industry news

Students Launch New Service in Absence of U-Wire

It didn’t take Ryan Dunn, associate editor of Ohio University’s The Post, long to notice the absence of college media wire service U-Wire.

“We used to use (U-Wire) a lot for the opinion section, which I edit,” Dunn said. “We definitely noticed when we didn’t have that safety net for something to plunk into the section.”

U-Wire, which facilitated content sharing for more than 800 college publications, suddenly ceased operations without an official explanation.

U-Wire general manager Tom Orr told this to the Seattle Spectator on the service’s future:

“UWIRE has temporarily suspended its print wire operations. The company is in the process of trying to get the wire relaunched as quickly as possible and when more information is available it will be made public.”

In response to losing that safety net Dunn and The Post’s managing editor Dave Hendricks,  both journalism majors at OU’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, launched a simple WordPress site, CollegeNewsNetwork.org,  two months ago to fill the content-sharing void.

So far, 30 college newspapers are taking part in the free service.

“Editors post stories that would be relevant outside their own readership,” Dunn said. “We started out just sending dozens and dozens of e-mails saying ‘Do you want to be apart of this?’ And the response has been pretty strong.”

Dunn, who was formerly a U-Wire student editor, said it would be “tough for (College News Network) to compete with U-Wire” if the service relaunches.

“But I definitely hope this continues to grow.”