“Global Student Journalists”: Facebook for the College Press

The latest addition to the college media social networking scene: Global Student Journalists.  Billed as “an online meeting place for student journalists from around the world,” the site is aiming to be a universal Facebook for j-students.  Creator Anna Rodrigues is a former television news reporter and producer who now teaches journalism at Durham College in Canada.

The goal is to allow students to interact, network, share their journalism efforts, and receive feedback from peers.  Rodrigues also plans to provide links to interviews, training tips, and story ideas on a separate Resources page.  In addition, the venture is meant to be a learning experience for Durham journalism students.  They will act as moderators for all content, which will need approval before posting.

Global Student Journalists

Rodrigues granted me special access (since I’m a non-student) to explore the current set-up.  At this very early stage, the site is barebones.  Only three student journalists have uploaded anything- two from Egypt and one from Brazil- all providing basic photos of themselves.   The site’s desired scope will provide an interesting case study for a bunch of questions including: Are student journalists clamoring for a virtual point of contact with their peers?  Is there room in the ‘here am I world!’ logjam for another social networking site, especially one tailored to a niche, ever-changing group?  And will students really bother creating and maintaining a professional-type profile and uploading samples of their work if no potential employers have access to see them?

I really appreciate the idea and admire the site’s ambition.  Idealistically, it should flourish.  Realistically, I think it needs the backing of a major outside organization to reach a tipping point and survive.

Check out this commercial for the site on YouTube that defines handmade, in the best sense.  Here also is Bryan Murley’s e-interview with Rodrigues recently run on Innovation in College Media.

One Response to ““Global Student Journalists”: Facebook for the College Press”
  1. aramzs says:

    Do j-students really need their own social network? This function can’t be achieved using pre-existing tools in order to avoid constant content and profile duplication? Why not integrate with CollegeJourn, Wired Journalists, existing Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, UWIRE’s profiles, UPIU, LinkedIn, or any number of other services? Could it be that none of these sites have gained prominence due to the fact that the majority (and I mean a HUGE majority) of j-students still haven’t gotten online in any meaningful way? Isn’t that something we should work on first?

    As cool an idea as this is, I don’t hold out high hopes. Facebook-competing niche sites have been done before, most noticeably with fraternities, and I haven’t seen a huge success there.