College Students Gain Experience on the Web.

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Aspiring journalists are increasingly looking for new ways to break into the industry. The internet is a great way to create a portfolio of bylines, while being read by a huge national audience.

Outside of college newspapers, there are few ways for aspiring journalists and writers to get published. Often, students resort to simply starting their own "blog" to get their voices heard, while others are just patiently waiting until they get an intership with a local paper. However, many websites who understand the needs of these students offer them opportunities to showcase their work. The internet is now one of the best places for students to gain the experience and exposure they desperately need. is a full-service college basketball site, which features news, commentary, and interviews with players and coaches. Founder Shawn Siegel, who started the site while at Washington University in St. Louis, now looks to college students as his main source of material. "Often times," according to Shawn, "students are able to put together the same quality work as seasoned journalists. Professional sports journalists are usually just thrown into situations where they have little choice in what they cover. But on the web, students can cover the teams at the schools they call home."

Siegel, who gained writing experience covering the New Jersey Nets for recommends that students look outside the norm for experience. "While college papers are still the best way to go, you can actually have your work read by a larger, more varied audience on the web. On CHN alone, writers have gone on to write for print publications, full-time employment on the web, and even radio spots."

Ultimately, for aspiring writers, the best way to advance a career is by creating a portfolio with as many bylines as possible. On the web, you not only get a byline, but you can be read by thousands of readers each week depending on the topic you cover. There are over 3,000 page views per day at CollegeHoopsnet, and this number is only rising as the new season is rapidly approaching. You'll find that your articles will be dicussed by fans on other college message boards, and you might notice you're articles being linked from other internet media sources. While you're probably not going to win the Pulitzer with your web experience, it will give you a heads up on other students who are failing to create a viable portfolio of work.

-- covers all NCAA D1 basketball conferences, and all conference-affiliated teams. CHN has featured interviews with coaches and players at dozens of schools, including Duke, Arizona, Memphis, Arkansas, DePaul, ASU, and Gonzaga. If you'd like to cover your favorite team with, email Shawn Siegel at

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Shawn Siegel