Huffington Post launching site featuring college newspaper content

NEW YORK, NY — On Monday, college journalists across thecountry will have a new opportunity for their work to be seen by people outsidetheir typical readership.

The Huffington Post, an online news source, is planning to launch acollege-focused section on its Web site Feb. 22. The site will feature articlesfrom universities’ student newspapers.

About 60 college newspapers from across the country signed on to havecontent available on the new Web site, said Leah Finnegan, the HuffingtonPost staff member in charge of the college section.

The Huffington Post is an Internet news source that largelyaggregates content from other Web sites and blogs. An abridged version of eachfeatured story is available on the Web site with a link to the original newssource. The college section will be on the top of the site next to news,entertainment, sports and other “verticals” or Web site tabs.

Finnegan said she will be looking for a diverse mix of interesting,newsworthy and “off-beat” articles.

“So we might have a story on the California protests and a columnfrom the [Cornell Daily Sun] about relationships. We are big about mixingthe fun with the serious,” she said. Finnegan will look through thestudent newspapers every morning and choose the articles to highlight on theHuffington Post.

Drew Singer, the editor-in-chief of the Pitt News, University ofPittsburgh’s student newspaper, said that his staff is looking forward toparticipating in the Huffington Post college vertical.

“[Its] readers are different from our readers so it is a greatopportunity to get our content out there to more people,” Singersaid.

The Huffington Post does not include the entire article on its site,so if the reader wants to continue, the link will take him to the originalsource, Finnegan said.

“It is really effective in bringing people back to the [studentpaper’s] original site,” Finnegan said.

The Huffington Post requires that the college newspapers’sites include a widget — a graphic application on a Web site that links toanother site or HTML code — that links back to the Huffington Post,Finnegan said.

The college section will have three types of content: articles from collegenewspapers, blogs of people involved in higher education and articles fromembedded reporters on college campuses who will write for the HuffingtonPost directly about breaking news, Finnegan said.

The Huffington Post had 30 million unique visitors in December 2009and wants some of that traffic to go back to the college newspapers, Finnegansaid.

“A big part of our role is to help our writers become professionaljournalists and this is an opportunity for them to get more exposure,”Singer said.