Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another invasion on college media turf

Watch out, student newspapers. Here's another effort by a professional news organization to reach out to college students--and steal your readers. This one is called The Loop and it's aimed at college students in the Rochester, New York area.

The Loop is a partnership of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and seven area colleges: the State University of New York schools at Brockport and Geneseo, St. John Fisher College, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe Community College. There are plans to expand to others.

The Rochester area has 80,000 college students attending 19 schools, according to The Loop.

The site, which formally debuts today on the Web, is largely staffed by students at those colleges. It will include blogs, news articles, galleries, a calendar, online forums and other features.

It's similar to BigLickU in the Roanoke, Virginia area and Swocol in Ohio.

We'd love to hear from The Lamron at SUNY Geneseo, The Stylus at SUNY Brockport, The Cardinal Courier at St. John Fisher College, The Monroe Doctrine (great name!) at Monroe Community College, The Gleaner at Nazareth College, The Beacon at Roberts Wesleyan College, The Campus Times at the University of Rochester and other college newspapers in the area.

How do you feel about this new site? Are you collaborating with it? Are you worried about losing readers to The Loop? What are you doing to compete? Post a comment here or send an e-mail message to collegenewspaper@gmail.com.

You can read more about The Democrat and Chronicle's plans for The Loop here.

My previous post about Swocol.com is here.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

The Loop is certainly an excellent resource for college students, so it will draw a lot of readers. However, databases such as the sites mentioned don't necessarily need to steal readership, but rather enhance the reader's experience by making it easier to find additional, local information.

Instead of letting professional news organizations swoop in and try to steal readers, what if college newspapers began creating the sites themselves? They could do this by creating similiar databases on the newspaper's website.

I don't know where the staff would begin this project. Any advice for an editor looking to expand the website in this fashion? How much manpower is needed to staff The Loop? Is it possible to achieve something similiar at a small university?