When Tulsa World Managing Editor Susan Ellerbach learned that four of the five interns the paper had hired for the summer were familiar with TownNews.com's digital newsroom platform, she was pleasantly surprised.
"Although we didn't plan it, having our interns familiar with TownNews.com and BLOX CMS is a tremendous advantage for us. It saves us a lot of time in training and getting them up to speed on our system," Ellerbach said. "Additionally, because they have been working on BLOX CMS and BLOX Total CMS longer than we have – we just recently switched to this system – they can help us become proficient. I'm sure the interns will get a kick out of the fact that they're able to teach us a few things."
With TownNews.com's solutions, Tulsa World is able to simultaneously publish content to web, print, mobile and social media. This reduces overhead and helps the paper reach readers at home, at work and out in the world.
The students come from the staffs of the Daily O'Collegian (Oklahoma State University), The Oklahoma Daily (University of Oklahoma) and The Post (Ohio University). Both of the Oklahoma student newspapers currently use BLOX CMS, and the Ohio University site is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2014. Through its College Program, TownNews.com has expanded to about 90 college publications nationwide.
TownNews.com know-how lets the interns focus on their core disciplines, rather than worrying about the mechanics of posting and managing content.
"They can hit the ground running on what they're more interested in doing and that is developing their skills in a professional environment," Ellerbach said.
The 13-week internships cover news reporting, sports reporting, website administration, photography, copy editing and design.
"Hundreds of news organizations rely on TownNews.com, so experience with our products is a marketable skill," said TownNews.com CEO Marc Wilson. "Whether you're applying for a position at a large metro daily or a smaller community paper, there's a reasonably good chance they're already partnering with us."
TownNews.com also offers a certification training program for those wishing to make more complex changes to their site's templates.
"We offer great solutions out-of-the-box, but for those who want to make deeper customizations to their site, certification is a necessity," Wilson said. "And it's another feather in your cap when you hit the job market. You can never have too many feathers."