Newspapers across the country are scrambling to be relevant in the digital age.
Inklings already is.
The award-winning Staples paper took a giant step into cyberspace Friday. Students launched a re-design of InklingsNews.com, a journalistically sharp and graphically handsome website that will make it — along with “06880” and WestportNow.com — a prime source for breaking Westport news, photos and features.
Since 1930 the student-run paper has covered the usual school stuff: sports, new teachers, cafeteria food. In recent years it’s been a bit edgier, examining topics like Adderall abuse, condoms and, most recently, God. But printing twice monthly, its news was not always hot.
Inklings has been online for a few years, but only recently has the goal been a 24/7 news source. A freshman — Logan Rosen — made it happen.
His first re-design was good, but — in tune with Staples’ spirit — Inklings wanted “great.” Advisor Steve Rexford and staff were ready to pay a hefty sum to a company that creates professional-looking sites for school papers.
Logan said he could do better.
Using a free WordPress theme, he took just 3 weeks to create the new site. It’s fast, user-friendly, even fun. And very 21st-century.
Editor-in-chief Victor Hollenberg hopes to leverage Inklings’ large staff to cover every nook of the school, along with town issues.
Website editor Lexi Preiser wants InklingsNews to be “the go-to news source for Staples students.” Her goal is to hear the buzz: “Hey, did you read InklingsNews last night?”
Inklings is not finished. Next year they plan to integrate the site with other school-based technology, including hallway TVs. They may add video and other multimedia.
And — like good journalists in any medium — they hope to scoop the competition. As in Westportnow.com. And “06880.”