Posts Tagged ‘Daily Collegian’

The latest rankings report listing the country’s “Best College Newspapers has been released by Princeton Review.  The papers are listed below, in order of their selection.

Penn State’s Daily Collegian vaulted to the top, following in the footsteps of its CMM “College Newspaper of the Year” honors earlier this summer.

The Daily Kansan moved up dramatically as well.  The Red & Black, The Michigan Daily, The Daily Nexus at UC Santa Barbara, The Rocky Mountain Collegian at Colorado State University, and The Technician at North Carolina State University all jumped onto the list after not appearing on the 2011 version.  Meanwhile, The Daily Northwestern and The Daily Texan suffered big drops.  The Battalion at Texas A&M had the biggest spiral– dropping from the list after appearing at #5 last year.  The Minnesota Daily, The Daily Mississippian, The Daily Campus at UCONN, and The Hilltop at Howard University also disappeared from the current version.


The Princeton Review rankings are not without controversy.  As Bryan Murley from the Center for Innovation in College Media confirmed two summers ago, the process by which these papers achieve the “Best” distinction is, well, fairly ridiculous.

Yet, the rankings receive more attention from the public and mainstream media than every other student journalism contest and competition, including the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker awards (the closest the student press has to the Pulitzer Prizes).  Why?  My guess, without sarcasm or cynicism: It’s an offshoot of the attention given to the sexier rankings such as “Best Party Schools.”

1. The Daily Collegian, Penn State University

2. The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina

3. Yale Daily News, Yale University

4. The Brown Daily Herald, Brown University

(Tie) 5. The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison

(Tie) 5. The Daily Cardinal, University of Wisconsin-Madison

6. The University Daily Kansan, Kansas University

7. The Diamondback, University of Maryland

8. The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida

9. The Daily Nexus, UC Santa Barbara

10. The Red & Black, University of Georgia

11. The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University

12. The Rocky Mountain Collegian, Colorado State University

13. The Daily Orange, Syracuse University

14. The Daily Gamecock, University of South Carolina

15. The Tufts Daily, Tufts University

16. The Michigan Daily, University of Michigan

17. The Post, Ohio University

18. Technician, North Carolina State University

19. The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin

20. The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University


College Newspaper of the Year, 2011-2012: The Daily Collegian, Penn State University

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The Princeton Review has released its annual listing of the biggest and best at colleges and unis nationwide.  Along with rundowns of the top party schools, school athletic facilities, and student radio stations, the Review has named the best U.S. college newspapers.

The top 20 sways heavily toward indie pubs at large state schools that publish just about daily and still enjoy large print circs.  One heartening name to see on the list: The Hilltop at Howard University, which went through a rough financial patch back in 2008.

The full list is below.  By the way, the Review only names the schools on its site (free registration required to access it), not the student papers affiliated with them.  So before scrolling down this post, a fun game for the j-geeks out there: the student newspaper knowledge test. How many student papers can you name from the Review’s list of schools, without Googling?  (I nabbed 19 out of 20.  Sorry Battalion!  Brief mental block. Oh, and WVU, yes, I needed a spell check on Athenaeum.) :)

1. The Yale Daily News, Yale University

2. The Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina

3. The Diamondback, University of Maryland

4. The Hilltop, Howard University

5. The Battalion, Texas A&M University

6. The Daily Collegian, Penn State University

7. The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University

8. The State News, Michigan State University

9. The Chronicle, Duke University

10. The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University

11. The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University

12. The Daily Texan, University of Texas at Austin

13. The Daily Bruin, UCLA

14. The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida

15. The Indiana Daily Student, Indiana University

16. The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin-Madison

17. The Daily Northwestern, Northwestern University

18. The Daily Mississippian, University of Mississippi

19. The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University

20. The Pipe Dream, State University of New York at Binghamton

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According to a pair of news reports published on the same day late last week, two A-list student newspapers enjoyed separate pardons from incidents begun last October- one financial and another criminal.

First up, Penn State’s Daily Collegian.  Last October, a student photographer for the newspaper faced charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, related to a post-football-victory riot he was covering.  According to the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, cops twice asked him to scoot, at one point telling him his presence was actually inciting the crowd.  The photog had contended that he was simply doing his job calmly, acceding to every police request except vacating the scene.

Apparently, the authorities agree.  All six charges have now been dropped, a sign of respect and recognition that he was present at the riot as a member of the press, not a fan.  Excellent news.

Also in the excellent news category: The Daily Californian at UC-Berkeley will be keeping its newsroom for now, even though it had been unable to pay all its rent and utilities.  In a sign of the troubling economic times, as The Berkeley Daily Planet reported, the paper had “been forced to scale back on its operations. The paper is no longer printing its Wednesday edition and has stopped paying its student reporters the $8 to $15 they previously received for each article. Faced with a drop in advertising revenue, the Daily Cal has only paid half its rent [for its newsroom in Eshleman Hall] since October.”

The owner of the building, an organization called the Store Operations Board of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), has forgiven the debt, citing the newspaper’s “significant value” to the campus as one of the reasons for not forcing it out of the building.  Daily Cal‘s editor in chief has publicly assured readers that the action will not influence its editorial coverage of the board in general.

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A note I just received from a trusted source with intimate knowledge of Penn State’s Daily Collegian, one of the best student papers within collegemediatopia:

“Yesterday at 3:30 p.m., the [Daily Collegian‘s] longtime news adviser, John Harvey, was fired.  Most people seem to think this is a personal vendetta thing involving the newspaper’s General Manager Gerry Hamilton.  Within hours, word got out (we’re journalists, come on) and there is a growing Facebook group called Support John Harvey.  Alumni are livid, and it really puts the paper in a bad situation- you don’t want instability when you are already having financial problems.  It ruins the major fund-raising campaign we were starting, which had the goal of supporting scholarship grants to Collegian students.”

The newspaper’s Alumni Interest Group (AIG) has already fired the first retaliatory shot, calling for a reinstatement of Harvey and a larger look at what are obviously some cracks in the paper’s decision-making structure:

The Daily Collegian AIG strongly protests the dismissal of Mr. John Harvey. The AIG board asks that the board of directors reverse John Harvey’s dismissal and, further, that the board of directors takes a more active role in overseein the Collegian‘s operations so that it can resume its proper role of educating and training student journalists.  The AIG board further asks that the board take a close look at the way the Collegian has been managed.  The Daily Collegian AIG will place a moratorium on its fundraising efforts in support of the Collegian until the AIG board is satisfied that Collegian Inc. is moving in a direction the AIG can support.”

I’m working to find out more about the situation (anyone with info, please write me ASAP at  I will say this at the outset, to the individual or group who canned Harvey: Anyone fortunate enough to hang a diploma bearing the initials PSU knows that The Daily Collegian has defined editorial excellence and zealousness for longer than Joe Paterno has been alive.   You better have a ridonkulously good reason for getting rid of a man (and an actual film star!) so respected by those who worked under him or you’re going to suffer the wrath of a thousand angry Collegianites.  They know how to use the media to their advantage.  They know how to uncover the truth.  And from the looks of it, they’re hungry.

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