Tag Archives: College journalism


- From The Oklahoma Daily, December 2

– From The Oklahoma Daily, December 2

Oklahoma Daily sports editor Dillon Hollingsworth tweets: “Good thing the semester’s about done, because we’re not beating this one.” I’m told by copy chief Mia Chism: “@kateclaire_b [Kate Bergum] gets creative credit for this headline. I just helped approve it to be published.”

* Norman PD officer puts escaped donkey into squad car (

– h/t @jfdulac

Dan Reimold, a journalism professor who founded the College Media Matters website, died this week. He was 34. (An official cause of death hasn’t been released. A friend tweeted early Friday morning that it was “an accident.”)

The College Media Association sent this note to its members this morning.

From: Kelley Callaway
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 8:52 AM
To: CMA list
Subject: [CMAmembers] Dan Reimold

Rachele and I are very shocked and saddened to report the passing of our friend Dan Reimold. He was a great friend to college media in general and to us in particular. Our thoughts go out to his students, colleagues and family. As we learn more about arrangements, we will update our website,

Dan Reimold, an internationally recognized leader in the field of college media, died this week. He was in his thirties.

What Jim Romenesko did for professional media, Dan Reimold did for college media through his popular blog College Media Matters. He covered the students who were covering their campuses, and he consistently legitimized an often-overlooked area of journalism. When collegiate media was facing budget cuts, publication thefts and other threats, he shed light on their struggles./CONTINUES Read More

BuzzFeed: Evil or rad?
* University at Buffalo Spectrum features editor: “Viral posts are chipping away at journalism, taking people’s attention away from real issues. Other news sources have to reduce their standards to compete with BuzzFeed for attention on the Internet.”
* Spectrum’s managing editor: “BuzzFeed forces you to understand current events. With the average American reading at a 7th or 8th grade reading level, according to National Assessment of Adult Literacy, BuzzFeed keeps most of their content short, sweet and to the point”

* Why BuzzFeed is ruining journalism (
* BuzzFeed’s the best site on the Internet (

New: I hate myself for not working at BuzzFeed (

- Credit: Rylan Boggs

(Photo: Rylan Boggs)

Courtney Anderson, a news editor at the Montana Kaimin, tells me the sign hacker hasn’t been caught, but the paper has leads. Here’s the front page of today’s Kaimin print edition. (Thanks to Courtney for sending it.)

* Sign hack promotes blazing (


Letter to Romenesko
From ALLAN JOSEPH: I was editor of Notre Dame’s student paper a few years ago, and I wanted to share the tremendous work the staff there did on the biggest breaking-news story I could imagine on that campus.

Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, the president emeritus of Notre Dame and an absolute legend, passed away last night at 11:30 p.m. This morning, the student newspaper produced this.

It’s stunning work. Thought it was worth sharing.

Last night was also the annual celebration at the time when the top editorial positions turn over — this year’s EIC began her tenure with a campus-wide power outage on her first night running the newsroom, and this happened on the night she was handing it off to her successor. Needless to say, I think she did a spectacular job.

2014-15 EIC is Ann Marie Jakubowski; she’s handing the reins to Greg Hadley, whose term officially starts Monday but unofficially started last night.

Update: I asked the editor-in-chief about putting the issue together and she wrote:

Ann Marie Jakubowski

Ann Marie Jakubowski

Our regular paper was well underway when the news of Fr. Hesburgh’s death broke, but we dropped everything to focus our attention on that and are going to hold our regular content until Tuesday’s paper. We spent about 12:30 a.m. until 6 working on the special edition and the special site, The site went live around 11 a.m.

We distributed the special issue around 10:30 this morning on campus, and by 1 we were running out and started to get requests for more copies. I worked out an arrangement with our printer to get a reprint out around 7 p.m. tonight, and I’m waiting in our office now for that to come in so we can drop it around to our usual pick up sites.

* Notre Dame Observer | Digital print edition (
* Photo: “Notre Dame Observer office all-hands on deck tonight” (@zklonskinski)

Good job, University of Oklahoma student journalists!

* Student paper vs. Jack White ( | (
* Jack White demands homemade guacamole in his dressing room (
* Jack White concert costs OU over $80,000 (
* “Jack White is a thin-skinned asshole” (
* Read comments about homemade guacamole and band contracts (

New: Entertainment firm blacklists OU because of White articles (

Nicholas Stewart, the Western Illinois University (WIU) student who was suspended from his editing duties last month for selling a campus-disturbance video to news outlets, tells Romenesko readers: “As of 4:21 p.m. [Monday], I was reinstated as editor-in-chief of the Western Courier. …This was a drain on me both physically and mentally. But the enormous outpouring of support from all over the country really helped me get past it all.”
Stewart was initially accused by WIU student services vice-president Gary Biller of violating a no-freelancing policy, but the administrator told the student editor on Monday that “a preliminary review … has revealed that no complete policy exists within the Western Courier to guide us in determining a finding regarding your association with the Western Courier and your work as a freelance journalist.”

“Given the lack of guidance available regarding Western Courier policies and procedures, I am lifting your suspension immediately, and I will inform the publications board of this action.”

Stewart writes in his email to Romenesko readers:

Biller essentially blames the Western Courier for the whole incident claiming there was a “lack of guidance available.” I disagree entirely.

Nicholas Stewart

Nicholas Stewart

The Courier operations manual states, “Permission to work for an off-campus medium and/or freelance work should be sought in advance of the commitment. It is permissible when such work does not conflict with the staff member’s or freelance employee’s obligations to the Western Courier…”

It’s pretty clear that they didn’t take the time to read the manual or ask the publications board their policy on freelancing prior to handing out the suspension. In the letter, Biller states that he wants the publications board to “develop policies, procedures, and a code of ethics appropriate to this publication.” Again, it’s always been clear that not only is freelancing allowed, it’s encouraged to build our brand. Unfortunately for Western, my work put them in the national headlines in an unflattering way.

It’s a shame they keep passing the blame instead of just taking responsibility for their drastic actions. But, I’m looking forward to focusing back on school and the Western Courier.

* January 23: Student editor suspended for selling campus-brawl video (

A disturbance last month after a Western Illinois University (WIU) Black Student Association dance was captured on video by student journalist Nicholas Stewart. He was suspended as editor-in-chief of WIU’s Western Courier student newspaper after the school learned that he sold melee footage to news outlets.

Nicholas Stewart

Nicholas Stewart

“I am taking this action,” WIU student services vice-president Gary Biller wrote to Stewart, “because I believe that your action as editor-in-chief poses a threat to the normal operations of the university. …In our meeting of December 15, 2014, you admitted to receiving personal compensation for a video that was sold with the banner of ‘Western Courier’ displayed. To date I can find no record of compensation to the University or the Western Courier.”

Retired WIU journalism professor Bill Knight is so angry about the suspension that he feels “like spitting nails.” Here’s an email he distributed Friday afternoon:

From: Bill Knight
Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:05 PM
Subject: administrator suspends Western Courier kid for doing journalism

Hi: Below are two links [here and here] to stories this week about a WIU administrator who found a loophole to punish a Courier editor for covering a protest that turned into a melee, which got a little national attention — and he was compensated for his freelance work. …

This incident may not get as much notice, but it’s idiotic. I feel like drafting a note and listing some of our names/gigs to send to WIU’s president and Board president. What do you think?

I feel like spitting nails… Forward to anyone you think might seize up a bit, too.

Bill Knight

Knight tells me in an email that “this seems like an overreaction followed by overkill.” He adds:

I think if the news footage Stewart shot would’ve shown sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, the University would not have investigated, much less suspended the student journalist.

The WIU student newspaper manual says freelance work has to be approved beforehand, but it doesn’t say by whom, and since he’s been doing similar video work for some time (as a freelancer, mostly weather-related, and with student broadcasting: News/WIUTV) there’s precedence/past practice.

I asked Biller over the phone this afternoon what Stewart did that made him “a threat to normal operations of the university”; he declined to say. I told the administrator that I suspected the editor was being punished because his entrepreneurship resulted in some bad PR for the school. Biller denied that.

How much was Stewart paid his video footage? I asked Biller.

Gary Biller

Gary Biller

“I don’t know,” he said. Biller told me he never asked the amount when he met with Stewart.

“You’re getting the school auditor involved in this,” I said, “and you didn’t even ask how much money this involved?”

Biller said it didn’t matter if it was $10 or $10,000, and declined to say more.

I’ve invited Stewart to comment on the university’s actions. He told his newspaper that “at no point did they [the university] actually ask me to give them the money. … they never came back and said, ‘Hey you need to give your money to the university.’ I also never even received all of the money I made off the video.”

Update: The suspended editor-in-chief writes in an email:

“Earlier this morning, Biller clarified the actual codes I allegedly broke in the code of conduct when I asked since they were not written clearly in the letter informing me of my suspension:

Section D.17e, “Committing acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to, the following: attempting to represent the University, any recognized student organization, or any official University group without the explicit prior consent of the officials of that group”.

Section D.19g, “Engaging in act of theft or abuse of computer time, including, but not limited to: unauthorized financial gain or commercial activity”.
Section D.23, “Committing violations of rules and regulations duly established and promulgated by other University departments”.

“The internal auditing department sent me an email requesting we meet on Monday. I have not responded yet as I’m still working with the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) to get legal representation for this meeting.”

* Student editor suspended from duties after selling video of brawl ( | (
* Read the letter that Biller wrote to the student editor (

New: Read the comments about this on my Facebook wall

“Student newspaper posting drug use photos on Social Media?” a Romenesko reader writes in an email. “Never heard of anything like this before. Curious what folks think about it. I’d prefer to pass this along anonymously.”

The Instagram user who sent me the link to the photos may have missed the Minnesota Daily story that tells more about the photos. I asked photographer Lisa Persson to explain how the shoots were arranged. She writes:

The photos were taken in different residence halls last weekend on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The reporter and I were escorted into each residence hall by a known current resident. Once inside, the reporter and I walked down the halls and listened for activity in various rooms.

If we heard noises that we associated with partying or potential drug use (music, people talking about drinking, hearing bottles clinking, hearing lighters sparking, etc), we would knock on the door, explain the project, and ask if we could observe their activities and take photos for about ten minutes.

We also ensured them that if they agreed, their identities would be protected and their names would not be released. If we got permission, we would sit in the room with them to observe their activities, and I took pictures of any crime I saw occurring.

Editor-in-chief Anthony Wagner adds: “Given the sensitive nature of the photos, we also followed up with all the students a couple days later to get the consent and anonymity specifics in writing. …The director of University Relations called me yesterday to ask if the photos were authentic and get details about how we took them (consent, how we got in the res halls, etc). No one has contacted me asking for the students’ names.”

* Minnesota Daily’s Instagram photos ( | View the slideshow (
* Crime data shows that many dorms’ reputations hold true (

On Wednesday, Dartmouth’s student paper ran Andrew Lohse’s graphic account of getting into the Sigma Alpha Epsilon frat:

I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool full of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beers poured down fellow pledges’ ass cracks; and vomit on other pledges, among other abuses.

The paper let the Dean of the College respond in today’s edition. She said “the dialogue across campus created by Andrew’s column provides an opportunity to address the issue of hazing as a community. It is an opportunity we should seize.”

* Andrew Lohse: Telling the truth
* Dartmouth student accuses frat of hazing
* “Dartmouth strongly condemns hazing,” says college dean
* Lohse: “I’m hopefully going to write a book about this”