CoPress Lands on Poynter, Becomes a Power-Player

Creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, collaborate, and cross-pollinate. Those are five of the many tech-drenched words a new Poynter piece uses to describe the impressive-beyond-belief CoPress. It is an online network of student journalists and Web junkies who are providing tips, tools, and entire online platforms for student media outlets (SMOs) looking to up their Web games.

The roughly one-year-old organization promotes a student-first, open-source philosophy- attempting to persuade students to TAKE CONTROL of their own online destinies instead of being controlled by the corporate, the proud, the effete College Media Network. (I don’t actually think CMN is evil- as someone who looks at student newspaper Web sites more than almost anyone else on earth I’m simply tired of looking at the sameeeeeee template day after day after day.)

Some are calling CoPress student media’s future. My take: They are looking way too far ahead. The future is now. CoPress is a presence, a burgeoning power-player in a student media online universe that was ripe for the innovating. So far, 21 U.S. and foreign SMOs of mainstream and alternative ilk have signed on as clients, choosing CoPress as their Web host.  (By comparison, CMN boasts 600 clients. My guess: In a year CoPress will be triple digits and executive director Daniel Bachhuber will be smiling even wider than in the photo below. The real question: Will he go corporate and cut the hair?) :-)

Daniel Bachhuber CoPress

As the Poynter summary notes, one of the toughest aspects of a switch to a student-run site and CMS is having a Web-savvy team in place to do the regular heavy coding/lifting. Frequent staff turnover (one of college media’s many hard truths) often means that by the time a few individuals learn the ropes, they are soon after studying abroad or transferring or stepping cap-and-gowned into the graduatory abyss- leaving the new influx clueless about how to even spell Django let alone run a CMS.  I do think it’s a problem that will ease with time, as more students grow up with tech-geek-status embedded into their DNA.

Bachhuber on bigger picture: “Rather than outsourcing the heavy-lifting to College Publisher, student newspapers need to allocate resources internally to running and developing their own platform. This can seem somewhat paradoxical, adding to your staff when you’re losing more and more revenue, but it is a necessity for survival. The future isn’t all that bleak, we’re just in a time of transition.”

2 Responses to “CoPress Lands on Poynter, Becomes a Power-Player”
  1. Thanks for the kind words, Dan. I’ll have you know that I just started No-Shave November; hopefully that will help me keep away from the boardroom :)

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