Tag Archives: environmental news

Launching an environmental news website – four weeks in

As you have probably worked out, this year’s Online Journalism students have been building up towards launching an environmental news website. This week the site went public, and I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned so far…

The Background

The site is the final year project of two final year journalism degree students – Azeem Ahmad and Rachael Wilson. The decision was made to launch an environmental site because of the increase of investment in this area from a number of news organisations, and also because of a local connection – more of which later.

Azeem is responsible for the more technical side of the site, which he has built from scratch using the open source content management software Joomla.

Azeem has been blogging his progress with the software, including the frightening experience of having the site hacked into by the creator of a theme Azeem installed.

Rachael has the responsibility for editorial, which means writing for the site herself, but more importantly managing 14 second year students on the Online Journalism module as they try to build a news site on a subject most have never written about. She’s also been blogging her experiences.

Week One: Choosing a name, assigning beats, making connections

After some cheesy brainstorming, the very literal name ‘Environmental News Online‘ was chosen for the site for the simple reasons of search engine optimisation and domain name availability. The abbreviation ‘ENO’ lent it more character. Continue reading

Environmental blogs: the first week

It’s been a pretty good first week of blogging from my online journalism students. After those impressive first ideas they’ve demonstrated that they understand the form in practice as well as theory.

First-time bloggers are often disappointed that the world isn’t listening as soon as they open their mouth, and I was expecting to have to advise all students that it would take time to build any sort of audience.

But when I asked them to call up their stats after just seven days I was surprised to find some were already gathering a readership: two students had had over 130 visits; another had had around 60; and a further two had around 40. Continue reading