Going electronic with a student newspaper

Several weeks ago, the newspaper staff at my student teaching placement site learned that they would have no allotted budget for the coming school year. To save money and to propel their newspaper into a new era of publishing, our team got innovative and put the newspaper on Issuu.com. The results (as seen here) have been fantastic:

  • The publication has the look and feel of an e-magazine.
  • Our team saved money by printing only four pages (which were distributed throughout the school) and including teasers on those pages to lead readers to an additional six pages online. (I should note that this idea came from our student team, and was a key part of moving our team in this new direction.)
  • Within a couple of days, the online publication had about 200 views. There were about 400 views within a week, equivalent to a quarter of the student body.
  • The online publication is in color, allowing for more emphasis on photography and new options for our page designers.
  • The Issuu.com account that allowed us to do all this was free.
  • The viewer statistics we receive from Issuu.com will be used in advertising sales packets. And the opportunity to publish additional pages online means there will be more room for ads.
  • We are already planning online extra issues in between our major scheduled publications. This allows us to memorialize a student who recently passed away, to provide sports updates, and to be available for other breaking news reports.

We have our current issue up online, along with two archived issues in black and white. You can see them all right here. We plan to use Issuu.com at least for the rest of the school year, hopefully in conjunction with a news website that a student is developing.

I know this blog is getting a lot of traffic from readers who are interested in classroom publishing and student journalism. Are any of you using Issuu.com? Which online resources have helped you and your students save money or reach new audiences?

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6 responses to “Going electronic with a student newspaper

  1. That’s awesome! Our issues go up online, but they don’t look as fancy as that! I think the Blaze won some kind of best newspaper website award last year, so I’ll have to warn the students that they’re up against some stiff competition this year. :D Have you thought about including QR codes to link directly to online content from smartphones? We did it last issue and it was pretty cool!

  2. Lindsay, thank you! And I am sad to report that I have no idea what QR codes are or how they relate to smart phones. We have a news website in the works, but Issuu.com has been a happy transitional web solution… and I’m pretty sure we’ll use it long after the transition. What’s your paper’s web address?

  3. Check out the upper right of page 5 of today’s Mercury to see what a QR code is! It’s a barcode that you scan with your phone and it takes you to a website, video, audio clip, whatever. They’re everywhere in Japan, even on McDonald’s items to link you directly to nutritional content or job applications. I’m excited to tell my kids that they beat The Mercury to it! http://www.broncoblaze.com/

  4. Lindsay, that is one good-lookin’ website! Did they use a blog to get it started, or did someone design it? And how in the world do they get such beautiful photos?

  5. Very cool, Charity. If this had existed when i was back in high school, I definitely would have been in journalism. The kids must have a total blast with it. Kudos to you and the kids!

  6. Pingback: Too many stories! Too many ads! Too many pages! « Snapshot Storytelling

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