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September 5, 2012 by Judy Gibbs Robinson



Judy Gibbs Robinson

OU Student Media

860 Van Vleet Oval, Room 160

Norman, OK 73019-2052

Ph: 405-325-2842


NORMAN, Okla. – Self-styled “Internet nerd” and media visionary Rob Curley will invite the University of Oklahoma community to imagine the future of campus media in a digital age in a public speech Monday, Sept. 17.

Curley, who has spearheaded dramatic change in new media and interactive news at the Washington Post and elsewhere, will speak at 7 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium in the Oklahoma Memorial Union. The event will kick off a semester-long study of student media offerings at OU.

The study, Imagine the Future: Campus Media in a Digital Age, will help OU Student Media determine the future course of its 96-year-old independent student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily, and its website,

OU Student Media Director Brian Ringer proposed the study following announcements of dramatic change at other college newspapers last year. In July 2011, the University of Georgia’s Red & Black newspaper ceased daily print publication to focus on its website, then reversed course last month. In May, the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald ceased daily publication, switching to two weekly publications and a beefed-up website.

“The media environment is changing rapidly,” Ringer said. “Here at OU, we don’t just want to follow what other universities are doing. Our community is unique. We want to do everything we can to determine what is the best media package for our audience.”

The study will include a student survey, roundtable discussions, advertiser focus groups and other events. A blog ( will keep the community informed about each event and the study’s progress.

Curley will set the stage by discussing how journalism and society are evolving as a result of changing media technology, changing uses and changing relationships between the players.

Curley, who was named metro editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Orange County Register in August, calls himself an “Internet nerd from Kansas who is in love with local news and the evolution of traditional media.”

He has worked in management positions at the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal, the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World, the Washington Post, the Naples (Florida) Daily News and the Las Vegas Sun, where he was chief content editor for the paper’s Internet media division.

Curley began his career as an education reporter and online editor in Topeka. Before leaving there, he was recognized in 2001 by the Newspaper Association of America as the industry’s New Media Pioneer of the Year.

Later, Curley turned the Lawrence Journal-World’s website into what a 2005 story in the New York Times called “the newspaper of the future.”

Curley’s work also has been documented in college journalism textbooks, industry and mainstream magazines, and in a 20-minute segment on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.

Curley’s speech is being funded by a Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication grant from the Hearst Foundation.

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