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Ohio University journalism students launch College News Network


Nov 30, 2009
By Mary Reed

With just $17 in startup costs, two Ohio University journalism students have launched the College News Network, an Associated Press-style wire service for college and university newspapers.

Dave Hendricks and Ryan Dunn, both editors at The Post, Ohio University’s independent, student-run daily newspaper, stepped in to fill the void left by UWIRE when the widely used college news wire abruptly shut down in October. The two journalism majors purchased the domain name collegenewsnetwork.org, used open source software to build the site, and the College News Network was in business.

“All we’re really trying to do is just share the content from these various college newspapers,” said Hendricks. “We wouldn’t have done this if UWIRE were still around.”

So far, 29 student-run news organizations are on board, from Ohio and across the nation.

“I honestly wasn’t sure if anyone would be willing to jump on, but it seems that everyone has been really enthusiastic,” Hendricks said. “I’m really happy with it.”

Members post mostly opinion pieces and news items that would be of interest at a state or national level.

Hendricks developed his ideas for the news sharing service over the summer while he was an intern at The Columbus Dispatch, which also participates in a content sharing service, the Ohio News Organization.

Hendricks admits that he and Dunn haven’t thought much about the future of the wire service that’s less than two months old. “It’d be great to monetize it,” Hendricks said. “We haven’t thought that far ahead. At this point our total investment in this site other than time is just $17. All the software is open source with Wordpress and all of that. We paid for four months of hosting and a domain name.”

If all continues to go well, Dunn, a junior, is likely to continue running the site next academic year. “I assume somewhere (in the future) The Post will be interested in keeping it going or some other, more active papers in the system,” Hendricks said.

 

Published: Nov 30, 2009 3:41 PM

 
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