‘Alum-Knights’ unveils new multimedia edition

By Eric Thor — 

Did you ever wish an Alum-Knights story dug a little deeper? Did you want to see additional photographs? Or watch a video profile of one of our fascinating alumni?

The publication Alum-Knights has finally made the digital leap and now has a dedicated website. The website (alumknights.rutgers.edu) features all the articles found in the print edition as well as additional pictures and dynamic, expanded content.

This new medium has allowed Alum-Knights to reach alumni further by supplying them with the ability to access Alum-Knights any time, anywhere. The website is mobile compatible, but there isn’t currently a smartphone application app available, but it will be soon, according to J/MS professor Ronald Miskoff, who has led the move to set up an Alum-Knights website.

He supervises Alum-Knights along with J/MS professor Liz Fuerst. Students in their Media Publishing and Design class write the stories and design the layouts using programs they are taught, including Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.

Before the inception of the website, explained Miskoff, Alum-Knights’ online presence was limited to uploaded PDF files of the print edition. The PDFs were found to be difficult to read, search, and access.

Miskoff, who is also associate director of the Journalism Research Institute, set out to make the Alum-Knights website more user friendly and a better experience. Miskoff opted to use the leading web publishing software WordPress to create the site. WordPress serves countless publishers all across the net, from small-time bloggers to leading publishers like the New York Times and CNN. “With WordPress, publishing content is simpler and more streamlined. It allows for many editorial and visual customizations,” noted Miskoff.

Journalism majors on work-study help Miskoff transfer the materials from the print version.

Readers of the print version will find many common graphic elements on the website to keep a consistent feel between the two mediums. The site is headed with the Alum-Knights’ flag logo that is also found in the print edition. “Someday, the website will have more color, but now I’m focused on getting the content uploaded and available,” he said.

According to Miskoff, the website affords more opportunities than print. For example, the website will feature all photographs in color, while Alum-Knights uses some black and white in the print edition because of cost limitations. The website will enable the publication to include more photographs.

“One of our frustrations with print has been proper display of photos,” he said. “With the website, there’s no space or cost limitation in publishing color photos or more content, unlike in print, which has allowed for richer content.”

When asked about the future of the physical paper, Miskoff noted that it will continue.

“Our real consideration is the increase in postal rates,” he said. He added that Alum-Knights’ relationship with its printer is excellent and allows for continued printing within budget.

Miskoff sees the website as an essential medium and especially beneficial in connecting alumni. “For the first time, alumni will be able to read the stories online,” he said, “and they will find that the printed version and website work well together. Both media have their place.”