By: Staff reports

Company Puts Student Publications Online

College Publisher Inc. (CP) of Cambridge, Mass., recently added more
interactive features to its free Web-publishing system for college
newspapers. Since the company was founded in February, 20 college
publications have signed up for the solution, and 10 more are in

On Tuesday, the company released Classroom Publisher, a program that
allows journalism professors to give students feedback in a simulated
publishing environment. The tool was unveiled at the Association for
Education in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in Phoenix.

The first school to use Classroom Publisher is Emerson College in
Boston, where they’ve developed an online news service. ‘The system
uses normal journalistic language and procedures to identify, label,
and process news in wither text, photo, or video form,’ said Manny
Paraschos, professor of journalism.

Classroom Publisher was developed from CP’s publishing system, which
helps student newspapers get online. Karsten Robbins, 31, and Kai
Pradel, 24, co-founders of the company, have only five other people
in the office to handle sales, marketing, and programming.

During an interview, Robbins said that he’d just finished customizing
the site for Boston University’s Daily Free Press. The Daily Free
Press is scheduled to go live with the redesign just in time for
fall’s first classes on Sept. 5.

Although customizing a site takes time, the basic college newspaper
site can get online quickly. ‘It takes one day to sign up a school,’
Robbins said. ‘You can create 10 to 15 story templates in a day.’

Steve Miskovitz, online services manager of the Daily Free Press,
said, ‘We were using a custom-built interface done by a local Internet
company. I wasn’t happy with it so I started searching for a new
solution a year ago.’

With a circulation of 12,000, the free daily has developed an estimated
5,000 weekly users in the three years it has been online. Currently,
the site only repurposes the daily print version to the Web.

Miskovitz said he chose College Publisher over competitors and Uwire! because of its easy-to-use interface. allows reporters – who don’t need to know HTML
(HyperText Markup Language) – to put stories into the database from
any remote location, allowing an editor to access the story and edit

for posting on the site.

Also attracting Miskovitz to CP’s publishing solution was the ability
to syndicate stories across the CP network. Since Boston College has
also selected CP, the two college newspapers can swap stories for their
Web sites.

Miskovitz also was keen on CP’s site statistics feature. Individual
stories can be tracked for their popularity and an ongoing site traffic
feature keeps editors abreast of audience measurements.

CP also has taken into account the growth of wireless devices. The
newspaper Web sites can, with one click, format content for distribution
to various portable devices. AvantGo will be the primary carrier of CP
affiliates’ content.

CP plans to add features to make the sites into ‘campus portals’ – the
strategy taken by the larger, which has over 70 college
newspapers in its network. CP is currently negotiating partnerships with
sites that would provide auctions, e-commerce, classifieds, and roommate

To pay for the free service, CP sells advertising on the site home pages,
sharing revenues with the newspapers. CP will not take a cut of any online
ads sold directly by the college paper to local advertisers.

Other papers in the College Publisher network include Temple University’s
Temple News, the University of Hartford’s Informer, Bentley College’s The
Vanguard, and Cornell Business’ Cornell Business.


Staff Reports

(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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