The Rocket continues to evolve to meet demand of the digital age

Published by adviser, Author: Will DeShong, Date: August 31, 2012

Like every year, The Rocket is entering the new academic year with a new staff eager to improve the newspaper’s impact on the Slippery Rock University community.

Last year was a successful year for the Rocket, with the staff taking home numerous awards and accolades throughout all sections of the paper.

But there has been a lot of turnover since last spring, and many of the seasoned members of the paper have moved on.

This year’s staff brings a nice mix of familiar and new faces, all with hopes to continue the strong reporting that earned the paper with the aforementioned honors it had last year.

But the new staff also hopes to further modernize the paper into the constantly changing journalism field, primarily by expanding the paper’s online and mobile presence.

As the journalism industry continues to grow far beyond traditional print media, we at The Rocket hope to keep pace with the digital age by improving and utilizing the most recent of technologies.

Once the new staff gains its footing and becomes more comfortable with the jobs left to them, we’ll look to expand in several new ways in order to give our readers the most diverse content possible.

The major project already in the works and nearing completion is the Rocket App for iPhone.

Our web editor, James, worked tirelessly over summer to create the App, and we’re excited for the possibility of releasing it to the public in the near future, once the final touches are in place.

The App will feature a variety of content in addition to the most current stories appearing in our print editions.

Blogging has been a topic of conversation at early staff  meetings.

Almost every major newspaper in the country has some sort of blog section on their website, and The Rocket hopes to join that company soon.

While the idea is still in its infancy, as to what would be featured on a Rocket blog lends more to softer -news stories of the campus community, but would also allow for more current updates of top stories throughout the week.

Blogging would also allow us to better utilize the various forms of multimedia out there, including video.

Continuing with the theme of online changes, we will be looking to offer more web-exclusive content, this year.

Say a breaking news story happens on a Tuesday, we’re looking at getting an initial story up online that night, with a more detailed analysis coming in the print editions on Friday.

We would also like to post unique stories online, both on our main news site and on any type of blog we set up, that will not found in the Friday print edition of the paper.

This should be a way to further gain online presence and readership.

To accompany web-exclusive stories would be multimedia that is impossible to find in the print edition.

With a staff experienced in new-media journalism, this is definitely an exciting way to challenge ourselves in providing the best content available for the community.

These are the big new challenges the new staff is committed to focusing on this year. But like always, the Rocket wants to continue offering quality news reporting on stories of interest to the campus community.

We’re also devoted to offering space for the opinions of any and all individuals or organizations on campus, which is what this section of the paper is for.

We look forward to experiencing the upcoming year at the Rock with our loyal readers, and are excited for the changes that are about to unfold over the next few months.


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