Students launch online news site

Paintsville junior Nate Hovee interviews Whitesville sophomore Kateri Rhodes about tonight’s Harry Potter movie midnight premier during an interview on the Centennial Mall Thursday morning for REDtv, a new WKU online campus news source. Hovee, a double major in theater and broadcast, joined REDtv as a reporter in August after News Channel 12 halted shooting this semester due to set remodeling.

Amira Ahmetovic

Students in two journalism and broadcasting classes launched a new way to get the scoop on WKU on Wednesday.

Students from multimedia professor Kerry Northrup’s online news workshop and collaborative journalism classes joined forces this semester to create an online newscast called REDtv.

Northrup said the website started essentially as a substitute for NewsChannel 12, WKU’s student-produced newscast, because it was canceled this semester due to the construction of a new set.

The online channel is targeting 18 to 25 year olds on WKU’s campus, he said.

“REDtv is being engineered for a massive level of interaction and social networking with our audience,” Northrup said. “They are part of the story. In many ways, they are the story.”

The content leader, Andrew Robinson, a senior from Overland Park, Kan., described it as a “YouTube for Western.”

Northrup said watching videos online is a completely different experience compared to watching television.

“You’re in a different environment and a different state of mind,” he said.

Robinson said REDtv will be a good outlet to get videos of WKU out there.

“Our goal is for it to become news entertainment,” he said.

La Grange junior Caitlin Pike, who is in charge of audience generation and interaction for REDtv, said the site has great potential to become an online news source for WKU students.

Stories featured on the news channel this week include pieces on Islam, students dealing with stress on campus, the connection with weather and students attending class and who has the best buffalo wings in Bowling Green.

Northrup said the focus of the online channel team is to do journalism that gets noticed.

“Good solid stories,” he said. “Perspectives that click with students on campus, catch the eye and engage the audience.”

Northrup said the larger goal is to make REDtv a model of handling news in non-traditional way.

“The inspiration for REDtv is perhaps the most successful online local video news operation in the world, RazorTV, run by Singapore Press Holdings,” he said.

Starting out as an entrepreneurial start-up according to Northrup, the iMedia editorial management team is made up of three students.

The video journalists include about a dozen students from Northrup’s online news workshop class.

Assistant broadcasting professor James LeTourneau said NewsChannel 12 will be back next semester.

Its association with REDtv is yet to be determined, but LeTourneau said the news outlet’s online format is good training for broadcast students.

“Students have to understand additional platforms,” he said. “Doing stories just for broadcasting won’t be enough.”

You can check out REDtv by visiting