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Welcome to UWIRE\'s Newest Blog

UWIRE is proud to introduce a blogger who really needs no introduction: Dan Reimold, the former editor of College Media Matters.

Dan\'s heading up our newest blog: The College Media Beat. Read the first post here.

College Media Beat Temporarily On Hold- Check Out College Media Matters

October 27, 2009

College Media Beat is temporarily on hold. Check out the latest news from Dan about all-things college media at College Media Matters. 🙂

Editor Reflects on Recent Battles with Student Government

October 19, 2009

In a reflective new post on her personal blog, Whit editor in chief Emily Kostic at Rowan University outlines her seesaw mentality toward the paper’s recent gung-ho coverage and editorializing about the school’s student government.

In her words:

Over the past month, The Whit . . . has published several controversial stories about our Student Government Association. It got heated. The Montclarion (the college newspaper at Montclair State University who has been in legal battles with their SGA over similar issues as ours) published an editorial supporting us. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Student Press Law Center were unofficially advising us. It was bad and well…is still unresolved.

The controversy reached fever pitch when we published this editorial— a slamming review of Rowan’s SGA and their practices. It was, to use their word, “harsh.”

I agreed with the publishing of the associated article and editorial the entire week up to its publishing and as soon as the paper the news stand and we hit publish for it to go online, I was immediately hit with regret.

She later wrote it was a campus visit by the fearless authors of The Soprano State, a book exposing corruption at the highest levels in New Jersey, that ultimately swayed her to accept the Whit‘s tough love as a journalistic necessity and to embrace the mantra heading her post: “Don’t Be Scared- Question Authority!”

One of the toughest issues student press outlets face is going after its own. A student newspaper is held up as an outlet for students, by students, making tough love or an outright attack on one of its brothers or sisters in arms something akin to a mother lamb feeding her young to the wolves. (After all, according to stereotype, student media should only be going after school administrators!) The other tough spot for student journos: You often have to look the object of your disaffections in the eye immediately and repeatedly after publication. Kostic mentions that she personally likes several members of Rowan’s student government. For student journalists, especially on small campuses, the reality is that those you wish to feature will often be friends, acquaintances or at least connected to you probably through less than three degrees of separation. As long as the extensive, in-your-face coverage has been accurate and not reached the point of simply being piled on, the Whit should be proud of its efforts.

Daily Californian: “Let’s Talk About Sex”

October 19, 2009

In a recent editorial, the senior editorial board of The Daily Californian, the independent student newspaper at UC-Berkeley, tsk-tsked both parties involved in Towson University’s Towerlight sex column controversy. According to the write-up, student press freedom, not sex, was the real issue at stake in the “Bed Post” dispute- and the Towerlight editor’s resignation and the Towson president’s financial threats undercut that freedom dramatically for the entire country to see.

One portion of the editorial stated:

Though the pressure on [the former top editor] must have been great, her decision to resign was a mistake. The Towerlight just achieved its independence last year . . . Her resignation, and the column’s discontinuation, demonstrate that the Towerlight, though nominally independent, won’t stand up to the administration in defense of its content.

But more than [the editor], [Towson president Robert] Caret is clearly in the wrong. . . . Caret ought to respect and value the independence of the Towerlight, even if he disagrees with its content. The newspaper is for the students, not the university president, and it’s unfair for him to attempt to impose his personal tastes and preference on an independent media outlet.

The Daily Cal has published the popular “Sex on Tuesday” column since the late 1990s. Separately, here is a new Campus Progress post outlining what it feels is the problem with student sex columns, in response to a Nation piece outlining their virtues.

Pulitzer Winner: Michigan Daily is the Best Journalism Education Anyone Can Have

October 11, 2009

In a new video clip, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, reflects on his Michigan Daily days.  According to Robinson, who served as a co-editor in chief of the paper 35 years ago: “I’ve always said The Michigan Daily is the best journalism education that anyone could ever have.  It was the certainly the best I could ever have.  I learned about the craft of journalism, but I also learned about the passion and the commitment and the sense of a mission that ultimately drew a lot of us into journalism and sustained us throughout our careers.”

The snippet is part of a larger video series being put together under the direction of standout Daily editor Gary Graca aimed at spotlighting the paper’s significance in the lives and careers of its most distinguished alums.  Check it out below!

Eugene Robinson

College Media Links: Anger Over Sex and Call for Equality

October 8, 2009

Student editor resigns over sex column: The Towerlight at Towson University is in serious flux because of Lux, the pseudonymous writer behind the sex column “The Bed Post.” Recent columns have divided the editorial team, incensed the  university president, and is causing a media ruckus now that the editor in chief has quit (?!) in the wake of increasing administrative anger.  This Baltimore Sun editorial especially says it all: “There may indeed be little journalistic value in “The Bed Post” . . . Aside from its questionable taste, it violated many of the standards student publications traditionally are supposed to teach aspiring young reporters and editors, such as the necessity of judging what is worthy of coverage as news and a willingness to stand behind the facts in a story. . . . [But] it should have been up to the students to come to those conclusions, not have them dictated by lawmakers and university administrators. The first lessons student journalists in a democracy learn should not have to be how to survive under the censor’s arbitrary fist.”

Student paper answers critics of opinion column: Late last week, a Boston University student sounded off in The Heights about the rise in educational and professional opportunities for the disadvantaged and historically underrepresented.  It was basically a rip on Affirmative Action.  In the student’s words: “The Civil Rights movement is over, and it is time to accept that we cannot artificially accommodate for everyone.” The opinion has spurred a ton of criticism, including some for the Heights itself for publishing such a rancorous piece.  Now, the paper is fighting back, defining its role in starting the conversation: “The Opinions section of The Heights is a public forum for this University. This space is reserved for the thoughts, ideas, and arguments of members of the BC community. With this in mind, the pages of our newspaper can be the epicenter of many discussions, particularly the most difficult, which are generally the most necessary. We will never publish any piece with the intention of offending or inciting bitterness, yet we will never shy away from material that may cause heated dialogue.”