Student journalism

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

Doug Williams

There’s more to story of Grambling student journalist fired for tweets about football team

The story of a student journalist getting fired for tweeting photos and statements from anonymous sources about conditions at Grambling State University in Louisiana has gotten national attention, but it’s wrong. At least in part.

David Lankster, former online news editor of The Gramblinite, said he was fired Friday for tweeting about the crumbling conditions facing Grambling State football players.

But the photos, at least, were tweeted on Saturday.

Lankster told talk show host Roland Martin that he was fired on Friday.

“So David, when did you get fired? What the hell?” Martin asked Lankster in a show that ran on Monday.

“I kind of got a notice about it, I want to say probably Friday,” Lankster said. Read more

University Of Alabama Sororities

How student reporters ended discrimination among University of Alabama sororities

In the weeks before school started, it was widely known on campus at the University of Alabama that a well-qualified black woman was pledging the white sororities. Her high-school resume was stellar, her family were alums and her grandfather was on the Board of Trustees.

The staff at the student newspaper, The Crimson White, was poised to document the seminal moment when she was accepted, which would coincide with the 50th anniversary of the university’s integration.

But the woman received no invitations to join any of the school’s 16 white sororities.

A couple days after the invitations were issued, Culture Editor Abbey Crain and Magazine Editor Matt Ford both stepped up at the Crimson White. Crain said in a phone interview for the Poynter Excellence Project that she assumed someone else was already working on the story and just wanted to help. Read more

Stack of newspapers

Boston University independent student paper apologizes after making light of rape

xoJane | The Daily Free Press | Boston Magazine

An anonymous Boston University student has written an xoJane piece accusing the university’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press, of joking about rape.

The student says the Daily Free Press’ crime log regularly makes light of sexual harassment, rape and assault “by prefacing the paragraph-long descriptions of the incidents with jokey, pun-ridden titles.” She writes that she was sexually assaulted at Boston University her sophomore year and soon after “came across the horrifying, humiliating” way the paper depicted the incident in its crime log.

She provided some other examples, with commentary:

  • A man tried to break into a female BU student’s on-campus dorm via her balcony. The classy title of this traumatizing incident that could have ended in theft/rape/kidnapping/murder?
Read more

Alabama student journalist quoted ‘nearly 30′ fabricated sources

The Crimson White |

Journalism freshman Madison Roberts “fabricated sources in several news stories dating back to Jan. 10 of this year” in University of Alabama student paper The Crimson White, the paper says. The reporter “quoted nearly 30 students, none of whom could be found in the UA student directory or on social media,” the paper’s report said.

“I was overwhelmed and succumbed to a lot of pressure I’d been under,” Roberts told the paper in an email. The paper’s copy editors discovered her fabrications while fact-checking names earlier this month; a subsequent review of Roberts’ work turned up more bogus sources. Roberts “has been removed from the paper’s staff,” the paper says. Read more


8 ways a landmark Supreme Court ruling has changed student journalism


According to Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte, the impact of the Hazelwood ruling on student journalism in this country has been nothing short of sheer devastation. In a recent column, University of Wisconsin-Madison student journalist Pam Selman similarly referred to Hazelwood as an “infectious disease … quietly spreading across the country, harming students at college campuses and high schools alike.” For his part, law professor Richard Peltz-Steele has described it as a long-term “censorship tsunami.”

The storm formed in the early 1980s, when the principal of East Hazelwood High School in St. Louis, Mo., objected to a pair of stories produced by journalism students for The Spectrum school newspaper. The principal deemed the stories — on teen pregnancy and a classmate coping with her parents’ divorce — editorially unsound and unfit for an adolescent audience. Read more


University sanctions journalism student for ‘disruptive’ interview request

Alex Myers, an undergraduate journalism student at the State University of New York at Oswego, isn’t so sure he wants to be a reporter when he graduates.

The Australian exchange student experienced the potential chilling effect of a university administration on young journalists last month after he erred in the course of reporting a profile for class.

Myers, who until recently interned at Oswego’s Office of Public Affairs, wrote interview questions to sources for a class assignment, a profile about hockey coach Ed Gosek. In the e-mail, released with several other documents by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Myers identified himself this way: “My name is Alex Myers, I work for the Office of Public Affairs at SUNY Oswego.”

Myers didn’t refer to himself as a student, nor did he clarify that the profile was for a class assignment. Read more


‘Men of Journalism’ calendar a bold fundraising venture

Downtown Devil | Kickstarter
Students of the SPJ chapter at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School are raising money via a bold, perhaps somewhat optimistic project: a “Men of Journalism” calendar.

“Most of the Cronkite School and the Downtown campus are female, so we wanted to capitalize on that market and create a calendar of men that hopefully the ladies of the Downtown campus will buy,” SPJ chapter president Anne Stegen told Alexis Macklin.

“I found out I was one of two freshman in the calendar, so that made me feel awesome,” Nick Wicksman told Macklin. He’s one of two calendar models whose identities SPJ has confirmed so far, and he’s the fellow featured in this video: Read more


Penn State student journalist suspended for fabrication, plagiarism

The Daily Collegian
Penn State’s student newspaper has suspended a writer who fabricated and plagiarized quotes by Sue Paterno in a story about the opening of a center on campus named for her. Paterno is the widow of former coach Joe Paterno, who died just months after being fired from the university for his role in Jerry Sandusky’s ongoing sexual abuse of young men.

Daily Collegian editor-in-chief Casey McDermott did not name the student in her note today, but the story she cites carries the byline of Nick Vassilakos. Poynter chose to include his name here to make it easier for others to review his work and to avoid implicating other Daily Collegian writers.

McDermott said that this was not the student’s first offense: Read more

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