KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 30, 2001 -- Now when The Good 5 Cent Cigar lights a fire on issues at the University of Rhode Island, readers can find out whats smokin online.
Within the last few weeks, the campus daily student newspaper has established a web site, and now posts all news, sports, features and opinion pieces each day. The site is www.ramcigar.com.
"So far, we have been putting everything on the site," said Brian Pernicone, the editor-in-chief and a senior communications major from South Kingstown. "We would like to eventually do some work that is exclusive to the web, but we have to attract more staff to do that."
It has been a goal of Pernicones to get the paper, which is published Tuesday through Friday during the school year, online, but first it had to get new computers that could handle the increased memory demands.
In mid-October, the Cigar purchased five new McIntosh iMacs and two G4 Cubes, and a new printer.
Once those were in place, Pernicone enlisted Boston-based web publishing company, College Publisher, to design the site and get it operating. As of Sunday, March 25, the site had already received 300 hits. In exchange for being able to place ads on the site, College Publisher offered its service at no cost.
Pernicone said all of the reporters and editors can file their stories so they will be available for posting. However, only the news editors, the managing editor and the editor-in-chief can approve stories for the site.
"We have the final say about what goes on the site," Pernicone said.
Already, the web site is giving the paper the chance to do some new things, such as running opinion polls on controversial stories. "This is a good tool that allows us to keep in touch with peoples attitudes," Pernicone said. "We also put up a forum on the Brown University controversy."
He said many staff members have ideas about what to do with the site. Eventually, Pernicone would like to have the columnists pictures on the site, so that when readers want to see the latest work of a columnist, they can just click on the photo.
"Our stories are also archived, so you can look back and learn the history of certain issues. The Chafee (PCB) story is a good example."
Pernicone said the Cigar will be developing web-based advertising, and running a "submit your-own-photo contest."
Pernicone said posting stories to the web takes only about 20 minutes, so its not a big drain on time.
"This step is certainly worth it," the editor said, "because it can help the staff grow. We might be able to make some money with additional ads, and in turn add more staff. Its good to learn desktop publishing because that is where this industry is heading."
For Information: Brian Pernicone 401-874-4325, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116