The CNM Chronicle sex issue shenanigans and the importance of student journo community

The CNM Chronicle ran a special sex issue on Tuesday, March 26.

The CNM Chronicle ran a special sex issue on Tuesday, March 26.

Whether we realize it or not, student journalists, and journalists in general, really, are a community. When issues come up – common procedural problems like staff issues, digital snafus or ethical conundrums or injustices like censorship or other First Amendment abridgments – we have each other’s backs. It should come as no surprise – we love what we do, and support others who do, too.

With the CNM Chronicle shenanigans, we have a pretty good example of just what that camaraderie looks like, and why it’s important.

First, the story:

Last month, Central New Mexico Community College caught flak from school administrators for publishing a special sex edition of their newspaper, the CNM Chronicle, which featured, among other things, images of sex toys on its front page and a couple engaged in BDSM role playing on its back cover (you can check it out here). For a short time, the issue was removed from its stands, and the newspaper disbanded by administrators indefinitely, pending a “full evaluation of the structure and oversight” of its operations, as reported on Jim Romenesko’s blog.

Soon, though, after facing backlash around the country from media critics and others, CNM administrators caved, walked back their efforts to censor The Chronicle, and allowed the sex issue to run.

The media, in their efforts to protect one of their own, pounced on the school for violating their students’ First Amendment rights. And for journos, who’ve had many tough pills to swallow over the last few years (I won’t get into any of the journalism blog cliches about the impact the Internet has had on the profession), the CNM success story brings hope in troubled times.

That week, in a showing of solidarity with the Chronicle, the staff at the nearby University of New Mexico’s independent student paper The New Mexico Daily Lobo got into the fray, publishing a “censored” paper edition. “All Daily Lobo stories for that day ran online,” according to a description of the protest in an editor’s note, “but the paper, with the exception of an explanatory editorial, had nothing but ads and X’s where content would have gone.”

Support for the move was mixed.

“I am keeping a copy of that newspaper as a souvenir,” a UNM staff member wrote, “because it will always remind me for whom the bell tolls.”

“Your decision to support a boycott as a show of solidarity for the CNM paper was a poor choice: You shut down a paper that belongs to the students while not consulting them for how they wanted to handle it,” a student wrote. “Your moves were only blessed by arrogance and the need of self-service, and hence irresponsible toward the school. You might look tough on journalism, but the articles you ran — or in this case, didn’t run — were to get you, Elizabeth Cleary, a feather in your cap. I resent your choice.”

Cleary is The Daily Lobo’s Editor-in-Chief.

My take:

From where I sit, what the Daily Lobo did for The CNM Chronicle was incredibly important, not just for the future of free student press, but for the necessary continuation of a culture of community among student journalists.

You see, college media organizations find themselves in the somewhat awkward position of criticizing the institutions that fund them. In our case, the paper’s operating budget comes from “student activities” fees all undergrads pay. We have an obligation, then, to provide students with useful content, but we also, by extension, owe thanks to the school itself for putting the funding system in place. School administrators sometimes confuse this connection with an ability to hijack a student newspaper once its content becomes unsavory in their eyes.

To get a better sense for just how pervasive this issue is, check out the SPLC’s running list of newspaper thefts – a common form of on-campus censorship – from the 2011-2012 school year.

Ultimately, they feel they can do this because no one is watching. But when it comes to censorship, we are watching. Closely. And making a big deal about First Amendment violations has to be part of what we do. The Daily Lobo staff made a very public, very controversial decision in running their blank issue. But that’s exactly what needs to happen in a community of watch dogs. If someone in the UNM administration decides to go bonkers and slash the Lobo’s budget, it follows, The Chronicle would do the same – something big, something noticeable, something loud.

When student newspapers get something wrong, they should acknowledge it and apologize. When they run something objectionable, they should take a community’s criticisms seriously, and, when appropriate, they should respond. But they should never tolerate censorship in any form, for any reason – be it inflicted on them or on someone else.

So hats off to the Daily Lobo staff for being brave and doing something radical when one of their own needed their help. The future of the free press is all the better for it.

Posted in First Amendment | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ice cream with my dad – my iPhone-free break from Marathon news overload

By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States. Via Creative Commons

By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States. Via Creative Commons

The amount of news we’ve all consumed over the last 6 days is no doubt enough to rival any other interval in our lives. From the minute the two explosions rocked Boston, we’ve been glued to our TVs, computers and smartphones, digesting an onslaught of constant breaking news, first-hand accounts and observations. The experience was and is immensely anxiety-producing – ceaseless speculation, lingering, unanswered questions, up-to-the-minute coverage of events, some terrible, others worthy of communal celebration.

On Friday night, right around the time Gov. Patrick gave the sort-of OK to leave home after the lockdown, I got a call from my dad, who asked if I’d join him to go see a movie and maybe grab some ice cream. He wanted to hang out, and, like me, I think he was ready to take a break from news overload. I turned off my TV, pocketed my iPhone, and drove to the fifteen minutes to the theater to meet him there. I flipped on NPR for the ride, and about halfway there, the news came flowing in – “shots fired in Watertown,” I heard. Boston police closing in on a boat in a backyard. It was all happening very quickly. And there I was in the parking lot of Regal Cinemas – my car still running, my heart racing. I was two minutes late for the movie’s start time, and my dad and sister were waiting on me inside.

I pulled the keys from the ignition, opened my door, closed it, and headed for the entrance. My phone was just about out of juice, so I stuffed it back in my pocket. I can wait, I thought.

We bought our tickets, walked inside the theater, and navigated in the dark to a row of cushioned seats. We were seeing “Oblivion,” a movie about post-apocalypse Earth, starring Tom Cruise as an astronaut who lives in an iPad, or something (I have no idea, because despite my best efforts to stay awake after another all-nighter at The Gatepost office, after being up for almost 36 hours straight with a CNN livestream always within earshot, I passed out, exhausted, just shortly after Tom lasered his first droid. Snoring audibly, I’m told.).

I woke up just in time for a plot twist involving Morgan Freeman, and soon we were out the door, our sights on some frozen yogurt down the road. In the car, I heard Mayor Menino and company taking turns congratulating the cops on capturing suspect #2 alive, and felt the flood of emotions we all did, breathed the sigh of relief after the week from Hell.

After we got there, still smartphone-free, my dad and I sat on a bench outside, scooping fruit-topped soft serve, talking about what it all might mean. After hours and hours of tracking the manhunt so closely online and in our living rooms, we’d missed the dramatic conclusion as it was happening. Pictures and videos, live tweets and graphics were changing hands all around us, updates being posted by the minute, and here we were, completely disconnected. But that was OK, we decided. For three hours or so, we could enjoy our lives, appreciate just how lucky we are to be living them, eat some ice cream. For just a short time, we could stay out of the loop. The night was mild, although maybe a little windy, a bunch of kids and families were eating their frozen treats inside the shop behind the window at our backs, my 13-year-old sister and the friend she’d brought along were laughing about something or other, dancing on the sidewalk with plastic spoons in their hands.

Lots was happening, sure, and there was so much we didn’t know, but at least for a little while, we could wait.

Posted in Social media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Boston Marathon issue

 Under each of the six photos we ran on the front page, we included quotes from what they'd told us, which appeared inside six individual stories inside the paper. Each, I think, is a testament to the resilience of the student Marathoners.


Under each of the six photos we ran on the front page, we included quotes from what they’d told us, which appeared inside six individual stories inside the paper. Each, I think, is a testament to the resilience of the student Marathoners.

It’s been repeated ad nauseam: this has been what feels like the longest week any of us can remember. Explosions. Manhunts. Fear. Terror. Relief. Community. As I’m writing this, Neil Diamond has just sung “Sweet Caroline” in Fenway Park, and, in clear violation of FSU library (my on-campus place of work) policy, I’ve un-muted the TV so all of us can watch (and hear) the most emotional game the city has seen in some time.

So much has happened over the last six days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Amid the chaos, Bostonians and the world at large sought ways to cope with the disaster, to make sense of the madness and, where possible, help those who have suffered so greatly due to the actions of a few. People gave blood, attended memorials, held fundraisers, donated to them. They used whatever was at their disposal to interact with the tragedy in a meaningful way.

This week, The Gatepost staff had the newspaper. And we did everything we could to make it count, to create something meaningful, however small in the grand scheme of things, for our audience at a time when it felt like the world was falling apart.

On Tuesday night, when we hold our weekly meetings to plan out that Friday’s issue, we talked about the role we wanted the paper to play, and decided that we wanted to capture the experiences of our fellow students impacted by the Marathon itself, to share our take on the tragedy and to, if possible, inspire students here and give them hope.

By Tuesday night, over a tall glass of Blue Moon, we had a front page sketched out on an UNO’s napkin.

frontpagenapkin

Please excuse my poor handwriting, and my using a napkin. But hey, ideas come when and where they want to. Mine came at UNO’s

By Friday morning, we had this.

marathonfront

Note the change from the noun-version “Unbroken spirits” to the more active “Spirits unbroken.” A small, but important change, I thought.

We interviewed six either current students or recent graduates who had run the Marathon on Monday, and asked them to reflect on what the Marathon means for them – why they run, what significance the Massachusetts tradition holds. And then we asked them to look to the future – would they run again? All said they would.

And that, for FSU, was the news. Our peers who were right at the heart of the disaster, having crossed the finish line or still working toward it, are going to persevere. And so, it follows, should we.

We didn’t run any of the horrifying pictures from the scene of the attack – by Friday, we figured, our audience would have seen them again and again and again already. We also didn’t dwell on the horrors of that day in what we wrote – it didn’t seem like our place to recount what everyone already knew. The daily papers at other schools ran photos of the aftermath and published news stories about the attack, as it had only just happened, and was by all counts bound to be one of the biggest news events of our lifetimes. But we had a week to put something together, and thus had to think about the paper a little differently.

The most important part about the front page this week is that in all of the pictures (all but one, actually), FSU students are in mid stride, running. In addition to being a part of our school community, they are runners, after all. They, like the thousands who ran with them this week, are Marathoners. Even after all that they’ve been though, that hasn’t changed. This week, when students pick up their copies of The Gatepost, I hope that’s the message they take away from it.

Posted in Ethics, Graphic Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The evolution, thankfully, of tape recorders

From tape to digital to iPhone, how we record has come a long way.

From tape to digital to iPhone, how we record has come a long way.

I’ve been working at our student newspaper for four years now, and in just that short amount of time, the way we record interviews has come a long way. When I was a freshman, I can remember literally using tapes – as in, little boxes with magnetic strips in them – to tape speeches and conversations and turn them into articles. Back then, transcribing long convos or frantically looking for that one last quote on deadline meant enduring an ear-splitting screech in your headphones. And after long nights when, early on, I used to try to get every single word people said for fear of missing something, I can only speculate as the terror I’ve wrought on my eardrums.

It must have been late sophomore year when I got my first digital recorder, which, at the time, was an enormous improvement. I could archive dozens of recordings in one tiny device. It even came with a little button that let me speed up, or slow down, playback. No more piles of tiny green tapes, no more jamming erasers in the little white wheels when the strips came undone. And, thank God, no more brain-scrambling screech.

But these days, most don’t even bother carrying a recorder around – an iPhone works just fine. The iPhone, or whatever other smartphone variety you’re loyal to, is everything – phone, camera, camcorder, Netflix venue.

memopic

It’s also a remarkably convenient tape recorder.

Picture 4

Along with having easily twice the sound quality, recordings on the iPhone’s Voice Memos app are archived according to date, are easily accessible and a breeze to transcribe. I usually upload my recordings onto iTunes, where I can label important interviews to keep track of them.

 

Picture 5

Another feature I like, which comes with uploading recordings on my laptop, is the ability to drag around within the recording to find the quote I’m looking for. Much, much, easier than the old-fashioned tape method.

Using an iPhone e to tape interviews has become the new normal for the modern journalist – one more way to incorporate smartphones into the news gathering process. It’s a huge time-saver, and a giant leap forward from the old days.

 

 

 

 

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A brief lesson in the run-up to our Boston Marathon bombing coverage

Earlier today, an FSU student and Marathon runner gave an interview to various local news outlets.

Earlier today, an FSU student and Marathon runner gave an interview to various local news outlets.

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, student newspapers around the world have been weighing in on the disaster, offering insights tailored for their fellow undergraduates, many of whom are still reeling from the shock of Monday’s horrors.

College Media Matters has been collecting images of the front pages of college media outfits across the country, and the student journalists’ coverage has ranged from in-depth accounts of the tragedy to retellings of the first-hand experiences of students participating in the race, to analyses of their campus’ response on social media.

At our paper, a weekly which prints on Fridays, we’ve got some time to figure out exactly what we want to say about the attack and how we want to say it. And yesterday, I had the chance to talk with a student Marathon runner who told me exactly what, from her perspective, we ought to be doing. After giving an interview to a swarm of journalists from area newspapers in the minutes following an on-campus memorial service, she thought it necessary to steer their coverage away from the gruesome and the sensational, to avoid simply adding one more voice to the many who have described the unspeakable horror of the moment on the 26th mile. “I am not a hero,” she told them in a short improvised speech about sensitivity and context – she is merely one of thousands of participants and onlookers trying to make sense of it all.

I had a chance to catch up with her after I listened to her give her interview (we had another Gatepost reporter covering the vigil), and I told her I’d been thinking about what she said, and that I promised to make our coverage worthwhile to the student body – something other than the facts, stories and reflections with which they’d no doubt be inundated by the end of the week. I told her the take-away this week would be the strength and resilience of FSU students, the deep meaning the Marathon holds for them and the ways in which they can begin to heal, together.

As an 81-year-old paper, The Gatepost has covered the Second World War, 9/11, Oklahoma City, Virginia Tech and everything in between. I truly believe that a newspaper, and especially a student newspaper whose purpose is to inform and enlighten the on-campus community, can do great things in the wake of such tragedies. If we focus on what coverage really matters most to our peers, I think we can do just that.

Posted in Ethics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPJ Region 1 announces Mark of Excellence 2012 winners

The results are in for the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence awards in 8 of the organization’s 12 regions nationally.

At The Gatepost, we were fortunate enough to be awarded with 3 MOE awards for editorial writing, feature writing and feature photography – a first for us as a publication – and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

Here are our winning entries:

Editorial writing – Get a grip, A pathway to failure, and FSU’s culture problem (credited to the Gatepost Editorial Board)

Feature writing – My name is owen: One transgender student’s journey into manhood (a story I wrote last semester)

Feature photography – Picture 1“Moon Festival Gift” (by GP Photographer Danielle Vecchione)

More on that later, but for now, here is a list of the winners for Region 1 (New England, New York, New Jersey and central and eastern Pennsylvania) in SPJ’s many categories. You can find winners from other regions here.

NEWSPAPERS
Breaking News Reporting (Large)

First Place: “Jerry Sandusky convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse” by Mindy Szkaradnik, Penn State University
Second Place: “Bellevue Hospital Evacuates Patients” by Caroline Chen, Columbia University
Third Place: “End of an Era” by Gavan Gideon, Ben Prawdzik and Tapley Stephenson, Yale University

Breaking News Reporting (Medium)
First Place: “After Brook St. attack, senior chases down, catches mugger” by Lucy Feldman, Brown University
Second Place: “Commencement Move Draws Mixed Reaction” by Dorianna Valerio, Long Island University, LIU Post campus
Third Place: “Vicious Virus: Overnight norovirus outbreak sickens dozens” by Rachel Stengel and Katie Zeck, Rider University

Breaking News Reporting (Small)
First Place: “Ann Coulter Coverage” by Ian McKenna, Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Second Place: “Affordable Excellence” by Amanda Newman, Roger Williams University
Third Place: “Mega storm closes campus” by Amanda Gipson, Penn State University

General News Reporting (Large)
First Place: “A Look at Nassau and Suffolk County’s Layoff Casualties” by Francis Berkman, Hofstra University
Second Place: “San Francisco police chief to be nation’s highest paid, for overseeing 14th-largest force” by Christopher Peak, Yale University
Third Place: “Sandusky’s neighbors reflect on neighborhood changes” by Kristin Stoller, Penn State University

General News Reporting (Medium)
First Place: “Commencement Move Draws Mixed Reaction” by Dorianna Valerio, Long Island University, LIU Post campus
Second Place: “Let’s Get Fiscal: Unexpected budget shortfall leads to departmental cuts” by Katie Zeck, Joe Petrizzo, Rachel Stengel and Jen Maldonado, Rider University
Third Place: “Government 1310 Cheating Scandal” by The Harvard Crimson Staff, Harvard University

General News Reporting (Small)
First Place: “Ann Coulter Coverage” by Ian McKenna, Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Second Place: Gilmour’s paid sabbatical amid proposal of cuts disturb faculty” by Kirstin Cook, Wilkes University

In-Depth Reporting (Large)
First Place: “Massachusetts State Integrity Package” by Matt Porter, Kirsten Berg, Julia Waterhous and Alex Burris, Boston University
Second Place: “Fait Accompli” by Kathleen Ronayne and Beckie Strum, Syracuse University
Third Place: “Cleary Act Challenges” by Casey McDermott, Penn State University

In-Depth Reporting (Medium)
First Place: “Mental Health at Harvard” by Quinn D. Hatoff, Harvard University
Second Place: “Mercer County Community College has filed faulty crime reports for years” by Laura Pollack, Mercer County Community College
Third Place: “Professor Jamal Eric Watson is investigated for a wide range of legal and contractual reasons” by Laura Pollack, Kellie Rendina and Noelle Gilman, Mercer County Community College

In-Depth Reporting (Small)
First Place: “Budget cuts keep birth control under wraps” by Phat Nguyen, Wilkes University
Second Place: “Lee named 15th President” by Yellow Jacket Staff and Sarah Bell, Waynesburg University
Third Place: “Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment” by Tyler Dumont, Lyndon State College

Feature Writing (Large)
First Place: “Out of the darkness” by Marwa Eltagouri, Syracuse University
Second Place: “A Climate of Communication” by Jennifer Swales, Penn State University
Third Place: “Help in dealing with the pain” by sean Carlin, Temple University

Feature Writing (Medium)
First Place: “My name is Owen: One transgender student’s journey into manhood” by Spencer Buell, Framingham State University
Second Place: “Domestic Propaganda” by Jason Silverstein, University of Rochester
Third Place: “Even When No One is Looking” By Tara W. Merrigan, Harvard University

Feature Writing (Small)
First Place: “Replacing calories to erase pounds” by Kinsey Janke and Michelle Lee, Roger Williams University
Second Place: “Crohn’s Is On The Rise Among Children” by Hannah Rubin, Wesleyan University
Third Place: “Bradford Kinney ready to retire after 40 years at Wilkes” by William Thomas, Wilkes University

Sports Writing (Large)
First Place: “Despite hard-fought efforts, progress comes slowly for female sportswriters” by Emily Kaplan, Penn State University
Second Place: “Players enjoy strategy of sport” by Eric Visintainer, Penn State University
Third Place: “Lewis escapes from tough upbringing, graduates from SU to achieve lifelong goal” by David Propper, Syracuse University

Sports Writing (Medium)
First Place: “Rethinking America’s Pastime: The Paul DePodesta Story” by Scott A. Sherman, Harvard University
Second Place: “The Rise of Harvard Basketball” by Catherine E. Coppinger, Martin A. Kessler, Scott A. Sherman and Dennis J. Zheng, Harvard University
Third Place: “Fenlator pilots life’s struggles and joys” by David Pavlak, Rider University

Sports Writing (Small)
First Place: “Running Into Trouble” by Joshua Weinreb, Roger Williams University
Second Place: “Gaelic Football, Father an Inspiration for Fordham Kicker Murray” by Jennifer Khedaroo, Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Editorial Writing (Large)
First Place: Casey McDermott, Penn State University
Second Place: Marissa Medansky, Dan Stein and Tapley Stephenson, Yale University
Third Place: Chase Brush, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Editorial Writing (Medium)
First Place: The Gatepost Editorial Board, Framingham State University
Second Place: Timothy Wadman, Villanova University
Third Place: Staff of The College VOICE, Mercer County Community College

Editorial Writing (Small)
First Place: Ian McKenna, Monique John and Harry Huggins, Fordham College at Lincoln Center

General Column Writing (Large)
First Place: Colin Ross, Yale University
Second Place: Marissa Medansky, Yale University
Third Place: Jesse Rifkin, University of Connecticut

General Column Writing (Medium)
First Place: Sam Ellison, Villanova University
Second Place: Ken Napier, Mercer County Community College

General Column Writing (Small)
First Place: Jewel Galbraith, Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Second Place: Jay Polansky, Fairfield University

Sports Column Writing (Large)
First Place: Michael Cohen, Syracuse University
Second Place: Aaron Mansfield, University at Buffalo
Third Place: “Paterno was human, too” by Adam Bittner, Penn State University

Sports Column Writing (Medium)
First Place: “Around the Ivies” by Scott A. Sherman, Harvard University
Second Place: Kevin Pulsifer, Villanova University

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
First Place: Yale Daily News, Yale University
Second Place: The Daily Pennsylvanian, University of Pennsylvania
Third Place: The Daily Orange, Syracuse University

Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper (Large)
First Place: Outlook, SUNY Rockland Community College
Second Place: The Torch, Bergen Community College
Third Place: The Maine Campus, University of Maine

Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper (Large)
First Place: Outlook, SUNY Rockland Community College
Second Place: The Torch, Bergen Community College
Third Place: The Maine Campus, University of Maine

Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper (Medium)
First Place: The Ithacan, Ithaca College
Second Place: The Rider News, Rider University
Third Place: Campus Times, University of Rochester

Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper (Small)
First Place: The Hawks’ Herald, Roger Williams University

MAGAZINE
Non-Fiction Magazine Article

First Place: “Cold Blood Brothers” by Iona Holloway, Syracuse University
Second Place: “Smelling Blood” by Juliana Hanle, Yale University
Third Place: “Red, White, and Green” by Christina Sterbenz, Syracuse University

Best Student Magazine
First Place: Jerk Magazine, Syracuse University
Second Place: Valley Magazine, Penn State University
Third Place: MPJ Magazine, Syracuse University

ART/GRAPHICS
Breaking News Photography (Large)

First Place: “Vigil for Joe Paterno” by Tyler Sizemore, Penn State University
Second Place: “Rally ends in defeat” by Cynthia Hua, Yale University
Third Place: “9-11 dedication and memorial” by Paul Eberte, Community College of Philadelphia

Breaking News Photography (Small)
First Place: “Hurricane Sandy” by Tavy Wu, Fordham College at Lincoln Center

General News Photography (Large)
First Place: “KissOut” by Chloe Elmer, Penn State University
Second Place: “Roller Coaster” by Torri Singer, Penn State University
Third Place: “Profs fall in first round” by Louis Gormley, Rowan University

General News Photography (Medium)
First Place: “Chinese New Year” by Matthew Grant Arnold, Mercer County Community College

Feature Photography (Large)
First Place: “Raising Vladdy” by Kelley King, Penn State University
Second Place: “Caring for Noah” by Krista Myers, Penn State University
Third Place: “Career Fair” by Chloe Elmer, Penn State University

Feature Photography (Medium)
First Place: “Moon Festival Gift” by Danielle Vecchione, Framingham State University

Feature Photography (Small)
First Place: “New York City Graffiti Art” by Weiyu Li, Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Second Place: “Spring Dip” by Bryan Barber, Danielle Drown and Sierra Willenburg, Lyndon State College

Photo Illustration (Large)
First Place: “Stories from Sandy” by Torri Singer, Penn State University

Sports Photography (Large)
First Place: “Your knee shouldn’t go that way” by Kelley King, Penn State University
Second Place: “Victory Celebration” by Amanda August, Penn State University
Third Place: “Battle on the Midway” by Nate Shron, Syracuse University

Sports Photography (Medium)
First Place: “Ragone Has the Last Laugh” by Mark A. Kelsey, Harvard University

Editorial Cartooning (Large)
First Place: Daniel Nott, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Second Place: Emmett Baggett, Syracuse University
Third Place: Micah Benson, Syracuse University

RADIO
Radio News Reporting

First Place: “The National Guard Comes to Red Hook” by Sean Carlson, CUNY
Second Place: “Living With Guns” by Mary Shell, CUNY
Third Place: “Syrian Protests Reach Brooklyn” by Justin Mitchell, CUNY

Radio Feature
First Place: “Syracuse Community Choir: by Marina Zarya, Syracuse University
Second Place: “Homeschooling” by Diana Saverin, Yale College
Third Place: “Growing Apples and History on Long Island” by Adam Warner, CUNY

Radio In-Depth Reporting
First Place: “NYC’s Bike-Share Program” by Connor Ryan, Fordham University
Second Place: “Penn State University Scandal Recovery Efforts” by Casie Tennin,Penn State University
Third Place: “Local Music Worldwide” by Willis Arnold, Rachel Sapin and Jorteh Senah, CUNY

Radio Sports Reporting
First Place: “Boxing Takes Teens to Next Round” by Tom DiChristopher, CUNY
Second Place: “A Skate Park Grows in Brooklyn” by Tom DiChristopher, CUNY
Third Place: “Al Michaels: Seizing the Moment” by Kyle Kesses, Fordham University

Best All-Around Radio Newscast
First Place: WFUV Newscast, Fordham University

TELEVISION
Television Breaking News Reporting

First Place: “SU Student Suicide Reax” by Andrew Scheinthal,Suffolk University
Second Place: “Jerry Sandusky Sentenced” by Adrienne DiPiazza, Penn State University
Third Place: “Manufacturers Lead Jobs Recovery” by Laura J. Keller, Columbia University

Television General News Reporting
First Place: “Recovering in Pt. Pleasant, N.J.” by Jenn Walker, Quinnipiac University
Second Place: “Paperless Parking” by Cat Janisko, Penn State University
Third Place: “Heat Causing Farmers to Sweat” by Matt Sonsalla, Penn State University

Television Feature Reporting
First Place: “Reaching Higher” by Karam Khosa, Matt Andersen and Will Monkowski, Penn State University
Second Place: “32 Years of Smiles” by Lorne Fultonberg, Syracuse University
Third Place: “Transit Fails Older New Yorkers” by Whitney Mallett, New York University

Television Sports Reporting
First Place: “The Future of Boxing in America” by Fernando Calderon and Pete Floyd, Penn State University
Second Place: “Reaching Higher” by Karam Khosa, Matt Anderson and Will Monkowski, Penn State University
Third Place: “Austin’s Story” by Rachel Polansky, Penn State University

Television News Photography
First Place: “Hurricane Sandy Damage” by Zach Russo, Quinnipiac University
Second Place: “Heat Causing Farmers to Sweat” by Matt Sonsalla, Penn State University

Television Feature Photography
First Place: “Manufacturers Lead Jobs Recovery” by Laura J. Keller, Columbia University

Television Sports Photography
First Place: “Austin’s Story” by Rachel Polansky and Dan Hamilton, Penn State University
Second Place: “The Future of Boxing in America” by Fernando Calderon and Pete Floyd, Penn State University

Best All-Around Television Newscast
First Place: The Centre County Report – 11/2/12, Penn State University

ONLINE
Online News Reporting (Large)

First Place: “The Doctor Drain” by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY
Second Place: “Scenes of Sandy” by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY
Third Place: “Haven on The Harlem” by Mott Haven Herald and NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY

Online News Reporting (Medium)
First Place: “Hurricane Sandy Coverage” by The Quad News, Quinnipiac University
Second Place: “Hurricane Sandy” by The Rider News Staff, Rider University
Third Place: “Connecticut Readies Its Healthcare Exchange” by Adam Chiara, Quinnipiac University

Online News Reporting (Small)
First Place: “Hawk The Vote Election 2012” by Christopher Ferreira, Nicholle Buckley, Olivia Lyons and George Boveroux, Roger Williams University

Online Feature Reporting (Large)
First Place: “Changing Neighborhoods” by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY
Second Place: “Sandy hits close to home for Hofstra student reporter” by Kristen Maldonado, Hofstra University
Third Place: :Scrappers” by Dillon Mast, Temple University

Online Feature Reporting (Medium)
First Place: “The Planet of the Octopuses” by Max Knoblauch, Hofstra University
Second Place: “Training Police Dogs” by Adam Chiara, Quinnipiac University
Third Place: “Hurricane Sandy Hit…Mineola Hit Harder” by Jeanine Russaw, Hofstra University

Online Feature Reporting (Small)
First Place: “Viral Content: Free Speech, Hate Speech” by Caroline Batten, Swarthmore College
Second Place: “From Pageants To Politics” by Gabbi Hall and Shannon Moore, Saint Michael’s College

Online In-Depth Reporting (Large)
First Place: “The Doctor Drain” by NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY
Second Place: “Haven on The Harlem” by Mott Haven Herald and NYCity News Service Staff, CUNY

Online Sports Reporting (Large)
First Place: “Shane McGregor: quarterback, prayer warrior and author” by Melanie DiCarlo, Penn State University
Second Place: “Syracuse tries to decrease risk of concussions by neck-strengthening” by Michael Cohen, Syracuse University
Third Place: “Roller Derby ‘Girls’ Slam and Jam” by Alex Robinson, CUNY

Best Affiliated Website (Large)
First Place: theDP.com, University of Pennsylvania
Second Place: The Daily Collegian Online, Penn State University
Third Place: studentvanguard.com, Community College of Philadelphia

Best Affiliated Website (Small)
First Place: NewsLINC, Lyndon State College

Best Independent Online Student Publication (Large)
First Place: The NewsHouse, Syracuse University
Second Place: NYCity News Service, CUNY
Third Place: Scienceline, New York University

Best Independent Online Student Publication (Medium)
First Place: The Quad News, Quinnipiac University
Second Place: Imprint Magazine, Ithaca College

 

Posted in Society of Professional Journalists | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Op/ed page guidelines: What they are and why we have them

op:edpic

A snapshot of The Gatepost’s op/ed page from last week.

In a student newspaper, the opinions section is often the most powerful weapon college journalists wield. More so than in the “real world,” opportunities abound to speak truth to power on college campuses, to speak your mind in a public forum and to really bring about some serious change in your community. At The Gatepost, we actively recruit the opinions of our peers, reinforcing the idea that the written word can and does help shape the future of the institution. Club presidents, especially, should really be capitalizing on this opportunity – green-oriented groups can lobby for enhanced recycling programs or divestment in fossil fuels (an emerging trend on college campuses that has yet to catch on at our school), LGBT rights groups can educate students about hate speech, clubs putting on events aimed at curbing sexual assault can promote their ideals, while also publicizing speakers or demonstrations.

In short, there is a lot of potential for good to be done in the body of the op/ed page. At the same time, though, it’s important to have a clear set of guidelines for exactly how the opinions section will be operated. This year, we came up with a short paragraph laying out exactly how we handle submissions to the op/ed page, which I will break down, piece-by-piece, here:

While it is one’s First Amendment right to speak one’s mind, members of the FSU community do not have the  First Amendment right to have an op/ed appear on The Gatepost’s op/ed page. The Gatepost E-board has the authority to curate the op/ed section, accepting or rejecting all submissions to the op/ed page, as is deemed necessary by the EIC, who will either allow the author to re-submit another draft or reject the piece outright.

An important preamble, I think, and one that many students take for granted. Just because someone submits an opinion to the newspaper, that does not mean that it is guaranteed to appear in print. The op/ed page is a curated environment, which is what makes it different from, say a Facebook page or Tumblr, where any and all opinions can be posted and shared by anyone. It’s why the opinions section has an editor. That being said, care should be taken to make sure that there is a reason behind the rejection of any op/ed submissions. The last thing we want is for someone to get the idea that we are refusing to run something simply because we disagree with it. Of course, anyone can take to Facebook or Twitter or wherever else to criticize the paper for apparent attempts at silencing them (which, as you can imagine, has happened), so we need to be prepared to say exactly why submissions are rejected, and need to stand by that decision. In some cases, student newspaper editors have the opportunity to collaborate with people who send in submissions by offering advice, explaining potential issues and encouraging authors to double-check sources, reinforce arguments with facts or tone down some of the vitriol in favor of clear-headedness. With the help of some knowledgeable editors, or even a faculty advisor, we can help students say exactly what it is they want to say, say it well, and, potentially, affect change.

Submissions will be edited for grammar and spelling and checked for full factual accuracy as is deemed necessary by The Gatepost’s Editor-in-Chief.

This is important as well. Great care should be taken to read through all articles, even those that come from outside the newspaper staff. Fixing a misplaced comma, an improper “their” or removing unnecessary words is a service we are happy to provide, and which can generate some good will between the community and the paper. The trick here is not going too far – mangling someone’s text beyond recognition. If it’s that bad, we send it back for a rewrite.

The EIC will send an e-mail to a submission’s author within 24 hours of the publication of that week’s paper edition alerting the author about his or her decision to either accept or reject submissions. The EIC is under no obligation to alert authors about rejections before deadline.

So this one has a backstory, I guess you could say. I won’t go into the details, but the takeaway here is that people who write submissions should never be given the impression that they will be told before deadline that their piece isn’t running. In the madness of the final hours before deadline, it doesn’t make much sense to have to explain why something is or isn’t running, especially when someone is upset about the situation, so we’ve adopted a post-publication notification policy. It’s better that people know this way ahead of time, so there are no surprises.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment