In 1998, when the first Web-savvy futurists at Utah
State University's journalism and communication department
huddled around a computer screen to build an online
"newspaper," they faced a tough challenge:
How to create a news service that was both technologically
and editorially sound. No glitz, no bells and whistles,
just credible and appealing, in every sense of the word.
Those were the proving days of Internet journalism.
And they were rough.
Online news sources were derided as the untrustworthy
bastard children of traditional media. The Chronicle
of Higher Education had dismissed the Internet as "a
shallow and unreliable electronic repository of dirty
pictures, inaccurate rumors, bad spelling and worse
grammar, inhabited largely by people with no demonstrable
Flash forward: The doubters are eating their words –
Online journalism is no longer an oxymoron, and as the
Internet has matured, we, at the Hard News Café,
In the years since our launch in 1998, the HNC has bagged
a slew of awards, hitting a high point in 2002, when
the site was named one of the three best independent
student online publications in the country by the Society
of Professional Journalists.
Our writers also have made their own mark, receiving
SPJ recognition at both regional and national levels.
In short, we’ve met the challenge head on, elevating
the HNC into the top echelon of web-based news delivery.
With our new design, we hope to go a step further, bringing
together print journalism, broadcast TV, photography
and graphic design in a new form. And as JCOM department
head Ted Pease points out, "It's not just old stuff
in a new package. Additional new skills and, especially,
a new way of thinking about news and audiences are required
in delivering information this way."
A few things will stay the same. The site will continue
to draws its material from students in regular reporting
classes and from others who submit articles to the student
editors. Local journalism gurus and USU professors Mike
Sweeney and Nancy Williams will still oversee it.
We're ready to deliver your news to you.