University of Stellenbosch http://www.sun.ac.za
“We started with the initiative of an anonymous contact form to create an accessible channel for students to report potentially controversial stories,” Johannes Jonker, IT manager at Die Matie, told HumanIPO.
“We see this as our contribution to the wider attempts on our campus, but also nationally, to promote a culture of openness and transparency.”
Launched on Sunday, February 3, and given that the campus only opened officially this week, no stories have been submitted yet.
Die Matie hopes to “spread the word” around campus of this new online functionality.
Jonker explained that tip-offs will act as an alert to the editorial team, which will evaluate it to decide whether it is worth an in-depth investigation.
Although mainly a twice weekly printed paper, possibilities of running the paper online during the two weekly interval is under discussion.
Online posting of stories on the website, which had up to 1,000 visitors on the page in 2012, is supplemented with social media interaction on Facebook with daily posts, live tweets and vox pops and video interviews on YouTube.
“We follow an approach to publishing where we use various channels in a supplementary manner, to offer a holistic experience to our readers,” Jonker said.
The paper has experienced higher reaction with online activity in comparison with the printed media.
Jonker sees the web as a benefit in terms of reader engagement due to its simplicity, wider reach and national accessibility.
“We see that websites are a place for mini-debates with the comments, because it is so easy to participate,” he said.
Die Matie has an estimated readership of 16,000, with distribution across the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses, both in the Western Cape.