Staff Ed: The Blue & Gray Press introduces free mobile app, continues rebranding of paper
By THE BLUE & GRAY PRES STAFF
Last week, The Blue & Gray Press launched the new free mobile app, The Buzz. This was done in partnership with the Student Government Association and the University of Mary Washington Readership Program.
The app is free, not only to UMW students, but to all readers. It is available through Google Play Store and iTunes.
The Buzz, which is managed by USA Today, compiles their own articles with different universities’ into one convenient app. For instance, The Buzz for UMW has recent USA Today articles compiled with articles from The Blue & Gray Press. Users can filter articles by section by publication, or look at both intermixed.
In addition to being quickly in-the-know on matters concerning UMW, users of the app may also easily stay updated on events going on across the country, covered by USA Today. Users can receive a notification to their phone when a new article is posted or if a breaking news story is unfolding.
In an increasingly mobile society, the need for such an app for us to offer our audience was growing exponentially. As we continue to grow our online presence and social media platforms, the addition of The Buzz is the next step in what we hope to be a more modern version of The Blue & Gray Press while we are trying to ensure that we can use to reach our audience.
It is hard to deny that the print platform of news is dwindling. As much as we at The Blue & Gray Press would like to keep print alive on campus, we must admit that somewhere down the road in the near future, the newspaper may be a strictly online. It may not be while any current students are attending UMW, but the change will happen nonetheless, and when it does, we would like to be as integrated into the online platform as possible to ease the changeover.
As the voice of the student body, we at The Blue & Gray Press want to reach theUMW and Fredericksburg community in the best ways possible. Adding a mobile presence only made sense in order to more accurately represent and better extend our readership to UMW students and community members.
The Buzz may be temporary, however. In a perfect world, we would have our ownapp which we had full control over and did not have to share with another
publication. This is prevented due to lack of funds and resources. However, we are grateful for this opportunity to experiment with the idea of a mobile platform for the paper and having a mutually beneficial relationship with USA Today.
As mentioned earlier, The Blue & Gray Press’ social media presence is one we would like to extend further. You can follow us on Twitter @theblueandgray, like us on Facebook at “The Blue & Gray Press,” or follow us on Instagram @theblueandgraypress.
Our community is constantly evolving and its newspaper should reflect that. We at The Blue & Gray Press are always looking for ways to improve the way we do our job to satisfy you, our readers. Last year’s name change was the beginning of a still on-going rebranding process and this addition of The Buzz is the most recent of these changes in hopes of rebranding ourselves into the paper that the UMW community deserves.
We would like to thank the UMW SGA and those that work on The Buzz at USA Today for making this possible.