New Look for Amherst Wire

In case you’ve missed it, Jackie Hai has been busy this summer developing a new look for Amherst Wire. Jackie moved the site over to WordPress, which, as Jackie points out here, provides several advantages:

* More robust codebase, less prone to bugs;

* Tons of ready-made plugins such as tabbed navigation, Flickr photo feed, podcasting, etc.;

* Search-engine-friendly links for stories and pages;

* Author profiles and stories indexed by author.

The design of the page is very clean, which I like — and I’ve very much become a fan of WordPress.

Ashleigh Bennett and Jackie will be the editors of the site this fall, so don’t forget to let your students know about the site. If they have stories they would like to submit for publication to the site, they should send them to Ashleigh or Jackie.

Elsewhere,

* Journalism’s own Brad Giguere sent me this link, showing the “ethics” of local television hitting new lows.

* And, I don’t know how many of you have checked in on The Post’s 12-part look back at the Chandra Levy story (I got enough the first time around), but the decision to spend so much time and effort (again) has raised a bit of a brouhaha at the paper. Robert Pierre, one of the metro reporters there, had this to say about The Post’s decision to revisit the death of the young white woman:

“Seems like either an awful big coincidence or just recognition that, to us, a white life is worth more than a black one. I personally hope that people march on the paper and throw the papers back. It is absolutely absurd and dare I say, racist, at its core.”

Powerful words.

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About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing amherstwire.com, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at washingtonpost.com. He also edits part-time for espn.com with the NFL and college football network.
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