[CAMPUS COMMENTARY]Papers’ Web sites need to be easily found

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[CAMPUS COMMENTARY]Papers’ Web sites need to be easily found

One day I logged onto the Web site of our English newspaper at Sookmyung Women’s University and found a posting by one of our readers on the online bulletin board.
The posting said, “I feel eye pains because your Web site’s background color is a disturbing orange!”
That’s not news. We have received plenty of complaints on that matter.
I reported our Web site’s disturbing condition and told the director’s office that it has to go through a big change. However, I was told that only a few changes can be made; beyond that it couldn’t be done.
Remembering that our school’s main Web site had been recently rebuilt, I called the IT planning and operation office to ask that it rebuild our home page as well.
But the office refused, particularly since it would cost an arm and a leg to employ a Web designer.
Finally, I had to give up ― for now at least.
But I realize our Web site is not the only one with problems. It seems that the Web sites of other universities’ English newspapers are not managed efficiently either. Designs do not look good to start with. Bulletin boards are full of advertisements.
Some Web sites have stopped uploading new articles ― never mind that the purpose of the Web sites is supposedly to make campus news stories available online.
It was also hard to find a hyperlink on a university’s home page that guided Internet users to the university paper’s Web page.
That does not help students, our readers, to get interested in school issues that our campus paper covers.
Nowadays, students spend more time in front of computers, so most of them read and search news for news on the Internet.
Kyunghee University and Chung-Ang University run portal sites, the Kyunghee Media Center and CAUON, respectively, which have centralized Web sites for related university media outlets.
The sites contain their weekly Korean newspaper, the monthly English newspaper or magazine, broadcasting system and so on. I think running such an outlet portal is more convenient than each media outlet having a separate site.
When I logged on to Kyunghee University’s Web site, I easily found a link to the Kyunghee Media Center. Moreover, the Web site carries a long list of news stories written by student reporters. That’s how it should be; it’s one of the most developed Web sites I have seen.
It’s said that readers’ news reading habits have changed. We worry that they don’t read anymore from newspapers but only from the Internet. However, we cannot just continue to complain that readers do not read our articles. We should no longer wait for readers to come to the newsstand so they can read our news. We should deliver our news via the Internet.
Our Web sites have to be easy to log into, and our articles have to be accessible to students directly through their schools’ home pages.

* The writer is the president of the Union of Seoul Region Campus English Newspapers (http://uscen.blogspot.com) and the former editor of the Sookmyung Times, the English newspaper of Sookmyung Women’s University.

by Goo Youn Eun-ae
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