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The Daily Duke


A nine-person team of students, called New Media Madison, has joined the conversation by launching the new JMU student life blog, The Daily Duke. The students are paid interns with JMU’s Office of Communications. Their job is to share what life is like at JMU. With their unique perspectives and a variety of backgrounds in writing, design, public relations, photography and computer programming, the team has worked to organically grow the blog over the last four months.

From the design of the blog to all of the content creation, the page is completely student run. Student blog editor Sierra McAliney, a communication studies major with a concentration in public relations, reviews all of the pieces and runs editorial meetings. She is also charged with helping to maintain the vision of the blog, which she describes as a peek into life at JMU, from the academically impressive to the unbelievably unusual.

According to Caitlyn Read, JMU’s social media strategist, the blog “gives students an outlet to communicate and be proud of what is authentically and uniquely JMU.” This of course, means the blog is ever changing. Student writers make a real effort to get readers to share feedback though commenting and social media to make sure the blog content is aligned with the audience’s interests.

To stand out in a sea of social media content, internship participants are constantly challenged to rethink the way stories are traditionally presented on the web and are encouraged to photo and video focused and to push the boundaries of creativity.  The most rewarding experience for Read has been watching the students grow professionally and in their ability to produce creative content, and also to see their hard work produce measurable results in terms of how much the blog has grown.

As for McAliney, she’s looking forward to taking the strong editing and leadership skills she developed as blog editor into her career when she graduates this May. She wants her readers to know that there is more to school than school. She says, “New Media Madison is using our spunk, ingenuity and diversity to invite others to learn about and fall in love with so many different aspects of the JMU student experience.”

And good news, New Media Madison is now accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year! Apply online or learn more at The Daily Duke.

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Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2018

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