Tag Archives: Emerson

As editors dream up online strategies, the short-term future of college newspapers remains in print [Video]

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While the current trend among newspapers in this country is to throw brains and money at the online side of the business, student newspapers are just getting strategies in place to put more thought into websites and social media.

At first glance, it appears counterintuitive. Today’s students are technologically savvy, quick adopters of new devices such as smart phones and programs like Facebook and Twitter. Product planners are also fast to note how infatuated twentysomethings are with their phones and tablets. But in Boston at least, student newspapers aren’t planning to abandon the print product anytime soon.

While students are generally connected through social media, it’s going to take more time to get them to go to the Internet before going to the newspaper. So much time, in fact, that editors are in no rush to abandon the print product and view the two technologies as generally separate entities.

“This is as social media savvy of a school as you can find,” said Alexander Kaufman, editor in chief of Emerson College’s Berkeley Beacon. “People at Emerson are eager to tweet about things that irk them or what they’re thinking about.”

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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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