Gainesville Sun, University of Florida to Launch Electronic Newspaper

Information Today, November 1994 | Go to article overview

Gainesville Sun, University of Florida to Launch Electronic Newspaper


The Gainesville Sun newspaper and the Interactive News Lab at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications have entered into an agreement to publish an electronic newspaper.

The electronic version of The Gainesville Sun, a New York Times Company newspaper, will contain local, state, national, and international news, as well as advertising. The local bulletin board system will be accessible to subscribers via personal computer and modem.

The electronic paper, to be known as SUN.ONE, will be available to users for up to 30 minutes a day at no charge. Subscribers will be able to purchase additional daily connect time for a flat fee as low as $6.66 a month. SUN.ONE also will sell electronic, classified, and display advertising. The project is scheduled for commercial launch in January.

SUN.ONE has been in planning since early this year, when former journalist Dean Ralph Lowenstein proposed the joint venture to Gainesville Sun publisher John Fitzwater.

"This is an opportunity for both the University of Florida and The Gainesville Sun to produce a pioneering project that will be beneficial to the newspapers in the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group as well as students planning to go into journalism as a career," Mr. Lowenstein said. He added that he believes it to be the first joint venture for an online news product between a university and a daily newspaper.

News stories scheduled for the next day's printed edition of The Gainesville Sun will appear on SUN.ONE the evening before, as will wire service reports from The Associated Press and The New York Times News Service. The content will be given final edits and screen formatting by journalism students at the University of Florida. Other students also will report events and features for SUN.ONE.

The SUN.ONE project is being headed by Professor David E. Carlson at the University of Florida and Rob Oglesby, new media director at The Gainesville Sun.

Professor Carlson, 42, most recently worked at The Albuquerque Tribune, where he was founding editor of the 4000-subscriber Electronic Trib, believed to be the world's first multi-line, PC-based electronic newspaper. He's been a journalist for 20 years in a variety of reporting and editing jobs. …

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