice to help students land jobs in data-driven journalism. Read more

The Daily Bruin's reporting on the struggle of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Malawi to gain health care was supported by the Bridget O'Brien Scholarship Foundation. (

UCLA reporting honors photojournalist’s memory

In their last year of college, a reporter and photographer spent 24 days in Malawi conducting interviews and taking photographs to create an ambitious newspaper report about a sensitive human-rights story. But to pay for the trip, they didn’t have to hit the lottery or save money by sleeping in their cars.

Presented by the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student paper, “In the Shadows” is a story of vulnerability, isolation and prejudice. Homosexuality is illegal and stigmatized in Malawi, so all the people who 2013 UCLA graduates Sonali Kohli interviewed and Blaine Ohigashi photographed had to remain anonymous. The three-chapter story details the challenges Malawi’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community faces in getting health care, including HIV prevention and treatment, and obtaining mental-health and addiction services.

Kohli and Ohigashi owe their opportunity to pursue such an ambitious story to the Bridget O’Brien Scholarship Foundation. O’Brien, who died in 2007, was a former staffer at the Bruin, where she worked primarily as a photojournalist. Kelly Rayburn, a board member of the foundation who knew O’Brien in high school and worked with her at the Bruin, said in a phone interview that “she inspired people to tell stories in a variety of different ways. She did everything at the Bruin. She was the photo editor, she was a copy editor, she wrote news stories — she just did everything.”

Nearing her graduation in 2003, O’Brien knew she wanted to travel. She started saving money and thinking about stories she could pursue.

“She was basically living in her truck and on people’s couches to save money to travel,” recalled Rayburn. “Over the winter break, we got this email from her — it kind of came out of the blue, but it was what you’d expect from her. She was always going from one adventure to another.”

The email is reproduced on the foundation’s website. In it, O’Brien thanked her friends for allowing her to sleep on their couches and in their extra beds so that she only had to spend five nights in her truck to save cash.

“I’m leaving in about 20 minutes to drive to the San Francisco airport and get on a plane to Nicaragua,” she wrote. “Sudden, yes. Random, yes. Malaria-ridden, yes.”

USA Today had hired her to cover a story about fair-trade coffee, she said, so she was heading out with a purpose. Her story was published in the Bruin, with her photographs appearing in USA Today. In October 2007, while on tour with her husband and his band, O’Brien was killed in a car accident when a deer ran onto the Ohio Turnpike, her father Kevin O’Brien said in an email.

After Bridget’s death, her friends and family wanted to find a way people could honor her memory besides sending flowers, Kevin O’Brien said. Rayburn and his wife Sarah, who had also worked at the Bruin and known Bridget, suggested a scholarship and offered to work out the logistics.

“The scholarship foundation in Bridget’s name allows us to keep her spirit alive by providing funding and resources not normally available at college publications, and by encouraging and allowing other student journalists to pursue their passion,” O’Brien said, adding that the support of the Bruin’s editors and adviser “help assure the reporting is carried out responsibly and to a high ethical standard.”

The teams are selected by an advisory board that includes Bridget O’Brien’s former Bruin colleagues, friends and her parents, said Tyson Evans, a board member who’s now deputy editor for interactive news at The New York Times.

Many Bruin staffers plan their application for the O’Brien scholarship far in advance. Ohigashi said he started thinking about a project when photo editor Maya Sugarman and her partner Matt Stevens went to Cameroon on the 2010 scholarship. In a phone interview, Ohigashi said he and Kohli first decided what issue they wanted to cover, then looked at countries in which LGBT rights was a pressing issue and to which UCLA had a connection. (In Malawi, UCLA works with Partners in Hope Medical Center to conduct research and provide free HIV/AIDS care.)

The scholarship committee chose Kohli and Ohigashi’s project because the team was clearly committed to the Bruin and because the proposal that became “In the Shadows” matched the scholarship’s mission, Rayburn said — “something with global reach and local consequence.”

Bridget O’Brien made it her mission to report on such stories, and her friends and family have now made it theirs to ensure other students have the same opportunities that she created for herself.

“We wanted to give other people the same opportunity without them having to spend a quarter in their truck,” Rayburn said. Read more


UNC journalism students get libel insurance

The Daily Tar Heel

University of North Carolina journalism students now enjoy some financial protection in the event of libel suits, thanks to a year-long multimedia insurance policy purchased by the school, according to a report in The Daily Tar Heel.

“The insurance covers lawsuits related to libel, copyright infringement and invasion of privacy,” Haley Waxman writes. Read more


Temple University issues code of ethics for student journos

Temple University

Temple University’s Department of Journalism issued students a pocket-sized ethics code at the start of the semester, according to a report published on the school’s website.

“While many programs throughout the country refer their students to codes used by professionals, Andrew Mendelson, associate professor and department chair, said the journalism faculty felt they should create a code that is focused on the student journalist experience and reflects today’s media environment.”

Many schools refer students to the Society of Professional Journalists’ code, and several have their own, including New York University, which is 24 pages long.

But Temple kept things simple. Read more