Tagged: 'Daily Tar Heel'

The Daily Tar Heel is the student newspaper of UNC Chapel Hill.

This Week in CoPress: Beginnings of a new year

twicGreg, Vanessa and Joey talk with Sara Gregory, Managing Editor for Online at the Daily Tar Heel, who helped to launch a new site on Drupal on Saturday and Will Davis, Editor in Chief at The Maine Campus, who brings light to their switch at the beginning of the summer from College Publisher to WordPress MU.

The Daily Tar Heel switched to Drupal, Sara Gregory says, because is more compatible with paper’s existing structure, size and content. She’s making online publication simpler by eliminating copy editors and desk editors from the process. Now only one desk level and one management editor read each online story before publication. Thanks to the redesign, readers can now subscribe to two different newsletters (regular and breaking news) and choose from numerous RSS feed options. The paper’s staff also added a new Community Manager position that is responsible for both of the paper’s regular and breaking news Twitter accounts as well as its Facebook account. Gregory’s upcoming projects include incorporating major linking within stories.

Will Davis made the transition to WordPress MU because he wanted The Maine Campus to have a variety of plug-ins and the potential to build a blog community. He set up custom-user permissions so writers post drafts to the Web site as well as a plug-in that emails staff when a draft is posted, cutting down the workflow to just two steps. The site also has a RSS feed for the entire site and newsletter for subscribers. Davis is in the works of launching “Campus Currents,” a user-generated wiki-based community site, and a user-generated restaurant guide. He hopes to integrate more multimedia production and interactivity online in the near future.

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New CM Life and Daily Tar Heel, and updates to the wiki

Recommended links for the weekend:

Help us out with the curation process by joining the CoPress Newsgroup.

We Clicked On: Open source Facebook app

Our choice of the best links of the week are now at the top of We Clicked On (via the CoPress Publish2 Newsgroup):

Around the network

Conversation on the forum was light this week with Daniel asking about different styles of navigation. Joey quickly replied with:

My point: think about nav bars from the user’s perspective. I’d propose http://newser.com as a good example of a newsorg nav bar.
  • It’s dynamic: content changes based on what the top stories are.
  • It links off to topic pages. Only the most timely and relevant topic pages are easily accessible.
  • You can still get to the traditional sections if you really want to navigate that way.

Max Cutler also offered his opinion,

In my experience/opinion, the reality is that that most college news orgs publish about the same limited set of topics repeatedly, and that’s why the section model can make some sense. That’s not to say that tags shouldn’t be used; they definitely should, and virtually all college news sites could do a better job of integrating tags into their navigation and exploration flow.

On the wiki this week, Daniel edited the Edit Flow Page with the latest info on the project.

Online Editor: No longer a one-person job

As the school year winds down to an end, many news organizations are searching for the next online editor. If you already have your next online editor, then the summer is a perfect time for him or her to brush up on necessary skills that will make your news website flourish.

Finding the balance

Balancing social mediaIdeally, an online editor will have both the tech-smarts and the journalism abilities to present news content in web-friendly way. You can teach someone how to embed a video from YouTube or add a new article to a CMS, but teaching someone how to write a lead can’t be done through an hour-long training session. 

Splitting the job

Increasingly, the responsiblity of maintaining the website is more than a one-man show.

As Andrew Spittle suggested in the CoPress forum, the best way to balance the job is to split the web position into a web developer and web editorial position.  Editing articles in addition to training the staff for multimedia year-round leaves little time to focus on developing new features. 

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Designing a New dailytarheel.com

Andrew Dunn and Sara Gregory have posted a draft design for the new Daily Tar Heel Drupal website being designed by Stunt3 and welcome feedback from the community. If I were redesigning a website right now for a student news organization, I’d use the opportunity to try something even more radical. What if the Daily Tar Heel were to take design cues from Facebook and use the homepage to show me a stream of the website activity based on who was in my social graph? That’s the type of experimentation I’d personally like to see.

Later: Sara informs me that Switchback is also helping with the website design.

This Week in CoPress: Changes Coming to Online Student Media

Host: Greg Linch and Emily Kostic

Guests: Andrew Dunn, the incoming Editor in Chief of UNC’s The Daily Tar Heel (with appearances by Adam Hemphill, Bryan Murley, and Albert Sun)

Summary: Greg and Emily discuss with Andrew The Daily Tar Heel’s upcoming CMS, training staff, and video/audio equipment. In addition, Adam, Bryan and Albert weigh in on college newspapers’ commitment to the web.

Related: Weekly Forum Discussion – Changes Coming to Student Media

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This Week in CoPress: Monetizing Online Student News

Host: Bryan Murley

Guests: Brad Arendt, Boise State Arbiter; Kevin Schwartz, Daily Tar Heel; Max Cutler, Yale Daily News; Joey Baker, Daily Orange

Summary: A comprehensive introduction to the current state of online newspaper monetization. Most student newspapers make less than 10% of their overall revenue from online, and the limitations seem to be a lack of infrastructure and inventory. The Daily Tar Heel has had success with Heels Housing, an interactive student housing guide, and Max Cutler recommends Google Ad Manager over OpenX because of its relative ease of use.

Related: Forum discussing strategies for monetizing online

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