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A Profile of North Carolina Collegiate Media

A Profile of North Carolina Collegiate Media

By Bradley Wilson and Heath Gardner
Bradley_wilson@ncsu.edu
April 2009

ABSTRACT

The college media in North Carolina are a diverse group. Some large public universities have million-dollar budgets and daily newspapers that survive solely on advertising monies. Smaller schools have thriving programs funded by student fee dollars and state funds. While newspapers still seem to be the backbone of most student media operations, a significant number of national award-winning magazines, radio stations and online media also thrive in the state. Through survey analysis and direct contact, this study attempts to paint a picture of the media outlets in the state, as well as their significant similarities and differences. In addition to painting a picture of the media outlets, we also attempted to compile a comprehensive roster of the college media outlets in the state.

The two parts of this project were presented at the second annual meeting of the North Carolina College Media Association in February of 2009.

INTRODUCTION

About two years ago, a group of advisers got together to create a statewide association, what has become known as the North Carolina College Media Association. As they sat around the table at UNC-Chapel Hill, this group of advisers from private and public schools, small and large schools, it became apparent that they really knew little about the operations of the student media in the state.

To that end, before the second annual convention of the association, they set out to paint a picture of the student media operations in the state. Modeled in part by a national study conducted periodically by Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver and Ronald E. Spielberger for the College Media Association, this study should give a better understanding of the student media in the state. Especially in times of budgetary crisis and program cuts at a massive level, having this knowledge will give programs vital data to which to compare their program.

METHODOLOGY

During the final months of 2008, researchers contacted administrators and advisers of media programs across the state and asked them to fill out a detailed survey about budgets, compensation, ad revenues, student advising and more. The survey, conducted online through surveymonkey.com, was modeled largely, both in terms of questions and range of possible responses, on a national survey conducted by Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver and Ronald E. Spielberger in 1987, 1991, 1995, 2001, 2005 and 2007. The ranges of responses, in particular, were chosen to coincide with the most recent version of that survey to permit easy comparison of North Carolina schools to the national average. Participants were assured of their anonymity and asked to provide data on the operations of newspapers, yearbooks, magazines and other media under their purview, as well as data on their own salary, professional experience and education.

While contacting administrators and to request that they fill out the survey, researchers also compiled an updated roster, using existing rosters as a starting point to contact schools. Data from university Web sites supplemented the existing information. Staff members at NCCMA assisted the cross-checking process. Of the 46 colleges and universities identified in the state using the NCCMA roster as well as various Web searches, 25 responded for a response rate of 54 percent.

SIGNIFICANT FINDINGS

Our survey yielded a major piece of good news: student media is robust across the state, with big and small schools, public and private, having a variety of programs ranging from weekly to daily newspapers to yearbooks to a student-run record label. The vast majority of these programs reported having some form of an online presence, which suggests student-run media continue to be changing and adapting to a new era for mass media in the 21st century.

There were, however, also the inescapable indicators of a lagging economy and problems with newspaper ad sales similar to those publicized nationwide. While student newspapers reported annual budgets up to and more than $1 million, nearly 40 percent of these outlets lost money in the 2007-08 academic year, with virtually all of the rest making modest profits of no more than $50,000 in that year. Yearbooks and other media too are facing their challenges and undergoing change.

The adviser

Change over the past decade nationally, according to Kopenhaver and Spielberger (2005), has brought some progress on the road to professionalism. They showed more had titles of publications/media directors than previous studies had shown, nearly three times more. North Carolina did not mirror that trend. Half of the respondents indicated their title was “adviser” and only one-fourth indicated their title was “director.” Two had an academic title such as professor and were not full-time advisers. More than half had at least a master’s degree and nearly one in five had a doctoral degree. Slightly more than 40 percent had their degree in journalism, communication or mass media with others having degrees in English or education.

At the national level in 2007, 21.1 percent were paid $35,000 or less, up from 2001 when 27.1 percent earned that amount. However, 43.5 percent made more than $50,000 and 15 percent more than $65,000. In North Carolina, the average salary was slightly more than $50,000 with about 23 percent of respondents reporting that they made more than $65,000.

There was a correlation between number of years experience and salary, obviously. The average number of years of experience for the top student media administrators in North Carolina was 14.2 years with a full 41 percent having 18 years or more of related work history. This mirrored the national trend identified in 2005 that “There is greater longevity for advisers in their position than ever before, and more have advised for 20 or more years than ever before” (Kopenhaver and Spielberger, 2005). While the top-paid advisers all had more than 20 years of experience, there was also one with the same number of years’ worth of experience making $30,001-35,000 per year.

Kopenhaver and Spielberger (2005) state, “Requisite for a profession are equitable compensation packages and work conditions, status within the academic community, adequate background and training in all aspects of the job, a clear line of reporting and responsibility, and the ability to carry out a job that functions within a framework of the First Amendment and constitutional and ethical constraints and freedoms.” While North Carolina advisers seem to have the education and salary, more work will have to be done to see if the advisers and their operations meet all of these criteria.

In North Carolina, 62 percent of the respondents were male. While the lowest-paid respondents were female, the two advisers who reported making more than $80,000 yearly were also both female.

Advisers who serve a daily newspaper were also far less likely to wear additional hats than those who work with a less-than-daily paper. Of those that advise a daily newspaper, only one advises yearbook and radio as well. Of the less-than-dailies, 40-50 percent advise these other outlets. Only one adviser in the state directly advises a daily newspaper, yearbook, magazine and radio station. Indeed, of the three universities with daily newspapers, two at public universities and one at a private university, one had the title director, one the title general manager and one the title coordinator. Two were independent of the university and one was in student affairs. One of the advisers only advised the newspaper, one advised a magazine and the newspaper and one advised multiple media. Two of the three daily newspaper advisers’ salary was more than $75,000; one daily newspaper adviser made between $50,001 and $55,000.

The operation

While at the national level in 2005, an increasing number of advisers were defining the student media operations as independent (not directly affiliated with a university and probably existing as non-profit entities) this wasn’t true in North Carolina. Only 8.6 percent of the operations in North Carolina were independent although two of the three daily newspapers in the state were independent. At the national level, 14.6 percent of the four-year public colleges/universities were independent. Overall, while a higher percentage of schools nationally were independent given the small sample size in North Carolina the numbers weren’t that far off of the national trends in any regard. For the non-independent operations, almost half at the national level (47.2 percent of four-year public schools) were under student affairs. In North Carolina 40 percent of the schools were under student affairs and almost 40 percent were in an academic department, slightly lower than the 27.6 percent of operations under communication/journalism at the national level.

One major determining factor of how a given student media outlet in the state will be run is size. Schools of 25,000 enrolled students or more were more likely to have a daily newspaper than smaller campuses of 1-7,000 (50 percent to 5.3 percent, respectively.) However, 57 percent of campuses in the smaller population group publish yearbooks while only 42 percent of schools with more than 25,000 students do. The smaller campuses also have a wide array of magazines, radio and television stations, in some cases dwarfing some of the bigger schools’ programs.

The newspaper

In 2005, Kopenhaver and Speilberger reported that “Newspapers are publishing more frequently in 2005 than in the 2001 survey. The number of dailies has increased significantly to 19.4 percent from 11 percent in 2001.” However, by 2007, only 14.6 published daily. There were more weeklies (41.1 percent in 2001, 35.1 percent in 2005, and 40.5 percent in 2007) than any other frequency. North Carolina mirrored those trends with 40 percent publishing once or twice per week. However, about the same percentage, 36 percent, published less than weekly. Only 20 percent published five or more times per week — dailies.

The daily newspapers had budgets to match their production schedule; the more often they published, the larger their budget. All but one of the three universities that publish daily newspapers had a budget of more than $1 million. The small sample size contributed to this being out-of-line with the national statistics showing about half (45.2 percent) of the newspapers having budgets of more than $50,000 annually — 27.1 percent in 2007 in North Carolina.

Daily newspapers also provided more compensation for their top editor. While daily papers provided a monthly salary in the $600 range, the weekly editors received lower compensation. There was one example, however, of an editor working daily for less than $100 a month. It also appears that while most student newspapers don’t pay entry-level writers by the story, those that do are daily newspapers. There was no apparent correlation between profit margin and rate of publication – both the monthly and the daily papers were evenly split on losing money or breaking even. The average editor’s salary in North Carolina was $324 per month, lower than the national average of about $363. Nationally, in 2007, about three-fourths of top editors are paid and, of those, 57.6 percent receive $500 or less per month, a significant decrease from 1999. However, 19 editors in their study earned $1,001 or more, a substantial increase from six in 1999.

While student editors in North Carolina were generally well paid, other staff members were not as well paid. More than three-fourths of them earned $5 or less per story or per photo. Nationally, only about one-third of photographers or reporters were compensated at all.

While national newspaper circulation is on the decline (NAA, 2008), more data will be needed to assess circulation for North Carolina colleges and universities. NAA continues to report that “Newspaper maintains a significant presence among adults of all ages. And as adults mature, readership increases.” About one-third of college-age people read a newspaper daily. Still, readership of people age 18-24 is the lowest of the categories tracked. In keeping with national trends with about half of papers having a circulation of 1,001 to 5,000 the largest group of papers in North Carolina had similar circulation. About one-fourth had circulation of 1,000 or less. And only one newspaper had a circulation of more than 20,000, but three had circulations of 10,001 or more.

In 2005, nationally, 80.6 percent of college papers had online editions, an increase of 71.5 percent in 2001. In North Carolina, in 2007, 96.2 percent of papers had an online presence. More than half, 52.2 percent, used College Publisher as their content management system. It will be important to track the use of online media to see how it mirrors the national usage, which continues to increase nationally. “Most Viewed Newspaper Web sites attracted more than 73.3 million monthly unique visitors on average (43.6 percent of all Internet users) in the first quarter of 2009, a record number that reflects a 10.5 percent increase over the same period a year ago” (NAA, 2009).

Yearbooks

While mass media continue to report on the demise of the college yearbook, (Gooch, 2007; Neville, 2008; St. John, 2000; The Economist, 2008) college yearbooks in North Carolina continue to live if not thrive.

“Though most veteran college media advisers would agree that yearbooks have been in a decline — with changing media usage patterns among youthful consumers, escalating costs, and the advent of social computer networks cited most frequently as contributing factors when cash strapped colleges discontinue their yearbooks — the counts of those still in production range upward, perhaps to 800 or more… far more than the ‘less than 100’ figure that has been reported in the media and spread through a variety of online resources” (Neville, 2008).

Yet, nationally, the attitude about yearbooks isn’t exactly positive. “For cash-strapped students facing ever-rising tuition and living costs they are a luxury that many can’t afford. But the main cause is not the cost so much as the replacement of print with electronic media by and for the Facebook and MySpace generation. With social networks linking hundreds of friends and offering digital photographs and videos the traditional yearbook looks like a bit of a dinosaur” (The Economist, 2008). And, according to Kenneth Dean, student media coordinator of Alabama State’s newspaper, The Hornet Tribune, and yearbook, The Hornet, “Yearbooks don’t hold the same appeal that they did 10 to 20 years ago. Because our society has become so computer literate and media sensationalized, people are not that interested in looking at bound things any more. They’ll get on a computer and look at multimedia packages, things that are visual and easy” (St. John, 2000).

Of the schools in the survey, about half answered the questions on yearbook. Of those, the average budget approached $100,000 but about half had budgets of $50,000 or less. That exactly paralleled the national statistics that showed nearly half the college books (49.3 percent) having annual revenues of $50,000 or less, a decrease from 60.4 percent in 2001. The vast majority did not compensate reporters for stories and 56.3 percent reported that their top editor’s salary was $100 or less per month. Perhaps most disturbing given the size of the schools responding was that half of the schools sold 150 books or fewer. And with 75 percent of the books printing 300 or fewer pages, North Carolina paralleled the 2005 national trend that had 59 percent of the books having 300 or fewer pages.

More work needs to be done to determine the source and trends for funding for yearbooks in North Carolina including percentage of revenue from advertising, book sales, student activity fees or portrait sales and photo contracts. Nationally, sales of books as a revenue source decreased from 41 percent in 2001 to 38.4 percent in 2005.

Magazines

North Carolina had three literary and art magazines gain national recognition by the Associated Collegiate Press (Pacemaker) and/or the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (Crown awards) in the last few years — East Carolina University (Rebel), North Carolina State University (Windhover), and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Sanskrit). And, on average, the budgets of magazines in North Carolina averaged more than $25,000, far exceeding the national average. In 2005, more than half of the magazines (57.6 percent) reported annual budgets of $5,000 or less, a decrease from 62.5 percent in 2001.

Television and Radio

Radio operations are small in North Carolina with more than 90 percent of them having operational budgets of $50,000 or less. But nationally, only 30 percent of radio stations receive more than $50,000 in revenue as of 2005 and that was a sharp increase of 13.5 percent in 2001. Student activity fees were the largest source of revenue for radio stations nationally, and, as with yearbooks, this is an area for future research especially as the competition for the fee dollar increases in North Carolina due to limitations on the increases in student fees imposed by the Board of Governors.

Only 10 schools responded to the questions about television stations and all of them had budgets of $50,000 or less. Half of them had budgets of $10,000 or less. Nationally, nearly two thirds of the television stations surveyed in 2005 operated on $5,000 or less in annual revenue and that was a large increase from 46.5 percent in 2001.

CONCLUSION

While our data suggests a vibrant and diverse group of student publications in North Carolina, it will take trend data over the next few years to paint the full picture. The roster and data we have developed is a potential means of bettering our operations through dialogue and comparison.

While this study shows some insights in comparison to the national trends, it is a snapshot with no longitudinal information. Perhaps the most obvious, foregone conclusion of this study is that it should be repeated in 2011 to identify any trends, particularly related to revenue.

In addition, while our analysis was restricted to four-year colleges to examine programs that are comparable in size and scope, there are many two-year programs and community colleges that have some sort of newspaper, newsletter, television station or other student-run media. They have been omitted for the purposes of this survey, but further research in this area could prove insightful.

More specifically, this study identified a few other obvious areas of inquiry, the first being funding source. Given the current state and national economic woes, it would be extremely useful to know which of these outlets are totally independent and which are relying all or in part on state money and student fees. Especially with limitations on student fees being mandated by the UNC System and with advertising revenues for print media declining, how student media outlets continue to receive funding will prove interesting.

Secondly, subsequent studies need to examine much more closely the use of online media, particularly for newspapers but for other media outlets as well. Does the national trend that the Pew Center for the People and the Press identified in 2008 for blending online and traditional sources exist at the college level? “Since 2006, the proportion of Americans who say they get news online at least three days a week has increased from 31 percent to 37 percent. About as many people now say they go online for news regularly (at least three days a week) as say they regularly watch cable news (39 percent); substantially more people regularly get news online than regularly watch one of the nightly network news broadcasts (37 percent vs. 29 percent).” Further studies should explore how services like Facebook and Twitter are being used to supplement the media. With the number of users at the college level of these social networking sites continuing to climb, they will continue to have an impact on print media. And does the trend for getting news online rather than in print continue especially in a technologically savvy environment such as a college campus.

PART I: TOP ADMINISTRATOR

n=25

TABLE 1: TITLE

Official Title

Director

23.5%

General Manager

8.8%

Publisher

0%

Adviser

50%

Coordinator

11.8%

Other

5.9%

Which best describes your official title?

Adviser was the title for half of the respondents. Two respondents said their title was an academic title: professor or assistant professor.

TABLE 2: AFFILIATION

Student Affairs

40%

Academic department

37.1%

Independent of university

8.6%

Other

14.3%

Which affiliation best describes your placement within the university environment?

Student Affairs divisions and academic departments host the majority of student media programs in North Carolina. Four respondents indicated their media is related to university marketing, while one specified media was run out of both student affairs and an academic department.

TABLE 3: OUTLETS (ALL THAT APPLY)

Daily newspaper

11.4%

Less than daily newspaper

51.4%

Yearbook

40%

Magazine

40%

Radio

31.4%

Television

25.7%

Online Media

37.1%

Other

25.7%

Which media outlets fall under your student media area? (check all that apply.)

Only 11% of our respondents run a daily newspaper, with 51.4 percent running less than daily (the most common media outlet across the state.) Other outlets specified include film production groups and a student-run record label.

TABLE 4: PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES

1-2

48.5%

3-5

33.3%

6-8

15.2%

9-11

0%

12-14

0%

15-20

0%

>20

3%

How many professional (non-student) employees work in your area?

Almost all of our respondents have eight or less professional employees in their media outlets, with 3.13 being the average. One student media group, however, employs more than 20 professionals.

TABLE 5: YEARS EXPERIENCE

0

0%

1-3

14.7%

4-8

17.6%

9-12

11.8%

13-17

14.7%

18-22

20.6%

>23

20.6%

How many total years of experience does your top administrator within student media have?

Overall, North Carolina student media administrators are quite experienced, with a full 41 percent having 18 years or more of related work history. The average number of years’ experience for top administrators is 14.2.

TABLE 6: TOP ADMINISTRATOR’S EDUCATION

Associate’s degree

0%

Bachelor’s degree

27.3%

Master’s degree

54.5%

Doctoral degree

18.2%

What is the highest level of education obtained by the top administrator within your student media area?

More than half of our respondents have a master’s degree, with roughly a quarter each having a bachelor’s or doctoral degree.

TABLE 7: ADMINISTRATOR’S FIELD OF STUDY

Journalism/mass media

41.2%

Communication

11.8%

English

11.8%

Broadcast

2.9%

Administration/management

8.8%

Education

11.8%

Other

11.8%

What field of study did the top administrator in your area pursue?

Journalism/mass media was by far the most popular response. Other responses indicated include radio/tv, business, music and creative writing.

TABLE 8: GENDER OF TOP ADMINISTRATOR

Male

61.8%

Female

38.2%

What is the gender of the top administrator in your student media area?

Male administrators are more common in North Carolina, but there was a strong representation of female administrators as well.

TABLE 9: ANNUAL SALARY FOR TOP ADMINISTRATOR

<$20,000

6.5%

$20,001-$25,000

0%

$25,001-$30,000

3.2%

$30,001-$35,000

3.2%

$35,001-$40,000

9.7%

$40,001-$45,000

9.7%

$45,001-$50,000

16.1%

$50,001-$55,000

22.6%

$55,001-$60,000

0%

$60,001-$65,000

6.5%

$65,001-$70,000

6.5%

$70,001-$75,000

0%

$75,001-$80,000

9.7%

>$80,000

6.5%

What is the annual salary of the top administrator in your student media area (not including benefits)?

The median response fell somewhere between $45,000-$55,000, which, interestingly, was also the median salary choice listed on the questionnaire. The actual average is $51,660.34.

TABLE 10: TOP ADMINISTRATOR’S BENEFITS (ALL THAT APPLY)

Paid vacation

80.6%

Paid sick leave

80.6%

Paid holidays

77.4%

Parking

38.7%

Health insurance

96.8%

Dental insurance

64.5%

Disability insurance

41.9%

Life insurance

54.8%

Supplemental insurance

12.9%

Child care

3.2%

Tuition reimbursement

67.7%

Retirement plan

71.0%

401(k)

41.9%

What benefits are included in the total compensation package of the top administrator in your student media area? (check all that apply)

Almost all respondents receive health-care benefits, while most others also receive paid vacation and holidays, sick leave, and a retirement plan.

PART II: NEWSPAPER

n=25

TABLE 1: RATE OF PUBLICATION

Less than weekly

36.0%

Once or twice per week

40.0%

Three to four times per week

4.0%

Five or more times per week

20.0%

How many times per week does your newspaper publish?

The majority of college newspapers in North Carolina publish twice or week or less.

TABLE 2: ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

$0-$10,000

21.7%

$10,001-$50,000

30.4%

$50,001-$100,000

17.4%

$100,001-$250,000

0.0%

$250,001-$500,000

17.4%

$500,001-$1 million

0.0%

>$1 million

13.0%

What is the total annual operating budget of your newspaper?

Approximately 75 percent of student newspapers in North Carolina operate on budgets of $100,000 per year or less. The average operating budget of a North Carolina student newspaper is $248,005.31 annually.

TABLE 3: ANNUAL STUDENT SALARIES

$0-$15,000

40.9%

$15,001-$30,000

18.2%

$30,001-$45,000

13.6%

$45,001-$60,000

4.5%

$60,001-$75,000

0.0%

$75,001-$90,000

4.5%

$90,001-$105,000

4.5%

>$105,000

13.6%

What is the total amount paid annually in salaries for student positions at your newspaper?

About 40 percent of student newspapers pay a total of $15,000 or less for all student positions. The average amount paid out annually is $41,737.73.

TABLE 4: EIC MONTHLY SALARY

$0-$100

27.3%

$101-$200

9.1%

$201-$300

22.7%

$301-$400

13.6%

$401-$500

9.1%

$501-$600

4.5%

$601-$700

9.1%

$701-$800

4.5%

$801-$900

0%

$901-$1000

0%

>$1000

0%

What is the monthly salary for the editor-in-chief of your newspaper?

There was a good amount of variance in the responses to this question, but a plurality of editors-in-chief are paid $100 per month or less. The average monthly salary is $324.38.

TABLE 5: COMPENSATION PER STORY

$0-$5

77.3%

$6-$10

13.6%

$11-$15

9.1%

$16-$20

0%

$21-$25

0%

$26-$30

0%

>$30

0%

What is the amount of compensation per story for entry-level student writers at your newspaper?

No student newspaper in North Carolina pays more than $15 per story, with the vast majority paying $5 or less. The average compensation per story was $4.19.

TABLE 6: COMPENSATION PER PHOTO

$0-$5

78.3%

$6-$10

13.0%

$11-$15

8.7%

$16-$20

0%

$21-$25

0%

$26-$30

0%

>$30

0%

What is the amount of compensation per photograph for entry-level photographers at your newspaper?

The responses to this question closely mirrored compensation per story. The average compensation per photo was $4.12.

TABLE 7: PROFIT MARGIN

We lost money.

34.8%

$0-$50,000

60.59%

$50,001-$100,000

4.3%

$100,001-$150,000

0.0%

$150,001-$200,000

0.0%

>$200,000

0.0%

What was the profit margin for your student newspaper in the 2007-2008 academic year?

While more than 60 percent of newspapers turned a small profit, about one third lost money last year.

TABLE 8: CIRCULATION

0-1,000

26.1%

1,001-5,000

34.8%

5,001-10,000

17.4%

10,001-15,000

17.4%

15,001-20,000

0%

>20,000

4.3%

What is your newspaper’s approximate circulation?

The majority of student newspapers in North Carolina have a circulation of 5,000 or less.

TABLE 9: ONLINE PRESENCE

Yes

96.2%

No

3.8%

Does your newspaper have an online presence?

The vast majority of respondents indicated an online presence for their newspapers.

TABLE 10: COLLEGE PUBLISHER

Yes

52.2%

No

47.8%

Do you use College Publisher?

Just about half of our respondents use the College Publisher program for online publishing.

PART III: YEARBOOK

16 respondents

TABLE 1: ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

$0-$10,000

12.5%

$10,001-$50,000

37.5%

$50,001-$100,000

18.8%

$100,001-$250,000

25.0%

$250,001-$500,000

6.3%

$500,001-$1 million

0.0%

>$1 million

0.0%

What is the total annual operating budget of your yearbook?

Approximately half of North Carolina college yearbooks have a budget of $50,000 or less — the other half have budgets of $50,001-$500,000. The average annual operating budget is $93,350.43.

TABLE 2: ANNUAL STUDENT SALARIES

$0-$15,000

87.5%

$15,001-$30,000

6.3%

$30,001-$45,000

0%

$45,001-$60,000

0%

$60,001-$75,000

6.3%

$75,001-$90,000

0%

$90,001-$105,000

0%

>$105,000

0%

What is the total amount paid annually in salaries for student positions at your yearbook?

Most respondents indicated that $15,000 or less is paid in student salaries per year. The average was $12,232.56.

TABLE 3: EIC MONTHLY SALARY

$0-$100

56.3%

$101-$200

18.8%

$201-$300

12.5%

$301-$400

6.3%

$401-$500

6.3%

$501-$600

0%

$601-$700

0%

$701-$800

0%

$801-$900

0%

$901-$1000

0%

>$1000

0%

What is the monthly salary for the editor-in-chief of your yearbook?

All yearbook editors-in-chief in the state make $500 or less monthly, with over half making less than $100 per month. The average monthly salary was $138.56.

TABLE 4: COMPENSATION PER STORY

$0-$5

93.8%

$6-$10

6.3%

$11-$15

0%

$16-$20

0%

$21-$25

0%

$26-$30

0%

>$30

0%

What is the amount of compensation per story for entry-level student writers at your yearbook?

Nearly all respondents indicated a compensation rate of $5 or less. The average rate was $2.85 per story.

TABLE 5: FULL-PAGE AD COST

$0-$500

81.3%

$501-$1,000

6.3%

$1,001-$1,500

12.5%

$1,501-$2,000

0%

$2,001-$2,500

0%

>$2,500

0%

What is the cost of a full-page ad for non-students in your yearbook?

The average cost for a full-page ad was $406.84.

TABLE 6: 07-08 BOOKS SOLD

0-150

50%

151-500

12.5%

501-1,000

12.5%

1,001-1,500

6.3%

1,501-2,000

0%

2,001-2,500

6.3%

2,501-3,000

6.3%

>3,000

6.3%

How many books did you sell in the 2007-2008 year?

While there was a good bit of variance in the responses to this question, half of the yearbook respondents sold 150 or fewer.

TABLE 7: TOTAL # OF PAGES

<100

6.3%

101-200

25.0%

201-300

43.8%

301-400

18.8%

401-500

0%

501-600

0%

>601

6.3%

What was the total number of pages for your 2007-2008 book?

Around 75 percent of respondents indicated 300 pages or fewer.

TABLE 8: SENIOR PORTRAITS

Yes

93.3%

No

6.7%

Does your yearbook include senior portraits?

The vast majority of North Carolina college yearbooks include senior portraits.

PART IV: RADIO

14 respondents

TABLE 1: ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

$0-$10,000

57.1%

$10,001-$50,000

35.7%

$50,001-$100,000

7.1%

$100,001-$250,000

0.0%

$250,001-$500,000

0.0%

$500,001-$1 million

0.0%

>1 million

0.0%

What is the total annual operating budget of your radio station?

All respondents indicated a budget of $100,000 annually or less. The average budget was $18,890.22.

TABLE 2: STUDENT SALARIES

$0-$15,000

84.6%

$15,001-$30,000

7.7%

$30,001-$45,000

7.7%

$45,001-$60,000

0.0%

$60,001-$75,000

0.0%

$75,001-$90,000

0.0%

$90,001-$105,000

0.0%

>$105,000

0.0%

What is the total amount paid annually in salaries for student positions at your radio station?

The average amount paid annually was $10,965.06.

PART V: TELEVISION

10 respondents

TABLE 1: ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

$0-$10,000

50%

$10,001-$50,000

50%

$50,001-$100,000

0.0%

$100,001-$250,000

0.0%

$250,001-$500,000

0.0%

$500,001-$1 million

0.0%

>1 million

0.0%

What is the total annual operating budget of your television station?

Exactly half of campus television stations have a budget of $0-$10,000, with the other half reporting budgets of $10,001-$50,000. The average annual operating budget was $17,500.25.

TABLE 2: STUDENT SALARIES

$0-$15,000

100%

$15,001-$30,000

0.0%

$30,001-$45,000

0.0%

$45,001-$60,000

0.0%

$60,001-$75,000

0.0%

$75,001-$90,000

0.0%

$90,001-$105,000

0.0%

>$105,000

0.0%

What is the total amount paid annually in salaries for student positions at your television station?

All respondents indicated $15,000 or less paid annually in student salaries with an average of $7,500.

PART VI: MAGAZINE

17 respondents

TABLE 1: ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET

$0-$10,000

41.2%

$10,001-$50,000

47.1%

$50,001-$100,000

11.8%

$100,001-$250,000

0.0%

$250,001-$500,000

0.0%

$500,001-$1 million

0.0%

>1 million

0.0%

What is the total annual operating budget of your magazine?

Most campus magazines, according to our results, have an annual budget of $50,000 or less. The average annual budget was $25,040.28.

TABLE 2: STUDENT SALARIES

$0-$15,000

94.1%

$15,001-$30,000

5.9%

$30,001-$45,000

0.0%

$45,001-$60,000

0.0%

$60,001-$75,000

0.0%

$75,001-$90,000

0.0%

$90,001-$105,000

0.0%

>$105,000

0.0%

What is the total amount paid annually in salaries for student positions at your magazine?

All but one respondent indicated $15,000 or less paid annually in student salaries. The average amount paid annually was $8,377.50.

PART VII: CAMPUS DEMOGRAPHICS

TABLE 1: STUDENT POPULATION

0-1,000

5.7%

1,001-7,500

54.3%

7,501-15,000

20.0%

15,001-20,000

2.9%

20,001-25,000

5.7%

>25,000

11.4%

What is the student population on your campus?

More than half of the respondents are at colleges or universities with 1,000-7,500 students enrolled.

TABLE 2: TYPE OF INSTITUTION

two-year public

0.0%

four-year public

51.4%

two-year private

0.0%

four-year private

48.6%

Which of the following best describes your institution?

Our survey yielded a fairly even split between public and private colleges.

Resources

  • Gooch, Kelly. “Yearbooks Losing Favor Among College Crowd,” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, March 19, 2007.
  • Kopenhaver, Lillian Lodge and Ronald E. Spielberger. “Campus Media Operations Have Some Stability, Little Growth in 21st Century” in College Media Review, winter 2002, p. 4-11.
  • Kopenhaver, Lillian Lodge and Ronald E. Spielberger. “The State of College Media Advising Today” in College Media Review, summer/fall 2005, p. 11-28.
  • Kopenhaver, Lillian Lodge and Ronald E. Spielberger. “Newspapers Post Salary Gains, Experience Revenue Slowdown” in College Media Review, spring 2008.
  • Neville, Bill. “2008: Yearbooks Down, Not Out,” collegemedia.org, May 22, 2009.
  • Newspaper Association of America, “Newspaper Web Site Audience Increases More Than Ten Percent In First Quarter To 73.3 Million Visitors,” April 23, 2009.
  • Newspaper Association of America, “Readership Trends,” online at http://www.naa.org/TrendsandNumbers/Readership.aspx.
  • Newspaper Association of America, “Total Paid Circulation,” online at http://www.naa.org/TrendsandNumbers/Total-Paid-Circulation.aspx.
  • Newspaper Association of America, “Why Newspapers? They Add Value for Advertisers,” 2008.
  • Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. “Key News Audiences Now Blend Online and Traditional Sources.” Aug. 17, 2008. http://pewresearch.org/pubs/928/key-news-audiences-now-blend-online-and-traditional-sources.
  • St. John, Eric. “Fading Mementos,” Black Issues in Higher Education, (vol. 16, no. 26, Feb. 17, 2000).
  • The Economist, “Valete: The Death of Yearbooks,” (vol. 388, no. 8587, July 5, 2008).