The Tulane Hullabaloo regularly reports campus news to the university community, but now the student newspaper is making news. Earlier this month, the staff unexpectedly received the good news that the 2008â“2009 online edition of the newspaper won a 2009 Online Pacemaker award at the Associated Collegiate Press convention in Austin, Texas.
Receiving the award from the ACP, the oldest national organization for college journalists, is a distinguished honor for the student-run newspaper. Since 1995, the organization has honored online college publications for outstanding achievement in design and content.
The honor comes as a pleasant surprise for the staff members, who made it a priority last year to transform The Hullabaloo's website to make the design more innovative and user-friendly.
Will Van Wazer, the 2008â“2009 online editor of The Hullabaloo, became an integral influence on the website's modern makeover. Before the redesign, "we didn't control the advertising revenue, and the design was about two to three years old and looked like it," says Van Wazer. "We wanted to be able to include video, community news, podcasts and blogs."
The staff turned these suggestions into positive changes for the website, adding more interactive media to a sleeker design. One of the site's new features provides a live blog from The Hullabaloo's sports reporter, offering users a "play-by-play" look at Tulane athletics and New Orleans sports events, says Hieu Nguyen, the current online production manager.
The staff has set the additional goals of creating a photo gallery and inserting quality video on the website. However, no matter how the website evolves in the near future, the The Hullabaloo's mission will remain the same. "We've always strived to become a reader-friendly paper and a supportive part of the campus community," says editor-in-chief Julie Schwartzwald.
Mary Cross is a senior majoring in communication at Tulane.