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A Lesson from Web Papers

 Most media-savvy people are worried about the future of newspapers. This is because of the many kinds of Internet web papers. And they are diminishing newpapers' status. The typical successful model is OhMyNews. OhMyNews's achievement is marvelous considering its origin. According to a recent survey, OhMyNews ranked 4th in trust of the media.
  E-daily is another big success story. It is a web paper that provides real-time economic news. E-daily was established by some financial news reporters and quickly gained special status among financial papers. Apart from these two examples, there are many successful web papers.
  Situation changes.
  Most newspapers are in financial trouble. Some even predict that 70~80 percent of existing newspapers will disappear within the next 10 years. The web paper's era has come. And this phenomenon is likely to grow. The print media are adopting some measures to turn this situation around.

  Similar agonies are affecting universities.
  A few days ago, a Donggukian wrote a critical article about the Dongguk University (DU) Press (DU's school newspaper) on My Opinion, the DU web bulletin board. He enumerated its bad points and insisted that the School Authority should change the DU Press into a web paper because publishing the paper is a waste of money.
  If the above proposal was offered to the editors of the Press, they would oppose it violently. This is because the Press is rarely read; therefore, conversion to a web paper is a gamble.

  But something should be done to turn this crisis around. The influence of the university press weakens day by day. What should university journalists do about it? There is an exemplary model: The Weekly Hanyang.
  It is Hanyang University's Internet news service. It was established under the banner of providing real-time information. It never stops providing news despite school vacation and mid-term exam time. Its innovative strategy focuses on real campus news. The Weekly Hanyang has a great influence in Hanyang University.

  The editors and reporters of university newspapers should find a new way. If not, the influence of the university press will weaken year by year.
  A web paper is just one solution. University journalists, contrive to find a way! Innovative breakthroughs are found through innovative thinking.

Shin Dong-kyu  korea232@dongguk.edu

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