University of Washington Students Deliver News Where Young People Live: On Facebook
Seattle, April 21, 2009 – Today, a group of 20 undergraduate journalism students are launching In:Site, an arts-and-culture magazine dedicated to providing young adults with dynamic and compelling news spun onto the online fabric of Facebook.
It’s part of the new youth and journalism frontier.
A Pew study shows that fewer than 30 percent of young adults in America read the news. So these undergraduate journalists are experimenting with delivering information in a new way.
Facebook reaches more than 100 million users a day. The students chose Arts and Culture as a topic because they want something that’s relevant to their targeted audience: 16 to 25 year olds.
In:Site is the focus of a 10-week University of Washington Department of Communication entrepreneurial journalism class. Faculty member Florangela Davila, a local journalist, is instructing the students.
“Universities are known for being cutting-edge incubators,” Florangela Davila said. “So who best to experiment and try out new forms of journalism than a group of smart undergrads who aren’t leashed to the old ways of telling stories?”
In:Site is the first collaboration between the Department of Communication and Seattle-based news aggregator NewsCloud, which will provide the technology for the Facebook application. The technology was built with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“It’s exciting to see our Facebook application used in the classroom to provide hands-on entrepreneurial social media training to University of Washington students,” said Jeff Reifman, NewsCloud’s founder.
The students will use all available social media tools, such as Twitter and YouTube, to drive traffic to In:Site and build an online community.
“I think what we are actually going to do in ten weeks is create a site that has the potential to be the next big trendy site,” said Sarah Jeglum, a 22-year-old senior and an In:Site staff reporter.
To view the In:Site Facebook application visit http://apps.facebook.com/seattleinsite/
In:Site staffers Kaetlyn Cordingley, Sarah Jenks or Brian Farn: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Communication lecturer Florangela Davila: 206.419-1631, email@example.com.
Zibby Wilder, NewsCloud: 206.898-7872, firstname.lastname@example.org
Launched in 2005, NewsCloud is a community-driven news aggregator and an open source solutions provider for social media. At the end of the project, NewsCloud will release the source code to its Facebook applications via open source license. Visit http://www.newscloud.com/research for more information.