BY Anne Zukowski (’18)
This spring semester marks one full year for The Wood Word publishing exclusively online, which means one year without printed editions.
With this change, The Wood Word has moved from a monthly print publication supplemented by an online presence to publishing news about the Marywood community on a daily basis. Breaking news gets online as it happens, with developing stories highlighted first in news briefs, followed by detailed coverage with interviews, photos, multimedia and analysis.
Opinion pieces are more current than those that appeared in the former print edition, since editorials, columns and cartoons can be online while news events are fresh rather than being largely confined to a monthly schedule.
A big change with The Wood Word’s social media is producing more featured multimedia videos each week on The Wood Word’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
All staff members now have Wood Word-named Twitter accounts, making it easier for them to share campus news. This also gives the student journalists the chance to practice live tweeting of events like the Student Government Association bi-weekly meetings, award shows, sporting events and breaking on-campus news. The live tweeting gives followers of The Wood Word up-to-the-second coverage of important events and opens another avenue for the publication to engage its audience.
Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment Editor Dylan Wright’s weekly podcast, On Screen, is on Season 2 of recording. To promote his podcast, he and Multimedia Editor Rachael Eyler recorded a promotional tease video to announce this week’s episode would be released later that week.
Spotlights that feature students, alumni and organizations contain a richer media experience than the print edition due to our ability to include video as well as additional photos for each story. The print edition’s production requirements generally limited photo coverage to a single shot.
In addition to the expanded coverage of teams and games, the online edition makes following Pacer sports results more timely. This semester is also the kick-off for a Sports Package add-on for The Wood Word’s website. Want to know the schedule and sports score for the Marywood Pacers? View them now on The Wood Word’s website here.
As its news presence has grown, so have the activities that promote and fund the online site.
The Wood Word recently sold Gertrude Hawk chocolate bars and held a caricature fundraising event in the Learning Commons.
“Our promotions team felt that a fundraiser that directly involved students would be a great way to raise money,” said Managing Editor Alex Weidner.
Wood Word Design Editor Katlynn Whitaker said the staff is more diverse than previous years, which has helped make the fundraiser event fun for the campus.
“The caricature fundraiser was a unique event that not a lot of organizations have done before,” said Whitaker. “It was a good collaboration opportunity between the Comm Arts Department and the Art Department.”
As part of the Marywood Media Group, The Wood Word has embarked on a packaged advertising sales effort now being piloted in the spring semester. The Promotions Team has developed an advertising package that includes placements on the publication’s website teamed with underwriting announcements on TV-Marywood and VMFM 91.7. Full-scale package sales will begin this fall.
A Broader Perspective
As the online coverage has grown in the past year, so has the staff, which numbers around 30 persons, including editors and staffers from other academic departments. The diversity in backgrounds brings additional perspectives to The Wood Word and the organization welcomes students from across the university to apply for positions. (Hint: The Wood Word’s Recruitment Day is April 5. Look for details!)
Anne is a junior digital media major. She’s the web editor for The Wood Word, promotions director and a disc jockey for 91.7 VMFM, co-host and associate producer of Late Night Marywood a member of Society for Collegiate Journalists, American Advertising Federation, PRSSA, and news director of TV-Marywood. Twitter: @annezukowski