© Eli Justin Bortz
Survey of Electronic Publishing, Spring 2003.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Online Possibilities might be Endless...
If college newspapers were to adopt new online techniques, such as interactive media, video, graphics, etc., chances are good the online material help expand the potential audience. However, most current newspaper websites aren't exploring the full potential of what's possible. Bressers and Bergen (2002) studied how college students used the Internet, and whether they used their own college newspaper websites to get news. What they found suggests a change might be in order:
"Respondents reported overwhelmingly that they read their campus newspaper--fully 93.8 percent. We found nearly universal readership of the printed campus newspaper, but only 17.5 percent reported ever reading the online version." Bressers and Bergen, 5-6
The current state of online usage need not be so low, as Bressers and Bergen investigated ways in which college newspapers could enhance their online content and turn their web pages into more valuable, comprehensive tools for readers:
"Newspaper editors should capitalize on their traditional strengths of covering the local community, and they should expand the editorial and advertising content areas of interest to young people. Enhancing the traditional newspaper with value-added features that make it more interactive could provide long-term loyalty among the technically savvy. Online newspapers could make themselves more relevant by providing seamless access to their archival and reference materials, coupled with links to external information sources. Rather than--or in addition to-- uploading the general-interest newspaper to the Internet, newspapers should consider developing products designed to attract specific demographic groups. These niche online products should deliver targeted advertisements designed to attract the specific consumer group." Bressers and Bergen, 11
A Sample of College Newspaper Online Services
Brigham Young University's online newspaper NewsNet has consistently won awards from Editor and Publisher for its content and service. Visit their site at http://nn.byu.edu
The Independent Florida Alligator, which covers the University of Florida and surrounding area, provides coverage of national, Florida, and local news. Visit the Alligator at http://www.alligator.org
The Oracle at the University of South Florida provides coverage of Florida and USF news, and features an innovative design. Visit the Oracle at http://www.usforacle.com