Student Blogs “Determined to Reinvent College Journalism”

The still relatively new batch of online student outlets with new media sense and underground sensibilities have been dubbed nothing less than full-blown “blogging fraternities.”  A new Chronicle of Higher Education feature declares that the “national wave of student-run Web outfits [are] determined to reinvent college journalism. . . . Readers devour these sites. College officials fret over them. And competitors carp about their edgy methods, which sometimes include a publish-it-now-correct-it-later approach to campus rumors.”  (Full disclosure: I am briefly cited in the piece.)

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Penn State University's Onward State is one of the members of the modern student blogging frat pack mentioned by the Chronicle.

Some of the new media methods online student outfits are trying on for size, according to the Chronicle and research of mine that is cited:

They break news and boast high Web traffic, at times besting their student newspaper counterparts   (Chronicle piece: “Underground media has always existed. But not until recently . . . have there been underground papers published on a global distribution platform and amplified by the personal social networks of editors . . . who can share posts with more than 1,300 Facebook ‘friends.'”)

Yes, they occasionally dabble (responsibly) in rumor and innuendo (NYU Local founder Cody Brown previously wrote that this dabbling is part of a more widespread ‘real time’ reporting phenomenon)

Schools are starting to recognize their presence and marketing potential (For example, New York University has begun advertising on NYU Local.)

They consider the whole newsroom face-to-face meet-up thing a remnant of yesterday’s news outlet (Onward State apparently enjoys Google Wave. Staffers at other outlets with whom I’ve spoken rely upon more traditional mass e-mailing, IMing, Facebook, and Google Docs.)

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  1. […] one that is at the center of an epic “old/new media rivalry.”  The new write-up follows a recent Chronicle of Higher Education report that anointed Davis Shaver, Onward State’s co-founder, as […]