Founded in 1979, the Collegiate Network (CN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the students who operate independent U.S. college newspapers. The CN is administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). CN awards grants to more than 100 papers each year, and also holds bi-annual training seminars on journalism.
The Collegiate Network hosts a conference for student editors each fall. This meeting features talks from CN alumni who are in professional media posts, and provides training for student editors and reporters.
An annual CN seminar helps students learn how to start a campus newspaper or revive a defunct publication. Collegiate Network has also sponsored courses on geostrategic journalism and professional reporting.
Criteria for CN grants to college publications include the following:
- The newspaper is not the official campus newspaper and is student-run;
- At least half of the content focuses on campus issues;
- The publication has already published one issue;
- The paper agrees to be politically non-partisan;
- The newspaper should “foster appreciation” for a traditional liberal arts education.
Exposing Campus Outrages
CN promotes its annual Campus Outrage Awards, also called “Polly” Awards. The mock honor is given for actions that “undermine the traditional curriculum, implement speech codes that persecute politically incorrect students, enforce group-identity politics with sensitivity seminars, and treat students with a double-standard emanating from a multiculturalist perspective.” Past winners include:
- 2008: Duke University, for hosting a “Sex Workers Art Show” while ironically having demonized the school’s lacrosse team for inviting a stripper to an off-campus party;
- 2007: College of William and Mary president Gene Nichol, for secretly ordering the removal of a decades-old cross from a campus chapel;
- 2007: Johns Hopkins University, for confiscating a student newspaper and investigating its staff after the paper reported on the use of student fees to pay for the speech of a pornographic director;
- 2006: Yale University, for enrolling a former Taliban official with a fourth-grade education;
- 2005: LeMoyne College, for expelling a student after he wrote a paper rejecting multiculturalism and advocating corporal punishment in elementary school classrooms.
CN has received funding from the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Scaife Family Foundation, The Carthage Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, John M. Olin Foundation, and the JM Foundation. Individual donations are accepted.
CN alumni have worked for or contributed to a number of well-known publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Atlantic, Washington Examiner, Reason, Roll Call, and Commentary.
These alumni include:
- Jonathan Karl, national security correspondent, ABC News
- Naomi Schafer Riley, deputy taste editor, the Wall Street Journal
- Ross Douthat, senior editor, The Atlantic
- Rich Lowry, editor, National Review
- Joe Rago , editorial writer, Wall Street Journal