University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Blending news operations on the web - creating a functional process - help!

We are in the process of building a new news site. The system will be fine. The problem we are having is combining the operations of our department (Web Communications) with the other department that has some share in creating news on the web (Publications) to create the process behind maintaining it and what the vision is for it. We need to define roles and responsibilities for the new news site for a group of people that come from multiple departments, and from different backgrounds and philosophies. And we need to find a way to create a fluid, flexible site that embraces a diversity of content types. I am looking for any help/perspective/insight from people at other universities that have blended different groups to create a team responsible for editorial content on the university site (e.g. news stories, blog posts, social media, videos, audio slideshows, event listings, videos, etc.).

Here is some of our particular backstory:
- I am technically "Managing Editor of Web Communications" and oversee an online news product, events, social media, some blog channels and multimedia. Publications has a "News Editor," who is solely responsible for their online news product, which contains some multimedia. We have very similar responsibilities and purviews -- we each have deeds to the same house, you might say, and have some different (though some shared) ideas about how to decorate.
- Two distinct online news publications, one operated out of each department, have been around for years and years. With the launch of this new system and site, one new single online news presence will emerge. One of the news publications was, for decades, a print publication that migrated online as a cost-saving maneuver.
- Our current news page is not really a site, but rather a page that aggregates the highlights from our respective news channels and links to/feeds from other news properties on campus.
- The Publications group is older, more entrenched, and more magazine-based in their way of thinking (they also publish various alumni magazines). My group is newer, younger and while our editorial staff comes from a journalism background, we are very "web" in our way of thinking about content.

Thanks for any help,

--Georgy

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I screwed up when I saw this post crop up in my Bloglines monitoring (was under the mistaken impression cuwebd was more private), became alarmed and deleted the original post (oops), thus losing Fienen's very valuable comment. Apologies!
Wow. I am amazed at how similar our situations are. I am the Manager of Web Communications and the main part of my job is curating our home page, which features 13 rotating news stories, 2 rotating "success stories", events, and arts. All of that content is pulled in part from our Communications Dept. editorial staff, which is entrenched in magazine-style writing. I am also managing content providers in each school in division across the university—each with their own style.

We are also in the process of reworking our News page as well as creating a University Communications site. There are still a lot of questions regarding both. I would love to talk more about your process or hear some of the other feedback you've gotten here or elsewhere.
We just launched a new home site design that includes rotating features on the home page and also on each of four school home sites. Now we're looking at a redesign of the news site - going with categories instead of the "sections" you see now. I am hoping we don't go the way of other universities and split into different areas with feature stories that are on the home pages on one site and the news site and media relations on another. Anyone else dealt with this? Any ideas?

Currently I am managing editor of the news site and I assign stories out to freelancers, write stories myself in addition to two other staff members. We meet weekly in editorial meetings to discuss story ideas and what stories will go where: home page features, news site or the university magazine.

Here's our url - would love feedback, ideas etc: StKate.edu

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