ST. BONAVENTURE, NY -- Scholars at two academic conferences this fall will explore TAP into Greater Olean's role in today’s media landscape.

The online news site staffed by St. Bonaventure University journalism students will be the focus of presentations at the New York State Communication Association (NYSCA) and the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association (MAPACA).

At the NYSCA conference, Anne and Richard Lee, who teach Journalists’ Workshop, the six-credit experiential learning course in which the students staff TAP into Greater Olean, and some of their students will discuss assessments of the students' journalistic skills before and after completing half a semester of the class.

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“During the four semesters in which St. Bonaventure has offered Journalists’ Workshop, students have entered the class with a variety of skill levels,” the Lees wrote in their proposal for the presentation. “This study will identify the journalistic skills that are most needed to enable students to succeed in the workplace."

The conference will take place from Oct. 14 to 16 at the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center in Callicoon, N.Y.

For the MAPACA conference, the Lees will take part in a panel discussion on the role of hyperlocal news site such as TAPinto, the parent company of the Greater Olean news site. Panelists will outline the roles played by hyperlocal news sites by examining the operation of TAPinto, a successful group of New Jersey and New York hyperlocals.

The conference will be held at the Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., from Nov. 3 to 5.

In January, St. Bonaventure became the first university to buy a TAPinto website franchise, launching TAP into Greater Olean so that its journalism students could provide hyperlocal online news to communities surrounding the university.
TAP into Greater Olean's student journalists have covered local activities related to New York’s presidential primaries, conducted an investigation of local government compliance with open public records laws, and taken part in weekly conference calls with the congressman who represents the Greater Olean area.

Columbia Journalism Review and Media Shift both wrote about the St. Bonaventure class in articles about TAPinto.

TAPinto has more than 50 franchises in New Jersey and New York state. Michael Shapiro, an attorney, started the company with his wife, Lauryn Shapiro, in 2008 to provide their hometown of New Providence, N.J., with daily news.