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University Prepares Launch of Online News Portal

The media landscape is changing, and many newspapers and other print publications are taking the back seat. That is why University professors from the Department of Communication decided it was time for something new, and introduced the idea for a new student-trun media group called The Verge.

The Verge is the University’s first online news portal. The idea for the media group was conceptualized last spring and will officially begin this semester. Kayla Inglima, Assistant Editor, said that they will be completely ready to launch the site by November.

The idea for The Verge sprung from Assistant Professor of Journalism Marina Vujnovic’s online journalism class last semester.

“Currently we have about 15 students working on stories, most of which are connected to campus life and campus events,” Vujnovic, now the staff advisor, said. “It merges the elements of writing, photography, interactive media, and graphic design.” Inglima said that she sees The Verge as an important step taken by the University.

“The Verge is important because we are living in a technology driven world,” Inglima said. “Every day we are getting new or improved technologies that have begun to completely redefine our world. While print journalism and TV will never be completely replaced, it is essential that we do not miss out on this new opportunity to explore journalism on the Internet.” The Verge will contain original content, Vujnovic said.

“We’re not looking to replicate the content. We are thinking of working as more of a converged newsroom,” Vujnovic said. “The Verge urges other student media groups such as Commworks, The Outlook, PRSSA, MOCC, HawkTV, and WMCX to contribute their work to the new source.”

The Verge is intended to be interactive and provide more content about a news story to the users, Inglima said. “The Verge will allow stories to virtually come to life using slideshows, podcasts and videos,” Inglima said. “It will also allow for viewers to leave comments and have discussions, making it interactive for Monmouth students and faculty.”

“The new media environment demands that our students get firsthand experiences while they are in school producing news and reporting for online media,” Vujnovic said. “I think it is important for a reporter today to know the basics, especially when they head out into the workforce, so they will be able to say, ‘Yeah, I know how to do that’.”

Vujnovic thinks that The Verge will become a very popular news source for students and the University community. Like other student media groups, the opportunity for practicum credits is available. Students are eligible for the credit after one semester of previous involvement with The Verge.

The Verge is holding an interest group meeting on Tuesday, October 25 at 6:30 pm in Plangere, room 206.