College News Network: The New UWIRE?

It is the story of the student press so far in fall 2009: UWIRE’s vanishing act.  It happened without warning- and lots of questions remain.  What happened (and is happening) behind the scenes?  Is its MIA status temporary or long-term?  What does it mean for oft-shared-never-shy student press content previously featured and available for poaching on the site?

In a new MediaShift piece, Center for Innovation in College Media director Bryan Murley provides a nice summary of the stoppage situation, including pulling together all the scattered quotes and posts (even one of mine) that have been tossed into the world hinting at and seeking an explanation.

According to Murley, one new student-initiated service angling to potentially take its place, or simply become a content-sharing player: College News Network.  Run by two Ohio University students (both former Post editors), the service (CNN?) boasts a 14-paper contingent so far, including a few biggies!  The WordPress site screams beta and its no-touch-no-fuss rule about all content may cause problems if it was to grow, but it is definitely yet another example of student press empowerment 2.0.

One of the founders: “I’d interned at the Columbus Dispatch this summer, which spearheaded a content-sharing agreement among Ohio’s newspapers. We figured a content-sharing network would help fill space on the Post‘s opinion page and allow college papers to share big stories, like the out-of-control street parties at Kent State and Ohio University last spring. The arrangement should benefit student reporters, who gain access to a wider audience, [as well as] readers at colleges across the country, who will gain access to perspectives and news from other student-run media.”

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