Daily Orange at Syracuse Sports Best Student Newspaper Website; Top Editor Explains Why

The Daily Orange at Syracuse University sports the best student newspaper website within collegemediatopia. For the second year in a row, the DO has nabbed an EPPY Award from Editor & Publisher for its online awesomeness. This builds upon a separate crazy cool honor staffers are no doubt over the moon about: a place on the recent CMM list “50 Best Student Press Websites.

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In a brief Q&A, Daily Orange editor-in-chief Casey Fabris (headshot below) outlines some of the paper’s interesting and innovative achievements — online and in general.

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What is the DO doing especially well on the web to warrant this endless stream of EPPYs?

Our website underwent a redesign about a year and a half ago and we’ve been making full use of it ever since it went live. We update the website constantly and are always looking for new, innovative ways to present information and take advantage of the great site that we have, whether that means interactive elements, special designs, relating posts or using Rebel Mouse to aggregate all of our stories on a certain topic.

What’s an example of a story, series or project that embodies the paper’s great digital work under your watch?

One of the special things we did on the site this semester was with our football season preview. Each of the stories had a design unique to the stories within the guide, featuring a large photo stripped across the top of the entire page. Each of the stories was grouped together and designed and styled in the same way, giving it a unique, uniform format. We’ve also been working to use Rebel Mouse to help group stories on our site, something we did for the first time with Juice Jam, an annual concert that takes place at Syracuse in the fall. We’ve only done this with a few projects, but it’s something we’re looking to incorporate more in the future as well.

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Anything cool happening away from the web?

A few things we’ve been very happy with this semester are some of our special editions and the illustrations done by our art director Andy Casadonte. This year was the 25th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, a tragedy in which 35 Syracuse University students returning from semesters studying abroad died. Each year, these students are honored with Remembrance Week. For the anniversary, we decided to do a special edition guide that came out during Remembrance Week. The guide had a wrap-around cover with an illustration done by our art director, which was meant to depict how the tragedy’s effect on the university has evolved in the 25 years since the bombing — showing the past and present. This was one guide we were all particularly proud of in terms of the stories, the design and the illustration.

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6We’ve also had some really great guides come out this semester in other sections as well. [One example:] our Feature Guide, which was a health issue that featured several illustrations by our art director on the cover that helped to categorize the guide into various sections, which was carried out throughout the guide in the design and the topics of the stories. We’ve also really pushed ourselves in terms of design with the covers of our football special editions. Our Clemson and Tulane “In the Huddles” (special editions we make for home football games) are ones we are particularly proud of.

Related

50 Best Student Press Websites: 2013 Edition

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