A large part of my writing experience comes from my time at Quad News, Quinnipiac University community’s fully-independent media outlet. I started as a staff writer in 2009 during my sophomore year at Quinnipiac. I was promoted to news editor for the following year and currently serve as the senior managing editor/vice president.
At the time that this post was written, I’ve written 90 articles for Quad News, which is the company record. I am attempting to break 100 by the time I graduate, but that may prove difficult as I am preoccupied with my job at the Record-Journal and I have other duties at Quad News.
I joined Quad News because I am a firm believer in the first amendment and at the time it was an online-only publication, which was very interesting to me as a young journalist. The idea of a bunch of college kids standing up for what they believed in and splitting off from the university is very romantic from a journalistic point of view.
Oftentimes, people refer to us as the “rebel paper”. We prefer independent because rebel has a connotation of being adversarial. In truth, the majority of our content casts the university in a positive light. This is because the university overall does positive things and is well on its way up to high notoriety.
We also report on when the university fails. We pumped out a lot of coverage about the entire shuttle pee scandal last year. It was huge news and it did cast the university in a negative light. I hope our work had some impact in relieving (no pun intended) the problem.
Quad News has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year. Our largest accomplishment was publishing the first print edition in the company’s four-year history. We also had a 69% growth rate for unique viewers and a 45% increase for page views from fall 2010 to fall 2011 publishing season. This was partially due to increased social media presence and tailoring content towards metadata searches. That is our fancy way of saying that we write HEDS and DEKs with keywords in order for Google to pick up articles more often. I’d also like to think that we stepped up our game and started creating better quality content.
We are currently in a large push to make the company more business-oriented. We first decided this after Max Baldwin, editor-in-chief, John Hood, sports editor and myself took a business/journalism hybrid class called the Media Innovation Collaborative during the Fall 2011 semester. We all learned an insane amount about business and forming a company. We also realized that companies that don’t make any money are just hobbies. Our current goal is to have one print edition a month, which will be funded by both print and online advertisements.
We’ve also placed in spj’s mark of excellence awards for best independent college newspaper in region 1, which includes most of the north east. We find out next saturday whether we got first, second or third.