Website brings College Media Together

Jeff Smith, Proofreader

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In the new age of convergence The Jacket Journal has had to adjust to the times and started a new website, bhsumedia.com.

Bhsumedia.com is where all the different types of media on campus come together in one place. This past year the Jacket Journal has changed how information is spread in a continuation of convergence with this creation.

Before bhsumedia.com there was bhsubuzz.com hosted by College Media Network that was created in 2008. Bhsumedia.com got its start this last summer but nothing was officially put on the site until September 2013. Student News Online was chosen as the host server because of the better reputation from school newspapers.

“Bhsumedia.com is a place for news to be online and updated quickly. It is a news source all students should look forward to,” said Evan Bruce, systems manager for The Jacket Journal and bhsumedia.com.

Bhsumedia not only has campus information but news from all around the Black Hills area so that people all across the globe can know what is happening in the local community.

One advantage of the bhsumedia website Bruce noted was how much easier people can find the site. It has been connected with the school website and has been heavily promoted throughout this year with posters, advertisements and banners.

In 2007 when Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser became an associate professor of Mass Communications at Black Hills State University the idea of convergence was heavy on her mind.

In 2008 Dr. Caton-Rosser knew that something had to happen in the Jacket Journal organization so that everything was current.

There were many initiatives behind creating a website for the Jacket Journal.

“It wasn’t well known and we had to keep up with the times,” said Dr. Caton-Rosser, “at that time it was either to create a website or quickly fall behind.”

There has been a rapid amount of change and differences in how students participate since then. The work that is done by students is immense and especially has focus on a variety of media. There is a collaboration of work from all different emphases of the mass communications department.

Dr. Scott Clarke, assistant professor of digital communication, has assigned a lot of recent projects that have been produced specifically for Bhsumedia.com. One thing Clarke has pushed in his classes is to be able to know how to produce across media platforms. The contributions made from various emphases highly enhance the look and feel of the website.

The recognition of this website has reached not only as being connected to the Jacket Journal but also as a point of reference for other schools. Augustana College in Rockford, Illinois recently contacted Dr. Caton-Rosser about how to set up their own website for their newspaper.

In February, the Editor-in-Chief, Jodi Mathis and Assistant Editor, Jenna Carda went to the Best of the Midwest Associated collegiate press convention in Minneapolis and were commended for the work on the Bhsumedia site.

“There’s still a big process that involves talking to people. A lot of it’s just going to come from spreading the word,” Dr. Caton-Rosser said.

Another large aspect that is new to this site that wasn’t available before is the ability to interact. People are now able to comment on students work and get a response.

One thing Dr. Caton-Rosser and Dr. Clarke agreed on is the importance of collaboration.

“There’s a lot more sharing of content across media and a willingness to work across media. There’s much more willingness to learn different skills,” Dr. Clarke said.

The mindset of media is to have it available instantaneously and to be able to know what’s happening in all areas of life. Convergence and having news online does not take away from hard copy publication of newspaper but realize the need for both and continue to educate the public as much as possible.

“The online version also offers us the chance to give our students a lot more opportunity to publish their work whether it’s graphics, still photos, video, podcasts or print,” Dr. Caton-Rosser said.

Many believe that the website will continue to get better and more will be produced. Student content is just on the verge what can be published, there’s much more material that hasn’t been shown on bhsumedia.com

“I hope we have more student work from all around campus. More from English students and there’s more opinion and feature writing,” Bruce said.

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