Monthly Archives: October 2012
No politics, no storms. But lots of other ideas for campus coverage in the weekly roundup:
I cannot improve on Frank LoMonte’s post at the Student Press Law Center blog about steps every college media outlet should take to assess sexual assault and mental health issues. If you somehow aren’t motivated by Frank, read the latest from Amherst and a new victim account from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you missed it, here is the column in The Amherst Student that has brought much-needed attention to these issues.
Marijuana, F-bombs, gobs of voter stories, surprises in the biggest ever LGBT survey. Your humble blogger rounds up a week of tweets and other thoughts worthy of starting arguments among your readers. And a disgusting story to reward you for reading all the way to the end.
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My humble blog isn’t often able to claim an “exclusive.” But you, gentle readers, are the first outside of Professor Barry Hollander‘s class at the University of Georgia to get this cool data, ready-made for quick and high-impact journalism.
According to Hollander’s analysis of a Census Bureau survey, here are the top reasons college students gave for not voting in the 2008 presidential election:
- Too busy, 26.4 percent
- Out of town, 24.5 percent
- Registration problems, 8.3 percent
- (tie) Not interested and Forgot, 7.6 percent each
This is doomed to be a polite disagreement, not the beginning of a fun online brawl in which I get to display razor-sharp sarcasm in 140 characters.
The problem is that, while I really want to disagree with Tim Harrower’s view of the need for college, he’s my favorite news design guru. And a nice and funny guy. I brought him to the college where I was previously employed for a hugely successful all-day seminar. I took another batch of students to see the same program in Orlando at the National College Media Convention last fall.
Rounding up a week of story idea tweets with elaboration: the purpose of college; non-scandalous coverage of Greeks; lots of story-worthy statistics; and debate-worthy questions about race.
Journalists have an unfortunate tendency to avoid covering some of the biggest parts of life because they seem so obvious.
Which brings me to fraternities and sororities. On many campuses, they are a big deal. But other than sporadic political disputes (Greeks and college media editors seem not to get along very well), news coverage of fraternities and sororities too often is limited to allegations of misconduct and criminality. To choose some recent examples: dangerous alcohol consumption, hazing and rape.
Warning, student media editors: this is going to be a lecture. You don’t like lectures? Hmm, maybe that would make an interesting story, considering how many lectures take place on your campus every day.
Does race still matter on campus? And should it matter when today’s students head out into their careers?
For all the talk about our “post-racial” era, I’m sure you can start a lively debate by posing those questions. Now would be a good time. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday about race-conscious college admissions policies, so you can count on some national buzz about affirmative action.
Rounding up a week of story idea tweets, starting with a subject near and dear to the hearts of college media advisers: grit.
Lady Gaga reacted to criticism of her weight gain by posting photos of herself in her underwear and saying she had overcome an eating disorder and learned to have a positive body image. Then a television anchor took on a “you’re fat” insult head-on.
If you’re like me, those stories make you think about talking to students on your campus about body image and eating disorders. Unlike me (probably), you don’t have a daughter who’s a social worker. These are complicated issues, she told me. She also told me about “Brave Girl Eating,” a book by Harriet Brown, associate professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.