One of the most significant new additions to the Daily News’ Web site is something that I think will benefit both online users and readers of the Daily News’ print edition. I hope it especially will be of value to all those who have an interest in the Norfolk Public Schools — students, parents, grandparents and many others.
It’s called the Panther Project and it was an idea I first broached to Marlene Uhing, superintendent of schools during the 2008-2009 school year.
Don’t quote me, but here’s basically what I remember suggesting to her: “The Norfolk Public Schools has so many positive things going on throughout the district. And each of the schools has its own Web site, which does a good job. But if you’d be interested in working with the Daily News, we could help share information about the public schools and its students and faculty to many, many more people.”
And that’s how, with the start of this school year, the concept was created. Here’s how it works:
Each building within the school district has identified a media coordinator. Within the Daily News’ Web site at www.norfolkdailynews.com, we have created a separate page for each school building. The media coordinators are encouraged to post as much information, photos, announcements and more on that portion of the Daily News’ Web site.
The benefit to the school district is that it gets additional exposure for the Norfolk Public Schools by piggybacking onto the most widely used Web site in Norfolk. The Daily News site attracts about 1 million page views a month from 40,000 to 50,000 different users each month.
The advantage to individuals who are interested in the school district is that they now can go to just one Web site and see a host of information about different schools without having to go to so many individual Web sites.
The advantage to readers of the Daily News’ print edition is that of the information posted on the Web site from school media coordinators, we’ll make use of some of the most noteworthy, most interesting and most fun and include it on the Youth page and elsewhere in the Daily News.
If this concept proves workable — and I’m sure there will be a few wrinkles to iron out as the fall progresses — our next step could be branching out to other schools in Norfolk and the area, if they’d be interested in working with us. It’s just another way that the Daily News is striving to be of even better service and value to Norfolkans and Northeast Nebraskans.