Year in Review: Most Viral Student Media of 2012, Part 1

Allegations of Ivy League hazing. Alice in Wonderland on LSD. A Biblical studies professor busted in a child predator sting. A student squirrel whisperer. A 280-pound black bear falling from a tree. And something called milking. These buzzwords and teaser descriptions factor into a few of the many viral creations published or posted by college media over the past year. The student press was responsible for an especially high number of viral reports, columns, videos, photos, headlines, and tweets in 2012. Collectively, their moments in the digital spotlight offer a fascinating foundation for a student press year in review– a glimpse at what was especially popular, controversial, funny, unexpected, and out of control. In that spirit, here is a chronological rundown of top college media moments and content that blew up online in 2012.

University of Oregon’s Emerald Builds Special Site for Fiesta Bowl Coverage (#Interactive #Innovative #GoDucks)

The Emerald at the University of Oregon is welcoming in 2013 with a fun, furious thunderclap of online innovation. In honor of this evening’s Fiesta Bowl battle between the Oregon Ducks and the Kansas State University Wildcats, the UO student student media group has taken over its own homepage. The reconstructed web digs feature game-day tweets (all with a #GoDucks hashtag), Instagram photos (including those geo-tagged close to the stadium in Glendale, Ariz.), a reader chat board, and stories from a half-dozen Emerald staffers reporting on Fiesta football and other festivities in person. The tweets, pics, chat, and content are each presented in their own vertical streams, updated in real-time, making for a fun top to bottom wait-scroll-browse-repeat for even casual fans.

State Press at ASU Going Digital-First, Shifting From Daily to Weekly Print Paper

The State Press is doing nothing less than “re-inventing the college newspaper for the 21st century.” Late last week, the Arizona State University student paper announced a big, bold, headfirst leap into the digital journalism wonderland. The State Press 2.0 will premiere in January. It will drop its daily print edition in favor of a bulked-up weekly and “digital products [that] include a new website optimized for viewing on mobile devices, updated iPhone and Android apps, as well as a new iPad app.”

Four Student Newspaper Web Redesigns: Before and After Screenshots

The Daily Bruin is updating its web look. The UCLA student newspaper is currently providing readers with a sneak peek at its upcoming digital overhaul. It is one of several high-profile online redesigns over the past semester or so within collegemediatopia. Along with the Bruin, below are a few that immediately come to mind– before and after screenshots.