Tagged: 'podcasts'

College Media Lab + Innovative Models: Technically Philly and News Inkubator

This week we’ve combined our inspiring models for college media series and College Media Lab, featuring Technically Philly and News Inkubator. Listen to or download the podcast at the end of the post.

Hey college news, it’s your older brother: hyperlocal.

We’re not so different, you and I. We’re both industries dominated by the inexperienced. We both have to cover a specific community. In fact, it could be argued that collegiate journalism is a subset of hyperlocal.

Fortunately for you this means that we all share the same problems. Both college newspapers and hyperlocal sites are figuring out the best ways to monetize a geographic area of like-minded people, often through the Web.

Thanks to Jeff Jarvis and the folks at CUNY, we know that some hyperlocal sites are pulling in $200,000 a year. We also know of some college newspapers that are self-sustaining. There are successful companies in both our spaces, yet many of us struggle to grasp the fundamentals of the business.

That is why the team behind Technically Philly has proposed News Inkubator, a shared office spaces and business services hub for hyperlocal news sites in Philadelphia. Picture a shared office space and a shared sales staff that help hyperlocals generate revenue ideas together, while still maintaining their editorial and business independence.

News Inkubator is also about bridging the entrepreneurial and media communities in Philadelphia to help foster a working relationship were each side learns from the other. All of these concepts can translate to benefit your college publication. In fact, here are three of our ideas that I hope you steal:

Use the existing bureaucracy

Universities have already separated students by interest. The computer science students often belong to a different school than the business students that belong to a different school than the journalism students. Why not bring all three of these sides together?

Each can have a project for the semester and learn from the other students. To survive in 2010, journalism grads are going to need to know how businesses work. Business grads are going to have to understand new media and computer science students need client work to showcase when they graduate.

If time becomes an issue, lobby to create a new class. Department heads love to show each other how innovative they are, so ask them to help.

The space is cheap

Many college newspapers rent (or are given) office space from the university negating one of the biggest hurdles in legitimizing an online hyperlocal entity. Use this to your advantage. Host speakers that are business leaders from local companies. You could even spring for some pizza and host a hackathon or barcamp open to all majors and career paths to build products for the paper.

Spoke, meet hub

Many college have student-run blogs or organization websites. Aggregate and create content partnerships with everyone who also covers what you cover. There is no need for overlap in your college’s media market.

As the college newspaper, you have an established editorial process and revenue streams, so offer to be the hub for your local sites and maybe even work out a revenue sharing plan. It will be good training for covering any niche after you graduate and can free up your paper’s already limited resources to pursue more in-depth journalism and even work on new revenue models together.

The three founders of Technically Philly met at the Temple News, and we use the skills we learned there everyday. Use your time at a college newspaper to not only flex your reporting muscles but also see if you can start a side project that makes a little more money for the paper. Your wallet will thank you when you graduate.

Be sure to give our application a read and offer any criticism. The harsher, the better.

Contact Sean Blanda at sean@technicallyphilly.com or follow him on Twitter, @seanblanda.

College Media Lab: J-profs share ideas about content and revenue

In this episode of College Media Lab, Greg Linch and I spoke with two innovative journalism professors about the state of college media.

This week’s guests:


Mindy McAdams (@macloo) is the Knight Chair for Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process at the University of Florida and the author of Flash Journalism. Mindy is known for online journalism, by way of her blog (Teaching Online Journalism) and her open-source teaching style.


Rich Beckman (@richbeckman) is the Knight Chair of Visual Journalism at the School of Communication at the University of Miami and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Santiago, Chile. Rich is known for multimedia projects and for training students with high-end skills.

A few of the topics from this week’s podcast are:

  • How college media organizations can innovate and improve their Web sites
  • Comments on college media
  • What each professor would do if they were the editor of a college news organization today
  • Increasing online and in-person engagement
  • Pros and cons of high staff turnover
  • Changing and sustaining newsroom cultures

Read more →

One-on-one with a Texas Tribune developer

texas-tribuneThe Texas Tribune, an innovative news start-up located in Austin, is a non-profit that seeks to cover news in the entire state using features like extensive databases, blogs, calendar, an elected officials directory (and an iPhone app for it), a state newswire,  a slick mobile site and much more.

There’s a lot student media can learn from the web-centric setup of the Texas Tribune newsroom, from its use of open source software, to its strong development team, to its depth and excess of useful content.

Yesterday I spoke with Brandon Taylor, the lead developer for the Texas Tribune. He said the Texas Tribune development team built the entire site in four weeks, during which time Brandon pulled a few all-nighters in the newsroom and even broke a keyboard because he was typing incessantly — in other words, it was an intense turnaround. Read more →

College Media Lab: The Chronicle at Duke switches to Drupal

Lauren Rabaino and I spoke with a few Web staffers from The Chronicle at Duke University for the latest episode of College Media Lab (the renamed This Week in CoPress). Our guests were:

As you might have seen, Alex wrote a blog post for CoPress about their recent switch from College Publisher to Drupal. Here’s a summary of what we discussed in the podcast:

  • Why they chose Drupal
  • How the switch went
  • How they’re building a Web staff
  • Multimedia
  • New commenting policy and their comment system

Listen in!

Better, stronger, faster: This Week in CoPress becomes College Media Lab

That’s right: we’re rebranding our flagship podcast, This Week in CoPress. Henceforth known as College Media Lab, the new feature will broaden our show’s focus and modify its schedule. (We’ve got a new bump, too!) The synopsis of this week’s episode is as follows:

The rise of Twitter has been the talk of the tech and media world, and today’s show is about utilizing social media platforms to break news. Hosts Greg Linch and Vanessa Bezic are joined by Craig Kanalley, founder of Breaking Tweets and an adjunct professor at DePaul University, and by Kim Sommers, editor-in-chief of the Whitman Pioneer. Kim has used Twitter to break campus stories — including a bomb threat earlier this year. Check out what they have to say about tweeting breaking news and harnessing the power of Twitter.

Give it a listen and let us know what you think. Be sure to chime in if you have ideas for a future episode, too!

This Week in CoPress: Minnesota Daily redesign

Brand new multimedia section for the Minnesota Daily

After three months of hard work, the Minnesota Daily has a brand new design to improve its layout and usability. Son Huynh gives us his take on theming Drupal, changing a paper’s workflow and reorganizing news content.

In addition, just last March, the Minnesota Daily teamed up with developers from NewsCloud to create a Facebook application as part of a not-for-profit research study sponsored by the Knight Foundation to find new ways of engaging young people in news readership and community engagement. As an incentive, the Minnesota Daily hosts challenges and implemented a point system to reward active readers with prizes for their participation (such as posting on the Facebook page, tweeting, following the paper on Twitter).

Son also talks about the challenges of building an online community around the paper and his plans to revamp the app by adding Facebook Connect, so users can access the paper while being logged on to Facebook, and a selection on the paper’s site to better connect student groups and campus events. The newest version of the Minnesota Daily is set to launch on Sept 8th. Be sure to check out the new multimedia section, which was in part inspired by the Onion.

Have feedback for the Minnesota Daily? Leave a comment or email Son at shuynh [at] mndaily [dot] com.

Tomorrow on This Week in CoPress: Previewing the Minnesota Daily’s Redesign

‘Tis the season for college media makeovers, and this week we’ll be discussing the soon-to-launch redesign of the Minnesota Daily — and getting a sneak peek. Last fall they switched to Drupal for their content management system and now they’re looking to build on that with a fresh coat of paint.

Listen live as Online Manager Son Hunyh and others from the Daily’s staff discuss the redesign and their ideas and plans for this year, including tactics to increase readership engagement. Be sure to join our live text chat below and call in to give feedback.

If you’re not able to listen live, please add your question as a comment.

When: Sunday, Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. ET

Where: BlogTalkRadio (or listen here with the embedded player)

Read more →

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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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.

This Week in CoPress: Summer projects

twicHosts: Daniel Bachhuber and Joey Baker

Guests: Jake Paul, Melinda Bardon, and David Estes

Summary: Tuesday’s conversation was all about summer projects. We heard about The Eagle Online‘s plans to move to Expression Engine, Melinda Bardon’s community news website startup based on Dot Net Nuke, and David Estes’ thoughts on a possibly open source iPhone application for the Daily UW. Check out the wiki show notes for more information.

Related forum discussion: Redesigning or redoing your site this summer?

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