Syracuse University

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Newhouse senior 'globalsizes' communication among college students

April 07, 2010

Nicole Krestos
(716) 560-1995

Patrice Innocenti, a senior broadcast journalism student in the Newhouse School, recognizes the importance of students from around the world engaging with each other in today’s global community.

Innocenti is the creator and editor in chief of The World on Campus (WONC), a website where college students can “globalsize”—Innocenti holds the trademark to that term—by participating in open communication across cultural, political and religious borders. “I’ve always had an interest in grabbing a younger demographic,” says Innocenti. “College students have such interesting opinions. It’s important to reach out and give them a venue for their voices to be heard.”

After signing up for a free account on WONC, any interested college student can write editorials on “WONC Place,” post videos on “WONC TV” and leave audio voicemail message posts through a toll-free number. Innocenti periodically solicits contributing writers in other countries, but due to natural interest from students, she doesn’t solicit often. Popular topics on WONC’s site include Japanese fashion, the global economy, entertainment, Hollywood/Bollywood and college sports. In addition to Newhouse students, contributors come from France, Switzerland, Lebanon, Japan and India.

As the editor in chief, Innocenti updates and monitors WONC every day. She says she uses the skills she has learned at Newhouse on a daily basis—especially media filtering, which helps her find useful and substantial content for WONC.

Innocenti is also looking for ways to use new media on WONC. Soon, students will be able to upload video or audio directly to the site through an “Instant Reporter” iPhone application that Innocenti created.

The summer before her freshman year at Newhouse, Innocenti interned with MSNBC, where she created a news segment titled “On Campus.” The segment gave college and university students across the nation the opportunity to share their opinions on breaking news during live broadcasts via their schools’ satellite-equipped studios.

“On Campus” ran for two years, but was discontinued in 2008 due to budget cuts. Still, Innocenti continued to promote the concept and created WONC through personal funding and grants.

Compared to “On Campus,” WONC is more international. “Everything is going global,” she says. “We are the generation that is undergoing this big transition. It’s important to hear from people other than the news correspondents and analysts in the media. It’s vital to hear from this untapped, next generation.”

After graduation, Innocenti plans to continue her work on WONC. She hopes to eventually expand to include high school student contributors.

“There’s nothing like WONC out there,” Innocenti says.

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