UCA student media website launched

The University of Central Arkansas Journalism program has launched a new website to integrate student media on one site and to provide students with a deeper understanding of digital journalism.

UCAnews.live will tie together The Echo newspaper, News6 television and the Scroll yearbook. The UCA student media have had their own websites for years, but the new website will offer “one-stop shopping,” for multimedia campus news on the web, said journalism faculty member Michael Haddigan. 

In addition, the program is also unveiling a new content management system, known as Blox, that will better organize stories, photos, graphics and other material into a database. Blox is a product of townnews.com and is used by more than 1,700 news organizations nationwide. 

UCA’s new site and content management system closely mirror the digital newsroom environment students will encounter professionally, Haddigan said.

“We’re always looking for ways to help students build the understanding, skills and professionalism they’ll need in the future,” he said. “This is another step in developing our program’s online journalism learning opportunities.”

The decline of paper newspapers, new developments in media technology and changes in readers’ habits in recent decades have made the web a dominant source of news. The Pew Research Center reports that 93 percent of U.S. adults now get at least some of their news online.

“Digital news media are both the current reality and the future of news,” Haddigan said.

Among the universities using Blox for student media are the University of Missouri, Penn State, the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University.

In addition to stories that will appear on UCAnews.live, The Echo student newspaper and the Scroll yearbook will continue to publish regular print editions. News6 newscasts will continue to appear on Conway Corporation cable television.

The Journalism program is part of the UCA’s School of Communication in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

For more information, contact Haddigan at [email protected] or 501.852.2911.