Students Staff

14 April 2015

The Rabbit website praised at national awards

Man drinking

Members of The Rabbit team visiting the Press Association

The new website created by Essex student newspaper The Rabbit was highly commended in the Best Website category at the Student Publication Association awards.

Amazingly the website was only established this year and The Rabbit team under Editor-in-Chief Saga Eriksson has been incredibly busy preparing articles for both print and online audiences.

Judge Nick Petrie, Deputy Head of News Development and Digital at The Times was the judge of the best website category. He praised The Rabbit website at the awards: “I was immediately struck by the strong use of photography and how the design balanced a good density of articles with white space. The designers and developers have clearly worked hard to build an experience to entice readers in. A strong selection of student-focused news stories demonstrates that this publication hasn't forgotten its core purpose - to inform and delight its readers.”

Emily Townsend, Senior Editor and Online Editor at The Rabbit, said: “It's a fantastic feeling. We have all worked so hard this year, and it is the first time we have ever entered any awards. The Student Publication Association is a prestigious organisation and we are privileged to be highly commended by it.”

The Rabbit launched the website to respond to the increasing expectation from students that they can access the news they want online, but it has also helped the news team break stories immediately.

“I'd say it's a work in progress so it's constantly changing,” said Emily. “The website is very important, particularly for time-specific articles and big projects. For example, we've managed to get two stories up before national news agencies this year, and have run four popular live blogs. The newspaper and the website work together pretty well, I'd say, and although it is hard to meet every deadline our team are so dedicated that it works fluidly.”

So what are the stats? The figures look pretty impressive.

Emily said: “We've had around 200,000 unique visits to date, and in seven months for a new site that's not bad. We've had students tell us that the design looks professional, and most of our visitors are students. Many of these are referred from links on our social media pages – Twitter and Facebook. We've covered the two biggest 'student' events this year, Derby Day and the SU elections, with live blogs, and we had a very positive response. We try to create student-focused content to interest everyone at the University.”

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