It’s Valentine’s Day. Time for UVM Student Media to get sexy.
UVMtv put on its biggest-ever Dating Show, in Brennan’s Pub on the ground floor of the Davis student center. Did contestants find love? Probably. Did every contestant get from free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Definitely.
Not to be outdone, The Vermont Cynic–whose new batch of editors have said they want to make current events sexy–published its first-ever “Sexy Issue,” complete with a list of soulful sounds to get you in the mood, provided by UVM radio station WRUV-FM.
Thank you, UVM Student Media, for making Valentine’s Day sexy and date-filled.
Students in my News Writing Across the Media course take a news quiz in the first five minutes of each Thursday’s class, and the best way to prepare is to read, watch and listen to the news every day. But there are shortcuts. Here are some good ones:
- Choose a cable channel and watch (or put the app on your phone). Check in regularly throughout the day. Options include CNN, MSNBC and Fox. With cable news, beware opinion masquerading as fact.
- The network news shows still do a pretty good job of compressing the day’s news into 30 minutes or so. National news is on at 6:30 p.m. on ABC and NBC, and it’s on at 7 p.m. on CBS.
- For fun with your news, you could do a lot worse than The Daily Show or Colbert Report, airing Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central.
- Listen to the news at the top of the hour on Vermont Public Radio (107.9 FM or VPR.net). During drive times–mornings between 6 and 9 or evenings between 4 and 6–you can hear extended discussions of the news, both local and national.
- Download and listen to the podcast for “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” a weekly news quiz featuring journalists and comedians. You can listen to the show live on Saturday and download the podcast not long after.
- The Burlington Free Press and Seven Days cover the local scene. Both are available in the library for free, for pay on racks and for semi-free online. One of Seven Days’ best features is The Daily 7, which emails you seven of the most interesting stories of the day, from multiple news sources.
- For UVM-related news, read the award-winning Vermont Cynic.
- Most of the sources listed above have Twitter and Facebook accounts that you can follow for updates. If you’re not on Twitter, it’s easy to get started, and there are many apps, such as Tweetdeck, that allow you to follow multiple Twitter and Facebook streams simultaneously.
- For a daily news update, try the The New York Times News Quiz.
- Put your home page to news.google.com or some other news site.
- You can get daily podcasts and news-alert updates from every major news source. One of the best for preparing for the news quiz is is NPR’s “NPR: 7AM ET News Summary Podcast,” which you can get at the top of every day for a good news summary.
Of course, there are many more great news sites out there. If you come across one that you think would really help your classmates prepare for these quizzes, please let me know.
Just-departed Vermont Cynic Editor-in-Chief Brent Summers today published his first solo effort on The New York Times website, with his story “Campus Divestment Fight Resonates in the East” appearing at the top of the Times’ environmental themed Green Blog.
This is the second time in as many weeks that Summers’ work has appeared in some version of the Times. Last week, he received a reporting-credit tagline on the bottom of a story by Times’ environmental writer Justin Gillis. That story appeared both in print and online.
“There is no feeling in the world like seeing your name in The New York Times,” Summers said. “I am so thrilled to have gotten this opportunity and could not have done any of this without the experience of being part of the Cynic.
“I am a few days away from the graduating and there is no doubt that joining the Cynic was the best decision I made in college.”
Summers, who will graduate Saturday, last week contributed Vermont-centric writing to Gillis’ story about the divestment movement, which calls for institutions like the University of Vermont to end their investments in funds associated with fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas.
Gillis steered Summers toward a Times editor who helped him prepare today’s story for the Green Blog. Summers said he used many of the notes he’d originally taken for Gillis–along with new reporting–to compose the story.
In the article, Summers explores the nature of the divestment movement, which is particularly strong in the Northeast at schools like UVM, Middlebury College and the University of New Hampshire. Summers writes that the region’s movement serves as a model for activists in other parts of the country.
Summers’ byline isn’t the only time a departing Cynic editor has reached national prominence. In fact, Summers’ predecessor, Natalie DiBlasio, began writing for USA Today about 18 months ago, while still serving as Cynic editor-in-chief. Today, she serves as the breaking-news reporter and as a host of USA NOW, the paper’s online video news service.
A week ago, UVM senior Brent Summers completed his term as editor-in-chief of The Vermont Cynic.
Today, his reporting showed up in The New York Times.
Not a bad turnaround.
Summers’ work appeared in a story titled “The Divestment Brigade” on page B1 of the paper’s New York edition. A version of the story appeared the night before on NYTimes.com.
“Every reporter dreams of seeing their name in The New York Times one day,” Summers said. “I had no idea that it would happen to me while still in college.”
As many UVM students know already, McKibben has been campaigning to pressure colleges like UVM to end their investments in funds associated with fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas.
Gillis asked Summers to take copious notes but said that his contribution would amount to just a couple of paragraphs. That prediction turned out to be true, but Summer’s notes were indeed copious: nearly 3,000 words of observations and interviews of local, state and national figures.
As it turns out, the remainder of the notes might not go unused.
After seeing Summers’ work, Gillis talked to him about the possibility of writing for the Times’ Green blog, a section of NYTimes.com devoted to discussion of energy and the environment.
“I am thrilled to have had the opportunity and determined that this will not be my last byline in the Times,” Summers said.
Former online editor Colleen McClintock, the student who oversaw the site from January to May, was recognized by many Cynic leaders as the creative force behind the website.
Here’s what Colleen had to say:
When I heard about our win I was actually sitting at home on my day off.
My phone started buzzing out of control with texts from all of the Cynic people who were there in Chicago, and I couldn’t help but laugh because I just pictured them all sitting in their chairs at the ceremony texting furiously to express the things that they couldn’t yell out loud about.
From my side I have to say vindication is seriously sweet. I stood up on that podium during elections a year ago and promised my people a Pacemaker — and some 12 months later we have one!
It’s absolutely phenomenal and not one bit my own. It belongs to everyone at the Cynic who helped both professionally and emotionally because, let’s be honest, journalism is rarely a walk in the park and always a team effort.
It just so happens we had the best team and I couldn’t feel luckier to have been a part of it. It makes me feel readier than ever to start my post-grad journey, knowing full well that I got the most I could have out of my years at UVM.
In other news, UVM communications gave prominent play to the Pacemaker win, which was nice.
For the second year in a row, UVM’s student newspaper, The Vermont Cynic, has won the most coveted of national college media awards, the Pacemaker.
“This is a huge validation of our efforts to move into the 21st century,” Cynic Editor Brent Summers said. “When I took over as editor, the website was really shaky and we had an award-winning print edition.
“I don’t believe that you can have a successful news organization with one half and not the other, with print and not online, so that’s where I put a lot of our efforts.”
Pacemaker awards come in four flavors—online, newspaper, magazine and yearbook—in a contest widely considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.
The Cynic competed in the online category against other schools with enrollments between 10,001 and 20,000. Winning schools were University of Vermont, Yale, University of Miami, James Madison University and Duke, according to Associated Collegiate Press, which sponsors the contest.
ACP reported that 55 finalists were selected out of a total of 270 entries. The contest was judged by a panel of professionals with extensive online media experience. Judges noted that the most successful sites displayed excellence in writing and editing, in-depth coverage, site design, interactivity, photography and reactions to breaking news.
Winners were announced Saturday at the National College Media Convention in Chicago. Staff members Corrie Roe, Becky Hayes, Natalie Williams and Devin Karambelas were on hand to collect the award. Within seconds, they were calling friends and tweeting news nationwide.
Tweeted Karambelas, “@vermontcynic we won an online pacemaker!!!!
Not to be outdone—well, actually a couple of minutes earlier—Hayes tweeted, “WE GOT AN ONLINE PACEMAKER!!!!! Awesome job @vermontcynic )))” She even included a picture of the award.
The online award is the latest iteration of the Pacemaker, with an early version appearing in 1995 as the first nationwide competition for online college student publications. Entries are judged in March or April of each year, and all sites must be produced and maintained primarily by students, according to ACP.
The Cynic website went through significant improvements between January and April, Summers said, during the brief but productive tenure of online editor Colleen McClintock.
Current web editor Kathleen Murray has “been continuing Colleen’s great work and keeping the website updated,” Summers said.
Though the online Pacemaker was the Cynic’s biggest award of the convention, it was not the only award. In the closing ceremonies, the print edition of The Cynic was named third best of all university weeklies at the convention, which hosted about 2,500 students from across the country.
“Getting third in Best of Show is the cherry on top,” Summers said. “However the industry continues to evolve, we’re now more than ready.”