Many Student Newspapers Still Lacking Web Presence (!?!)

In a new MediaShift piece, Center for Innovation in College Media director Bryan Murley confirms one of the stranger truths about the college newspaper world: A sizable minority of papers do not possess an active Web presence.

As Murley reports, in a study recently presented at the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication national convention, Missouri Western State University professor Robert Bergland similarly confirmed that “36 percent of the 392 papers analyzed . . . did not have a Web presence (defined as no site, a site with no content listed as being under construction or a site which had not been updated in over six months).”

What is keeping the papers from joining the online revolution?  According to student editors and a few publication advisers with whom I’ve spoken, the top three reasons:

1) Lack of technological expertise among staff/advisers (an excuse less and less viable as evermore easy template options crop up)

2) Lack of available staff to help out with online version (or simply a lack of motivation among otherwise overworked staff who are thankful to simply publish print paper on time)

3) Lack of encouragement or consent from university officials

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