College media Web site takes a new direction

If you want to find out the latest news from college campuses around the country, UWIRE provides a one stop shop for college news junkies. Aggregating articles from hundreds of college newspapers, UWIRE recently announced an expansion of its services and a new direction for its website,

“The upgrades to the affiliate service will further cement UWIRE’s leading role in the college media space while the redesigned will serve to promote the next generation of thought leaders,” said Brian Bedol, President and CEO, CSTV Networks, UWIRE’s parent company.

UWIRE was launched in 1994 by Michael Lazerow, a sophomore at Northwestern University, attending its Medill School of Jouralism. The site’s tagline is “The Content Generation” and currently serves more than 800 student newspaper affiliates. The service gathers and edits up to 600 student-produced stories each day from those publications.

The service plans to expand its affiliate program to include all types of student-run media organizations, including campus TV and radio stations, as well as individual-run sites and blogs, and expand the media types it distributes. The site now features videos provided by the Open Student Television Network, which aggregates content from more than 50 student-run TV stations, as well as individual contributors.

Dedicated to “collaborative journalism” the new and improved Uwire has a major goal of “[capturing] the collective intelligence of these aspiring media professionals and offer visitors a place to discover refined, quality user-generated content.”

The site’s ongoing re-design will continue through the semester. Among other things, UWIRE plans to deploy extensive career-focused functionality for its contributors and revamp its press release service before the end of the year.

Although UWIRE posts news articles from different college newspapers on its sites, few students were aware of its existence.

“I’ve never heard of Uwire,” said freshman Aisha Casley. “But it could benefit more students if they knew about it.”

Some students didn’t see the benefits and believe that the most interesting information is found at the local level.

“I don’t really think it’s going to help students in gathering news,” freshman Toni Richardson said. “All they really need to do is look at their own school newspaper to get the information they want.”