Monday, December 17, 2012

Some advice from Boise State

Brad Arendt, the director of student media at Boise State, offered a valuable perspective about the direction of student media the other day that I thought was worth posting on Eye on The Orion. His publications have been ahead of the curve as far as digital media go.
We all should be dailies online these days, at least if you plan to rely on any sort of ad revenue I feel strongly a daily online presence is critical. 
While we are not a daily, twice weekly M/Th, we have pushed heavy with our web presence and mobile. 
Online HAS to be a website PLUS apps.  Walk around your campus.  If you walk with your head up, how many students walk past you with their heads down looking at a smart phone or tablet?  If your campus is like ours, it is clear personal electronic devices (PEDs) are growing and most campuses have decent to very good wireless coverage.  So you must have both. 
Building online takes work, but we have students who use both print and online.  You have to build a following and doing so with good, very visual/graphic pleasing content helps.  We have a problem translating graphics for EVERY story online.  This is a goal for us in the coming semester that every story will have at least one graphic - key for web and mobile.
 I think having some kind of art for every story would be a good goal for The Orion next semester, too. That, and making sure all the great reporting on The Orion's Twitter accounts gets turned into stories for the website.

I'll be working on some prescriptions for both the print and online elements of The Orion over the break. Watch this space next month for my suggestions.

See you next year!

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