The Future of News for College Journalism: A Few Questions | MIT Center for Civic Media
Dharmishta Rood studies the internet, and is interested in the intersection of technology, culture and human interactions. She is the co-founder of Populous, a Knight funded project that aims to provide collegiate and small town newspapers with the tools they need to survive in a web 2.0 environment. The project exists with three goals: to create an open-source CMS that newspapers can use for free, to create a platform newspaper staff can use to organize around goals, community events and the creation of news, and to integrate networking features that will allow community members to both share and create news.
In addition to being a researcher at Harvard Business School, she co-directed t=0, a festival for entrepreneurs, which happened at MIT fall 2011. Dharmishta holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. in Design | Media Arts from UCLA. She is currently learning to do handstands.
The Future of News for College Journalism: A Few Questions
Recently over at Populous we've been grappling with a few huge questions--none of them are new but they have interesting facets when put in the context of a college (or community) newspaper:
1) What is the exact relationship between user generated content and news gathered by a newsroom?
In larger-scale newspapers, there are comments, large maps and photo uploads. We, at the Daily Bruin, where we'll be testing our software, have a readership that can interact with the content on a local level (notwithstanding the epic amounts of sports fans and alums/parents visiting the site from around the country and globe) so rather than a spread out community, our readers generally live next to each other in dorms and congregate in large auditoriums and stadiums--what does this mean for the way they will develop online content and read hyperlocal news?
2) What are new revenue models for news or old ones that can be reconfigured online?
Not all college newspapers are completely financially supported by their school. Though in some ways college papers can avoid the financial challenges that other newspapers face via their school's support, many face the same challenges. We're in a competitive market at the local level--businesses are learning the power of Facebook ads, yelp reviews and google searches. (Not so) suddenly full page ads are losing their place. How can we appeal to the local businesses in a new way?
3) How do we integrate with mobile platforms?
Yes, mobile. We're working on it. Got any specific suggestions beyond the obvious geolocative/hyper-personal content?
We're working to explore ways for college journalism to survive (and thrive), when papers everywhere are losing ground as we speak.