by Aidan O’Louglin ’20-
The KO News is going online on Thursday, April 26. The KO News has been around in print for as long as students and most faculty can remember, but it will now have a new address at http://www.thekonews.org.
Head Web Editor sophomore Alma Clark built the WordPress site and tweaked it with the help of Faculty Advisor Catherine Schieffelin in preparation for the April 26 release to the public.
While there are other members within the KO community who are assisting in the creation of the website, Alma is the person in charge of the web design. “I started work on the website around February, and I am using WordPress to create the site,” Alma said.
While Alma has been hard at work creating the website for the past few months, Ms. Schieffelin started advocating for the site at the start of the year.
“At the beginning of the year, I just started having some conversations with some head editors of the staff,” Ms. Schieffelin said. “[Because] as I was looking around and researching I saw that we were kind of behind. So many of the New England prep schools have online papers.”
After Ms. Schieffelin talked it over with the KO News staff, she spoke with the administration about creating the website. She said that with the newspaper going online, there were many things to consider. “There are certainly a lot of issues, and benefits,” Ms. Schieffelin said. “There will be a much greater responsibility on the KO News writers to get the facts right, to ask more questions and get at the heart of things.”
Alma discussed the plan for the website. “Currently, we are only going to be putting the paper copy of the KO News online,” Alma said. “In the future we hope to have web-exclusive content like more stories, or a series on the website.” Meaning that while the KO News website will only have what is published on paper in its early stages, web exclusive content is a goal for those hard at work on the site.
“The website will be a new experience,” Ms. Schieffelin said. “Once we are comfortable [publishing our print stories online], the goal is to start creating web exclusive content. I can see including way more photos and videos. For a review of an album, you can embed a Spotify playlist, and we could create quizzes,” she said.
While there are many opportunities with the website, Ms. Schieffelin also warns students about the seriousness of the site. “As the KO News goes online, there is going to have to be a cultural shift in the way that we think about how the news exists. I think students, when they are being interviewed, are going to have to be aware that their words may be published in a public way, and that their words will live online.” Previously the publication of the paper was somewhat private, with the print issue only being within the KO community. That will change with a website.
“Ultimately, there are going to be some changes in the way that information is delivered,” Ms. Schieffelin said. Changes are being made to the KO News, and while a cultural change may be necessary, people can look forward to an interactive and fun website.