CoPress announces hosting plan for college newspaper Web sites


(Full disclosure: I’m the CoPress community manager, as well as a core team member.)

In a major move to help college newspapers thrive online, CoPress has announced a plan to move interested papers to WordPress and host the sites for a low monthly fee, plus a minor initial setup cost.

Or, if you’re just looking for low-cost hosting sans WordPress, that’s also an option. If you go that route, you don’t pay the initial setup cost.

What’s the advantage? Well, when you consider how much money your college news site could generate if you sold all the ads, and therefore took in related revenue, choosing CoPress could pay for itself.

Not to mention the fact that you have complete control over your site. That, in my view, is the most attractive reason. I oversaw The Miami Hurricane‘s move from College Publisher to WordPress last summer and wish CoPress existed at the time.

But, whereas our situation allowed us to make the move on our own, many school papers don’t have a server or the technical know-how to make such a move. Or, if you do, you can avoid a possible headache (particularly in transfering your College Publisher archives) with a little help from your friends.

That’s where CoPress comes in – we can do all that. Check out the post about the hosting plan.

For more information, visit the CoPress hosting page.

Leave a comment on the CoPress post or e-mail with any questions. Also, you can follow us on Twitter.

CoPress makes it to round two of the Knight News Challenge

Kevin announcing the news
Kevin announcing the news on Twitter.

About one week after CoPress submitted an application for this year’s Knight News Challenge, we found out today that we advanced to the second round.

I did a happy dance in my chair.

Kevin Koehler (@kev097), who toiled into the late hours of the night last Sunday to polish the application, announced the good news via Twitter (see photo).

A little background on the project, quoting our application:

CoPress is a collaborative project to invigorate online student media through community, software, and knowledge. A single organization providing Web support, we will fill a gaping need for college publications, providing the tools they lack to thrive in the digital revolution, and platforms for innovation.

For a more detailed overview, visit the CoPress about page. For all the juicy details, check out our meeting notes.

Also, be sure to check out our application, leave a comment and give us stars if you think we’re cool.

An updated and expanded application is due in a few weeks, so we’ll be adding more details before then.

Special congratulations to Daniel Bachhuber, our fearless leader who started the group and is just plain awesome.

UPDATE, Nov. 12: Check out the CoPress post on the news, We’re in: Knight Challenge round duex.

We’re not in Kansas (City) anymore: An ACP/CMA recap

My conference craziness for the semester finally ended on Sunday.

This past weekend I attended the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers conference in Kansas City, Mo.

The Miami Hurricane sent six people, four from the newsroom and two from the business office.

Other UM student media also sent staffers, including five from the Ibis yearbook and one from Distraction magazine. The respective Hurricane and Ibis advisers also attended.

(Quick shout-out to Hurricane adviser Bob Radziewicz, who learned some iMovie and Audacity at the conference, yay! And he got Twitter on his own. Follow him @caneadviser.)

Another UM professor, Rich Beckman, was the conference’s first keynote speaker on Thursday (Mark Glaser of MediaShift was the keynote on Friday).

Rich started his talk by discussing how the newspaper industry fell behind with the Web. But, instead of harping on the negative, he mostly offered advice for the hundreds of students and advisers in attendance.

Video excerpt of Beckman’s keynote, shot by Anthony Pesce.

To summarize Rich’s advice:

  • You still need the basics — writing and editing across platforms, legal and ethical grounding
  • Everyone needs to know audio and video content gathering, editing and storytelling skills
  • Photojournalism and photo editing skills and the ability to produce audio-driven photo galleries and stories
  • Understand audience, usability, social networking, etc.
  • You need multimedia storytelling skills
  • Skills are given. Once you have them, you need to learn how to use them
  • Take advantage of what the Web is good at (interactivity, availability, etc.)
  • Use your publications to test your skills
  • Follow people, not organizations, when looking for good examples of journalism
  • Find mentors

Rich also discussed how multimedia design and infographic skills as well as multimedia programming and producing skills will land you the best (and best paid) jobs at top news organizations.

Besides the familiar faces, I got to see some new faces and meet some people in person for the first time, including Andrew Dunn, Anthony Pesce (whose video is embedded above) and Miles Skorpen. I’d known each through Twitter and the latter two from CoPress, so it was great to hang with them at the conference.

I also had a mini reunion of sorts with David Grant, editor of the Collegiate Times (Virginia Tech) and Kristen Daum, editor-elect of the State News (Michigan State). The three of us were part of the Al Neuharth Free Spirit scholarship class of 2005.

Speaking of awards:

  • The Hurricane didn’t win an online Pacemaker, but we got a pretty plaque for being a finalist. So, we’re looking to next year’s competition, when we’ll be entering the new WordPress site that Brian Schlansky and I created last summer.
  • Will Wooten, Hurricane visuals editor in spring 2008, won a third place page one design award for the “Do Not Rush the Field” cover

Sneak peak at next project

I’ll be playing producer and leading one of five video teams today for an Election Day 2008 multimedia project, which is being organized by the UM visual journalism program. The group, which also includes seven still photo teams, is being led by vis-j faculty Jim Virga, Kim Grinfeder and Rich Beckman.

We’ll be working in the West Grove and later putting together a site with all the stories, expected to launch soon after the election is finished. Note: This is not live coverage, but instead a documentary-style project.

I’ll write a recap post with my thoughts and a link after it launches.

Until then, follow the project on Twitter. Alex de Carvalho (@alexdc), who is one of the project’s other coaches, and I (@greglinch) will be live tweeting using the hastag #grove.