Saturday, August 15, 2009

College Student Newspapers

Bryan Murley at PBS MediaShift asks why more college student newspapers don't have web sites. It's a good question, and touches on a favorite theme, which is that college journalism students aren't necessarily as cross-trained on platforms as some professionals believe. A number of times, I have been quite surprised to encounter journalism students whose web knowledge seems limited to knowing how to post on Facebook and other social media sites. And many of the college sites aren't as sophisticated as you might expect. So there does seem to be a continuing divide between print and other kinds of media students, one that smart and responsive journalism departments probably ought to address more than they already are.

Here's what Murley says:
Summer's almost over and college newspapers across the country will be cranking up to full speed soon. Likely, they'll be getting ready for further adventures in online journalism, expanding their online presence while attempting to keep the print product financially successful.

But hard as it is to believe, there are still student newspapers around the country that have no online presence at all. At the Associated Collegiate Press Summer Workshops recently, I asked for a show of hands from students whose newspapers didn't have websites. In two sessions, several hands were raised.

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