Going Digital

Blogging this to assign for my students to read when the current unit is over.

Not surprisingly, the Web serves the first function of a local paper
exceptionally well. They deliver information instantly, and articles
can be updated and corrected in real time. What is surprising, though,
is the unfortunate and neglected condition of most student papers’ Web
sites. The average site has a clunky layout, sloppy design and
little-to-no attention to color schemes or aesthetics. Many sites are a
muddled array of hyperlinks, with uncategorized articles strewn every
which way. Graphics are poorly sized. Fonts are dull. Multimedia is
ignored.

All of these flaws are shocking when one realizes that Generation Y,
the most tech-savvy ever born, maintains and codes these sites. Yet
their designs are, excuse my snarkiness, very 1990s. But worse than my
aesthetic objections is my philosophical gripe: Most student papers’
online content essentially mirrors the print content. They are updated
daily or weekly, only in conjunction with the print paper. Such an
organization suggests a clear prioritizing of the physical newspaper —
a mistake that the professional news media, by and large, began to
correct a decade ago. — Brian Farkas, Inside Higher Ed