Tagged: 'startups'

In search of inspiring models for college news sites

Update (Nov. 18, 2009 at 2 p.m.): I’ve added Connect2Mason, another site we’ve previously covered, to the list of examples and included a link to a podcast with their founder.

From linking out and social media to video and liveblogging, student journalists often hear advice about steps their individual news organizations should take to succeed today. But we often neglect to take a step back and consider different models from which college media can draw inspiration.


So, we’d like to examine those with some depth in a new series, offering a different twist on the usual coverage. Specifically, focusing on news sites that began online. There’s a ton of great work being done online by print publications across the country, which we often cover, and this series is intended to help everyone.

Why this approach? Because good things can come when your news organization thinks like a startup. Also, these sites are unencumbered by legacy costs or structures related to a long-standing print publication.

We already know of a few good examples within college media:

  • NYU Local — an independent site at New York University
  • Amherst Wire — a magazine-style site at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • Connect2Mason — a convergence site that partners with existing college media on campus
  • The Bwog — a blog run by the undergraduate magazine staff at Columbia University
  • Onward State — a blog covering the Penn State community
  • Daily Colonial — online daily news site for George Washington University and the surrounding areas

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 →