Monthly Archives: August 2012

Get on the Future Train in Chicago

In “Physics of the Future,” scientist Michio Kaku says “the future is like a huge freight train barreling down the tracks.” We can’t stop the train, so what do we do?

… the reaction of some is to say, ‘I’m too old. I can’t learn this stuff. I’ll just lie down and get run over by the train.’ However, the reaction of the young, the energetic and the ambitious is to say, “Get me on that train.’

— Michio Kaku

If you’re a leader in student media, you get on the train in Chicago at the National College Media Convention. It’s Nov. 1-4, with extra workshops on Oct. 31. The registration book is now online, and online registration is open.

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Tipsheet: College editors idea roundup 8/27/2012

Rounding up a week of tweets with some elaboration: sociologists and sports; cheating on classwork and cheating your dreams;  artists and news.

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I’m a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic

Perhaps you are too young to get the Mike Myers “Saturday Night Live” “Coffee Talk” reference in the headline, but if you follow @adviserdavid on Twitter, you know I got pretty worked up Thursday about some new research on college student attitudes. I’m somewhat calmer now, but I have a specific suggestion for college editors that I hope you will see fit to share with your colleagues in your own newsroom and your counterparts at other student media organizations.

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Cheating — and other academic stories

“Roughly 62 percent of undergraduates and 40 percent of graduate students admit to having cheated on written work, according to the latest figures from a long-running national survey by Clemson University’s International Center for Academic Integrity. The infractions range from cut-and-paste copying to buying a custom-written paper from an essay mill.”

I was astonished when I read that in The Chronicle of Higher Education last year. Maybe you college editors weren’t. At least I don’t see much about cheating in student media today. I think it’s a heck of a story, and I think it can lead to exploring why your readers even bother to go to college in the first place.

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What you can learn from Akin’s interviewer

It might be the least controversial issue arising from Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment. But it’s a good reminder for journalists, whether they’ve done one or 1,000 interviews.

Charles Jaco, whose television interview with Akin produced the comment, told Talking Points Memo he “dropped the ball” by failing to ask a follow-up question to Akin’s now-famous assertion. Jaco frankly explained the oversight:

“When you’re not 100 percent fully engaged, and you’ve got anything else on your mind, you’ll miss stuff.”

What did Jaco have on his mind? The same kind of things you may have on your mind in your next high-pressure interview.

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Welcome introverts to your newsroom

As a modern student media leader, you’re much more enlightened than the college dean who said in the early 1950s:

“… we find that the best man is the one who’s had an 80 or 85 average in school and plenty of extra-curricular activities. We see little use for the ‘brilliant introvert.'”

–from “The Organization Man” by William Whyte,  quoted in “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” by Susan Cain

Sixty years later, you know “the best man” might even be a woman! And you wouldn’t turn away a “brilliant introvert.”

Wait. Are you sure?

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Tipsheet: Story idea roundup 8/19/2012

Sex, race, money, the future of toilets and a modern ode to joy. Rounding up recent tweets with a little elaboration:

A large survey says college students don’t respect peers who “hook up” too much. (Discuss while I’m not listening.)

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The power of live tweeting

Some baseball fans would rather listen to a game on the radio than watch it on television. Hearing a fellow human tell a story can be more compelling than actually seeing the event. Which brings me to Twitter.

I sat in a diner today hanging on every word of a Twitter feed as it was read to me from the smart phone of David Schick, editor-in-chief of The Collegian of Georgia Perimeter College. The tweets were a running account of remarkable developments in the controversy at the Red and Black student newspaper at the University of Georgia.

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Plan SOON to cover the debates

You’ve already taken my advice to put the presidential and vice presidential debates on your calendar. Now is the time to think hard about how you’ll cover them: previews, debate nights and follow-ups.

In each case, let’s think about how you will share this experience with your audience and how you as journalists will add your skills to the conversation.

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Tipsheet: Story idea roundup 8/13/2012

Rounding up recent tweets and posts, with some elaboration, on talking to profs, whether men are perverts, concerns of veterans, college-bank deals and other stuff. Plus, I say even more (I can’t help it, I’m an adviser!) about why you should cover religion and student voters.

First, be sure you have the presidential and VP debates on your planning calendar:

  • Oct. 3, domestic policy, University of Denver
  • Oct. 11, VP candidates, Centre College, Danville, Ky.
  • Oct. 16, “town-meeting style,” Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
  • Oct. 22, foreign policy, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.

If you’re thinking, “Nah, we can’t afford to send anyone,” I suggest you start thinking instead, “Will lots of our readers watch these debates? How can we interact with them during the debates (physically and via social media) and do smart, locally focused reporting in all our products before and after?” More thoughts on this in a future post. (And I’d be thrilled if you’d send me your ideas.)

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