Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome to the Internet

So, here we have it, and you see it. La Vie is finally online and available to the world.
(http://lavieonline.lvc.edu) for those of you not coming from that site.

Now there are videos, newscasts, blogs, pictures, comments, links, Twitter, and Facebook pages and updates available to students, as well as everyone else. Lebanon Valley College is embracing an online medium for their newspaper, La Vie Collegienne, and the staff is very excited, as they should be.

Colleges across the U.S. have had online newspapers for years now, and La Vie is proud to join the ranks. Bryan Murley recently wrote a blog article on PBS’s “MediaShift” site based on the fact that many colleges still do not have a Web presence, and how backward he finds it to be. He does, however, realize that these print-only school papers have their reasons. He lists some issues college papers find with online environments:

· Technology difficulties

· College students publishing any mistakes, or distributing any “bad news” about the campus to be found by anyone online

· College donors being upset in any way by the type of advertisements or content online

The newspaper staff had struggled a bit concerning the correct content management system to use in this endeavor, and who would make it possible. La Vie has been truly fortunate to Justin Weaver, a computer science major at LVC, for taking on the project of finding the best management system and applying it to La Vie’s goals. By taking time out of his summer, Justin has graced us with a system using Google’s free Blogspot format (a very popular system among smaller colleges) allowing content uploading to be quite easy for the staff. As the staff is mostly English majors, having a person with different expertise to step in and help requires many thanks.

As for printing mistakes to the world, this can happen in the print edition and may continue into the online articles to some degree. However, as Murley recognizes, College is still a place for learning and that includes making mistakes. LVC must protect its image as an educational institution, but also continue to recognize the students’ right to free speech. La Vie will continue to strive for excellence in this online environment, just as it has in the print edition.

For donors to continue to donate to a respectable institution, going online is a way to keep La Vie and the student voices of LVC from withering. In this environment, the institution can receive more feedback and reach out to alumni on a much larger scale. The bottom line, as Murley reiterates, is that staying offline is a disservice to student journalists would not have any experience with online tools now prevalent in the industry. “A student who can't put material online can't really understand the impact of social networks like Twitter or Facebook to spread news. They can't really understand what it is to create a personal brand. And they can't really understand the challenges of multimedia production,” Murley states. As students have learned, the print industry is losing jobs and interest, while the online environment is opening up as it never has before.

La Vie Online has already proven to us that this medium brings together many different majors and students at this college who have different areas of expertise, such as Digital Communications, Art, Video production, and our widespread musical talent at this institution. By adding .mp3s and .mp4s, as well as text, we are including more of the college, the community, and our alumni.

Welcome to La Vie Online!

*You may find the article here:


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