ACP Online Pacemaker Finalist: UNR’s Insight Magazine

In late March, the Associated Collegiate Press announced its selection of 50 finalists for the annual Online Pacemaker awards.  The finalists represent online versions of print publications and online-only outlets at U.S. schools large and small, public and private, admin.-controlled and independent. Sites were evaluated for the quality of their “multimedia storytelling, writing and editing, site design, in-depth and complete coverage, interactivity, and graphics and photography.”

In this occasional CMM series, I offer my personal take on some finalists’ standout innovations or positive attributes- aimed at helping other student media up their Web games.  Next up . . .

Insight Magazine

Insight at the University of Nevada, Reno, presents a sleek, fun-to-scroll-through site.  It comes across as almost emo-ish with the black backdrop, but the standard content font and straight-and-arrow squared-off design specs balance things out.

My favorite portion of the site is actually a meet-the-staff podcast series hosted by the assistant multimedia editor.  In roughly 30-minute segments, Insight staffers sit for individual chats about their lives, journalism passion, and Insight insights.  The show, called “Inside Insight,” is fantastic for a few reasons:

1) It embraces what I call the ‘DVD extras’ aspect of the Web.  It is unvarnished bonus material for Insight readers especially interested in the magazine, presented in a way that is not feasible or desirable to replicate in print.

2) It personalizes the publication.  It gives the audience a glimpse behind the scenes of the magazine production and some background on staff who are otherwise just headshots-text on a bio page.

3) It is a cool platform for staff.  A quality radio interview about your j-work is a nice accoutrement to the usual stack of bylined pieces included in a job/grad school application.  It is a way to let a potential employer or grad program know a bit more about the real you behind the writing/editing.

4) It celebrates convergence.  The show streams as a podcast on the Insight site but is actually run on Wolfpack Radio, the campus radio station.

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