Dan Reimold spoke to Tom Orr previously about the relaunch of Uwire. I followed up by e-mail, and here are the answers to the questions I put to him:
So you’re relaunching the text wire service. What will that entail? Will the web site be back up? How many college papers are involved?
We will have a new website at www.uwire.com, similar to the old one. The wire itself will work pretty much exactly as it did before. We still have more than 850 members.
Why just text?
We’re starting with text and some accompanying photos and will eventually expand into multimedia. We are still partnered with Palestra.net, which means we have nearly 4 years of experience working with college students to shoot, edit and produce video content online. Down the line, we will begin working with UWIRE member outlets to help them start integrating multimedia content online or to expand their current video offerings.
Where do you see this fitting into online developments?
There are a number of new entrants into this space, but I think that the strength and breadth of our network clearly sets us ahead of others.
What’s the business model?
We have revamped our operations to lower our costs to reflect the current realities of the media business. We are working with a couple new professional partners and generating revenue from those outlets as well as avenues such as our PR service (www.uwirepr.com).
Will the content be edited by UWire staffers?
Editors will perform minor edits to wire content. Usually this consists of removing overly-localized references or editing copy to make it match UWIRE style. (U. Florida, Ohio State U., etc.).
How can college news outlets license content?
Outlets who were UWIRE members last fall may resume utilizing content immediately. If you’re an editor-in-chief, faculty adviser or general manager and are interested in joining UWIRE, you can e-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on how to join.
As I mentioned to a reporter yesterday, I think a much more interesting content distribution model would be to focus on the unique multimedia that student newspapers are doing. Recycling print copy is pretty mundane. Figuring out a way to share databases, flash content and other web-only content would be something worth considering. I can’t honestly say what’s going to happen with UWire, or Huffington Post’s college news edition, or College News Network. I can only say – overall – the more outlets for student content, the better.