diversity digest
Summer 02
Media watch
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News clips from: OregonNebraskaConnecticutNorth CarolinaGeorgia
Materials for the Media
PBS series FRONTLINE/World Seeking Campus Engagement Partners

News Clips


Seven out of every ten Oregon high school students enrolled in some sort of post-high school educational program in 2001. According to survey of Oregon high school graduates in 2001, three-quarters of students were enrolled in a two-year, four-year, or vocational school within nine months of graduation. The survey also indicated that college enrollment among minority students has risen. Compared with 1999 survey data, the percentage of African American students enrolled in college rose from 67 percent to 71 percent; Native American students from 48 percent to 75 percent; Latino students from 63 percent to 67 percent; and Asian American students from 86 percent to 90 percent. “We certainly see that Oregon’s young people are embracing the idea of the knowledge economy and figuring out how to secure their place in it,” said Shirley Clark, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Oregon University System.

“College Beckons Oregon’s High School Graduates,” by Steven Carter, the Oregonian, July 16, 2002

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Mothers Living & Learning program offered by the College of St. Mary’s, in Omaha, NE provides an on-campus residential option for single mothers who want to pursue their education in a supportive environment. Single moms with fewer than two children under age ten throughout their mother’s college career may opt for this program offering a larger than normal dorm room with a shared living room, playroom, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room for the same room and board rate as other students.

Tara Knudson Carl, St. Mary’s vice president, believes that helping single mothers is in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church and with the mission of the college. “It is so difficult for single women to become economically independent without a college degree,” she said. “We are helping them achieve a college degree so they can provide a better life for their children.” The program began in 2000 with nine single moms. The College expects thirty single moms for the fall 2002 semester.

“For Moms and Kids, It’s Dorm Sweet Dorm,” by Michael O’Connor, Omaha World Herald, March 19, 2002

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Where do many poor students, nontraditional students, and parenting students in Connecticut choose to study postsecondary education? According to Susan Plese, a professor of communications at Manchester Community College, many of these students attend community college. Community college offers flexibility, convenience, and a top education at an affordable price. Or, at least the price used to be affordable. The Connecticut State Board of Trustees of Community Technical Colleges recently approved a 12 percent tuition increase over the next three years. Community college, the least expensive form of education, is perhaps the only opportunity that many students have to complete a college education. Plese writes in her weekly column in The Hartford Courant: “This rising cost of education hurts the poorest most. Already they live on slender strings, paycheck to paycheck, avoiding eviction, dealing with dysfunctional families, holding dead-end jobs, driving rattletrap cars…and trying to improve themselves with an education.”Now even that possibility may be out of reach. “Raising tuition is a mistake; state should give more money, not less, to community colleges,” by Susan Plese, The Hartford Courant, July 29, 2002

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North Carolina

In May 2002, a task force at the University of North Carolina released a report on the campus climate for gay and lesbian students. The report suggests that UNC create an Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Life. Students, professors, and administrators who served on the committee argue in the report that there is a strong need for such a campus resource and that UNC lags behind its peer institutions in the creation of such an office. Provost Robert Shelton’s office is now reviewing the 92-page report. Shelton said, “We need something welcoming all members of the community while also serving a subset. To do it well, it has to be done in an inclusionary way.” The full report may be read online at: www.unc.edu/provost/. “Report: UNC lagging in support for alternative lifestyles. Permanent office among plans to provide sexual minorities with resources, positive climate,” by Eric Ferreri, Chapel Hill Herald, July 6, 2002

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Kennesaw State Dean Yiping Wan is leading the Atlanta institution to the forefront of Sino-American education. The dean of Kennesaw’s Bagwell College of Education is also chair of the Sino-American Education Consortium and a member of the National Coalition on Asia and International Studies in the Schools. He is troubled that Americans do not know more about China. “Most Americans are ignorant about Asian and Asian-Americans in this country,” said Wan, and he has taken proactive measures to decrease that ignorance. Vivien Stewart, executive director of the National Coalition on Asian and International Studies in the Schools, strongly seconds Wan’s efforts and believes that in today’s global environment American people cannot afford to be ignorant about the cultures of other countries. Wan and Stewart want to increase the study of Asian culture, history, geography, and language in high school and college. “Chinese scholar pushes Asian studies at KSU,” by Shelia M. Poole, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 10, 2002

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Materials for the Media

Remember that every document you prepare and release to the media should include at the top of the first page the name of someone the media can contact for follow-up, along with a phone number where that person can be reached. Documents should always be dated.

News releases
News releases are two- to four-page reports of a newsworthy event. Some tips about news releases:

  • News releases should sound like a news story written by an incredibly sympathetic reporter. That means that they should be written in a reporter's voice, not an advocate's. Commentary in a news release should be in quotes and attributed to your spokesperson.
  • News releases should have a "lead paragraph" that clearly states the news of the release, and answers the Who, What, When, Where and Why questions.

Media advisories
Media advisories are one-page announcements, written to alert journalists to an event they may want to cover. Some tips about media advisories:

  • Advisories can be in a bullet form, announcing an event or an availability.
  • An advisory should say when an event is, where it is, and what and whom reporters will find there.

Backgrounders are in-depth discussions of an issue that can be used to bring a reporter who is new to the subject up to speed. Some tips about backgrounders:

  • These are generally the only documents created specifically for the media that can be longer than three or four pages. So its OK to stretch your legs a bit. But don't go on any longer than is useful.
  • Reporters read backgrounders to learn about an issue, and also to find out what you think is relevant.

Fact sheets
Fact sheets are one-page handouts, usually in bullet form, with quick and important facts about an issue. Some tips about fact sheets:

  • Fact sheets are great vehicles for statistics that catch the eye.
  • Fact sheets should be short, and should not include quotes from your spokesperson. Stick to the facts.
  • Fact sheets should include facts, and not your opinions.

Statements are one-page remarks from a spokesperson. Some tips about statements:

  • You should distribute a statement from a spokesperson at a press conference or some other event open to the press.
  • The statement should excerpt the most important and quotable points in the speaker's prepared remarks.

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PBS series FRONTLINE/World Seeking Campus Engagement Partners

FRONTLINE/World (www.pbs.org/frontlineworld), FRONTLINE’s new television series is seeking college and university partners to build campus engagement programs around FRONTLINE/World content. Developed by FRONTLINE producers in conjunction with public television stations KQED San Francisco and WGBH Boston, FRONTLINE/World turns its lens on the global community, introducing viewers to countries and cultures rarely seen on American television. Interested academic departments (i.e. Journalism, International Affairs, Government, Media), campus administration (i.e. Equal Opportunity Program, International House), student groups (i.e. Society of Professional Journalists, ethnic/racial/nationality-based groups), or other campus organizations dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of global issues through media, please contact Brent Quan Hall at (415) 553-2857 or via e-mail at bhall@kqed.org.

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