Category Archives: News

Final project: How college newspapers manage their online presence

My final project will compare at least two college newspapers in the Boston area and evaluate their online presence. This will take into consideration a website, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts and the frequency all of these platforms are updated and maintained.

I’ve chosen the Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper, and plan to speak with Managing Editor Tim Healey and, if possible, Editor in Chief Chelsea Diana. The Daily Free Press is significant among Boston student papers because it’s long been independent from the university’s resources, something I think greatly affects editorial processes and what’s possible with editorial content that can be regulated by administrators.

That’s also why I’ve chosen to interview the editor at the Berkeley Beacon, Emerson College’s newspaper. Editor in chief Alexander Kaufman was behind the team that changed their website to an advanced HTML 5 platform, which is similar to what other major newspapers are using on their websites. The Beacon is independent as well, but it’s a weekly paper serving a much smaller campus. Their coverage during the Boston Blackout last week though was thorough, I thought, and a good example of covering a breaking story in a timely manner that would have wide appeal among their audience.

Based on my research so far, I’ve left the door open to add another paper or student-run media organization as an example. I already monitor their respective Twitter handles and plan to pay close attention to their social media platforms during my reporting process.

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Historic Boston site: Faneuil Hall

It turns out the seventh-most popular tourist destination in the world is essentially a shopping mall and a food court. Yes, Faneuil Hall, where you can also buy clothes from a number of chain stores or overpriced keychains that say “Boston” on them, was the most visited spot in Boston in 2011. (It also ranks third among Foursquare check-ins in 2011, if that matters.)

Faneuil Hall’s popularity among tourists is likely reinforced by its abundance of shops, but it doesn’t hurt that the area is located between both the historic North End and busy downtown. Faneuil Hall sits in a prime location.

“It’s probably because it’s part of the Freedom Trail,” Matthew Brearley, owner of the Brearley Collection store in Quincy Market, said. “There are a lot of international tourists who come here. During the summer we get a cruise ship every day. People come here because they want the full Boston experience.”

Brearley – whose shop sells framed photographs of historic Boston sites and Red Sox players, among other shots – said he gets traffic from people headed to TD Garden for a Celtics or Bruins game, which was happening on the evening I went. For locals, Faneuil Hall probably gets written off as a tourist trap. But on some off days, like a particularly nice Monday in March, it’s kind of a cool intersection of old buildings meeting new shops. Of course, it doesn’t hurt it’s easy to get far away from Faneuil Hall if the mass of tourists becomes too much to handle.

“Boston is a compact city,” Brearley said. “It’s not too far to get from here to Fenway (Park). And any tourism magazine will tell you this is a good place to stop if you want to see the city.”

Faneuil Hall:

  • Established in 1742, expanded to include Quincy Market in 1826
  • Marketplace located at intersection of Congress and North Streets
  • Marketplace Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 12-6 p.m. Sunday
  • MBTA stops: Government Center, State, Haymarket
  • (617) 523-1300
  • Fun fact: Durgin Park, the oldest existing restaurant in Faneuil Hall, opened in 1826.

Flickr set on Faneuil Hall

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Plans to cut MBTA services, raise fares gets activists rowdy

While the message is becoming clearer that Bostonians won’t put up with a level of service cuts or fare increases anywhere near what the MBTA’s proposing in order to shore up its financial troubles, protesters aren’t backing down. Yesterday’s rally on the steps of Boston Public Library proved more residents, from students to seniors, demand to be heard in the fight to save the city’s public transit from being crippled.

Since the proposals were released more than a month ago, riders have mobilized on social media and attended some of the nearly two dozen public meetings held so far. Most, if not all, have denounced plans to raise fares as much as 400 percent for some users and cut weekend ferry, commuter rail and E line service and up to 25 percent of bus lines.

More than 100 gathered at the library’s steps near Copley Square to urge state legislators to put the T on the road to sustainable funding. Many allege cuts as severe as those proposed will divide the city and render the many low-income workers and students dependent on public transit effectively immobile. The cries against the MBTA continued inside, when at least 300 people packed into the Rabb Lecture Hall and another overflow room to listen to more than 70 speakers rail on Governor Deval Patrick and state leaders for allowing the MBTA to get in such dire financial straits.

Photos: Activists denounce proposed T cuts

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