10 College Newspapers with the Scoop
By Aimee Hosler Jan 25, 2013
A quick Internet search can tell you a lot about a college, but to understand what is happening on a campus and why it matters, check out the student newspaper. Collegiate newspapers document important events through the eyes of students, whether in newsprint or online. Colleges that support campus "rags" provide a driving range for students interested in a variety of subjects, such as journalism, government, marketing, social media, and web publishing.
We've picked out just a few of the publications giving students a forum for expression. Some were chosen for their accolades, others for their historical significance, and still others for their unique voices or editorial decisions. These papers fulfill the same mission: keeping their metaphorical fingers on the pulse of their institutions (and the world beyond) and sharing those insights with anyone who cares to listen.
- The Battalion: This Texas A&M student newspaper - with alums such as singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett - was established in 1893. The Batt comes out daily and has several achievements to its credit, including ranking among the Princeton Review's best college newspapers in the nation in 2008. In addition to the latest news, sports, and lifestyle headlines, The Batt publishes comics and maintains a guide to Texas A&M's most celebrated traditions on its website.
- The Daily Californian: This independent, student-run newspaper serves the University of California, Berkeley and the local community. Founded in 1871 and earning its independent status one century later, The Daily Californian covers a broad range of issues, including regional crime news, legislative developments that affect the UC system, and arts and entertainment reviews. The paper reports that in 2012, the California College Media Association named it the best daily student newspaper in the state, and the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) ranked it among the top 14 student newspaper websites for large campuses in the nation.
- The Daily Mississippian: The DM is a daily independent student newspaper serving the University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, and much like the school from which it hails, it is rich in history. In 1962, when Ole Miss was the site of anti-integration riots, The DM's editor Sidna Brower published an editorial boldly titled, "Violence Will Not Help." The piece won her a Pulitzer Prize nomination, but it also led to criticism from people across the country. While the paper's website continues to address social issues such as racism, it also covers a wide breadth of less controversial issues in its photo blog and regional news, sports, and lifestyle features.
- The Daily Targum: Founded in 1869 at Rutgers University, this student-written and -managed newspaper reveals that it is one of the oldest and largest college newspapers in the country. In addition to the news, sports, and opinion pieces, The Daily Targum includes science news and local stories, including the effect of Hurricane Sandy on local businesses. The publication has received a number of awards for its efforts, including the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown Award - the highest honor for a college newspaper in the U.S.
- The Exponent: This independent daily newspaper serves Purdue University and is hailed as the largest daily collegiate publication in Indiana. Though its first edition was published in 1889, it became its own entity in 1968. The Exponent covers everything from hard-hitting news to movie reviews. In a continuation of the newspaper's independent spirit, students control all news content and have the ability to hire paid staff.
- The GW Hatchet: This editorially and financially independent newspaper serving George Washington University was founded in 1904; only the Washington Post has a longer history among continuously published newspapers in the District of Columbia. Content includes local news such as the presidential inauguration as well as blogs, multimedia, and restaurant reviews. Its honors include the ACP Online Pacemaker Award and best non-daily student newspaper in the U.S. from the Society of Professional Journalists.
- The Maneater: This paper reports that in 1955, editor Joe Gold changed the name of the "Missouri Student" to "The Maneater" as a sign of the paper's newfound independence from the University of Missouri. It was also meant to represent the publication's aggressive new voice: "When The Maneater gets mad, all hell is going to break loose," Gold's editorial policy read. In addition to reviewing the latest blockbuster movie and covering local news, the "Mizzou" paper offers annual scholarships to deserving staff members.
- The Maine Campus: This bi-weekly student newspaper from the University of Maine was founded in 1875, and according to its official website, has produced journalists for publications including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press. Perhaps its most famous alum is horror writer Steven King, who wrote a column named "King's Garbage Truck" during his college years. Today, the paper mainly covers local and college news, but it also offers editorials, sports recaps, culture pieces, and stories on green topics such as composting efforts.
- The Technique: Calling itself the liveliest college newspaper of the South, the Technique is the official campus paper of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Founded in 1911, the Technique primarily covers local and campus-related issues, including sports, entertainment, and editorial news - but may also tackle global issues, such as conflicts in the Middle East, and other controversial topics. Students who are not on the paper's staff can contribute anonymous snippets known as "slivers." In 2011, the Georgia Collegiate Press awarded the Technique first prize in general excellence.
- The Vermont Cynic: This publication's tagline says it has been the independent voice of The University of Vermont since 1883. With a circulation of about 6,000, The Vermont Cynic nabbed national kudos with the ACP Pacemaker award for 2011. Sections of the paper range from News and Sports to Arts, Distractions, and Life.
Student newspapers can offer an exclusive glimpse into a school from the ground floor. They provide an invaluable archive of campus culture while keeping students informed about major events around school and in the vicinity. Incoming freshman should be sure to check out their school's newspaper to get plugged into the vibe of their new environment.