Shane Delaney, Videographer
Student-oriented St. Thomas news can now be found on one Web site: TommieMedia.com.
The all-digital student-run news organization launched Wednesday, Sept. 9, with a focus on visuals and daily updates.
Video, slideshows and audio pieces will be commonplace. So will text stories on everything from news to sports to variety stories.
Weekly editions of The Aquin are history, along with monthly installments of Campus Scope. The move wasn’t made to save money, but to give better up-to-the-minute coverage for the St. Thomas community.
The move to compile the various forms of media on one Web site is believed to be a collegiate first.
Not only will TommieMedia feature local, state and national news as a member of the Associated Press, but the AP said TommieMedia is the first college online-only organization to join AP.
Former Campus Scope producer and now TommieMedia director Shane Delaney likes the experience TommieMedia will give Communication and Journalism students.
“This is something they need to have in order to give them real-world journalism experience,” Delaney said. “To give them a taste of what the business is like when you graduate is great.”
TommieMedia will create multiple new products.
- “News in 90”: A quick broadcast lasting just 90 seconds posted at noon Monday through Friday. It will keep viewers up to date with two campus news stories and three relevant news stories from the AP.
- Weekly TV broadcast titled “Connected”: A five-minute broadcast from an anchor desk, bringing viewers up to speed on news, sports and other topics. It will be posted online every Thursday afternoon.
- Ten hours on KUST: From 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, TommieMedia will own the KUST airwaves and broadcast live interviews, recorded conversations and discussions. Nearly half the airtime will be devoted to Tommie athletics.
- Sports, sports and more sports: Varsity sports will get more in-depth and daily coverage. The difference from years past will be in club and intramural coverage. TommieMedia.com will post information such as polls for intramural football’s top 10 teams in addition to game recaps and coverage of St. Thomas non-varsity teams.
- Public relations and advertising: Something that hasn’t been a part of student news on campus in years. TommieMedia PR and ad staff have already started the site’s promotion. Drawstring bags, 5,000 refrigerator magnets and posters scattered throughout campus have started to spread the word.
“People will realize how great it is,” said Kiera Jacobson, TommieMedia’s public relations and advertising executive. “If somebody’s studying late in the library and they hit up TM and see an advertisement for Jimmy John’s, they will probably give them a call.”
With about 40 students on the TommieMedia staff, a six-adviser team headed by COJO department head Kris Bunton will advise but not be too involved in the production of content.
“For the first time ever we have six faculty members and each of whom bring different strengths,” Bunton said. “We can play off each other and give students the coaching and training they need.”
Many have voiced concern about a Web-only news destination. After 76 years of a print copy of news, the transition may have some hiccups.
But Delaney said the quality of the TommieMedia.com content will drive its following.
“People take the time to go on Facebook and take the time to look at pictures online,” Delaney said. “So then they’ll take the time to look at TommieMedia.com, especially if they have friends having stories written about them or if there’s a hot topic going around on campus.”
Shane Kitzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.