I have plenty of thoughts on the future of journalism, especially after attending the Canadian University Press conference. As per my usual, I just have to find time to type them out. Instead of trying to tackle too much at once, I’m going to do a series of small posts for each separate idea and maybe a large post over the weekend.
During one of the sessions I observed, a student journalist asked how his paper’s movie reviews could compete against “professional” movie review websites in five years time when the student press is primarily online.
My answer to this, along with many of the “competiting against Toronto/New York/Los Angeles” question is the same; focus on local.
Every university has a couple of movie theatres nearby, focus your reviews on them and include detailed cost information. Even if your student body turns to the “professionals” for reviews, they will go to your student paper website to get the details they need to plan their movie night.
Focus on the local independent movie theatre, tell people what they are showing and give a review. Toronto won’t be covering reviews for it.
Think of the steps you, as a student, take prior to going to a movie. Ask yourself, can I cut down the work for other students by providing this information on the student paper website.
When you make it local, your student paper will win everytime.