Digital media fights for its roots


News of the new media building outcasting old media was spread Thursday morning perhaps ironically through new media.

After a request to put a Daily Texan box in front of the Belo Center for New Media was denied, an online firestorm resulted in backlash for the College of Communication. The Dean announced Thursday afternoon the college would design and place a Daily Texan box somewhere on site.

But first, Twitter blew up with hundreds of tweets. The story also got more than 4,000 hits before noon of the morning it was published and was picked up by Poynter, College Media Matters and

Patrick George, reporter for the Austin-American Statesman, first tweeted the story from The Daily Texan:

So The Daily Texan's Twitter account asked its followers what they thought of the Belo Center for New Media not placing any news boxes in front of the building that houses the School of Journalism:


The issue was not just about news boxes. College of Communication administration had cited concerns that the presence of news boxes would attract litter to a building that was striving to be as enviornmentally friendly as possible. However, faculty from the School of Journalism found it to be a mistake that there were no student newspapers outside the building that houses the School of Journalism.

Meanwhile, people online at Facebook, Twitter and The Daily Texan's comment section debated the greater significance of this issue:

Soon, users expressed varying degrees of disapproval:

College of Communication administrators' concerns about the environment stemmed from the fact that the Belo Center for New Media is striving to get the "silver certification" from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. People weighed in on the environmental impacts:

And the College of Communication was further concerned the news boxes would take away a "certain look" from the plaza. Some supported the effort for mantaining the aesthetic:

And others did not:

The College of Communication further argued that there are boxes right across the street, which some people sympathized with. Others also believed physical papers are no longer relevant in today's world of journalism.

But while some people think we should stop old media and kill it in its tracks, others believe we should nicely help the old guy across the street. Glenn Frankel, director of the School of Journalism, said the support online shows a support for print media.

"It does not surprise me that people react strongly when print media is taken away," said Frankel. "I think there is still a lot of support out there in the world of journalism and news for traditional legacy media, and legacy platforms like print."

After several hours of online backlash, the Dean of the College of Communication emailed The Daily Texan that it would place a newly designed Texan news box in front of the Belo Center for New Media.

Following the announcement, Twitter users celebrated the "power of the press" that restored print media and kept a strong bridge between digital media and its roots:

At the end of the day, the story was printed in traditional journalism. But it was spread most heavily via digital media, i.e. new media. Instead of leaving him behind, new media fought for grandpa.

Additional reporting by Bobby Blanchard.