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Friday, September 30, 2005

 

UH Daily Cougar Online lightyears behind the times as compared to other college newspapers in our area

I got an e-mail recently that had a link to a college newspaper in a portable document format, or PDF. Now by a university also publishing PDF versions of it newspaper they are taking steps to reduce cost by publishing exact digital reproductions of the same print versions of the paper that are placed around campus in various gathering places. It also gives students who through one thing or another are unable to make it to campus on a given day, but still have access to a document (allbeit electronic) that still has the same look of a real campus newspaper.

The
UH Daily Cougar is not doing this. Yes, we have a newpaper online, but it is dull -- very dull -- and it shows since by the end of many days, the newspaper bins in a good number of cases are near full of newspapers (and are in effect money down the drain). PDF versions of the Daily Cougar would actually save money for the university, and start to bring a little prominence to a newspaper that has been going downhill for a long time. The paperboy that drops the papers off in the morning to the bins can gauge the number of papers used on a daily basis. So print a number of papers for that newspaper bin and save us students some cash.

The Egalitarian from the Houston Community College has a PDF newspaper, and they have reduced their publishing costs dramatically. The HCC system has many campuses and print versions have been reduced to those campuses with signs pointing to the electronic version of the Egalitarian when the print versions run out. Why can't we do the same.

The Daily Texan from the University of Texas has a PDF paper, and it has reduced their numbers of print papers on their campus as well. They have had a great response since most students on that campus are computer savvy. And it is a lot better to use a mouse to flip through a paper than to flip through each and every page. Every time I'm in Austin, I drop by the LBJ Library and over by the school of government, there are always newspapers in the bins on weekends, so they can do a little better job in Austin.

The Battalion from Texas A&M has a PDF paper only on the first page so far, but they are coming up quick. One person I talked to from A&M recently said she loved it and can't wait till the whole thing is PDF.

Both the
Daily Texan and the Battalion are members of the College Publisher Network, and although they look the same on-line, their content is much more attractive than anything that the Daily Cougar has to offer.

So where is the
Daily Cougar as compared to the Daily Texan, Batt, and Egalitarian you ask?
Why dead last of course.

The
Daily Cougar only beats Rice's newspaper presence on-line, The Rice Thresher, which is even worse than the Daily Cougar's dismal showing.

Someone at the
Daily Cougar needs to get over to the College of Technology (which is a short walk from Rm. 151), or call the College Publisher Network or call NewsStand or do something.

Clinical Assistant Professor
Ed Crowley over at Technology along with some of his colleagues and students for that matter can offer some input to help improve the flailing Daily Cougar. Professor Crowley's netEssentials is a great website that Daily Cougar webmasters can review to get started to bring some prestige to the Daily Cougar on-line.

No matter if we are UH liberals or Conservatives, we all deserve a first class newspaper -- especially a first class on-line (w/PDF option) newspaper, that we can all be proud, and that is fair and balanced.

Could someone at the
Daily Cougar please let us know what is going on?

Comments:
the daily texan paper is really nice online, but you have to register for that service, and the quality is called into question with the reader that they have.
 
I get the Daily Texan each time I'm in Austin visting the LBJ Library.

It's a bigtime paper, and I like reading it when I get a chance.

Now I read it electronically with a real paper feel.
 
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