Lee Clarion app shuts down, new design to be unveiled in spring
The Lee Clarion News app, formerly sponsored by USA Today, has shut down and will be replaced at the beginning of the spring semester.
USA Today closed down the previous app only weeks after its release last January. The company abandoned the project producing the app, which led to the closing of all student media apps dependent on the company.
The reason USA Today discontinued the project is still unknown.
Dr. Michael Finch, Communications professor and faculty advisor for the Clarion, was taken by surprise when the app disappeared suddenly last May.
“The app program seemed to be very established,” Finch said. “There were thirty or forty universities using it.”
The shock was confounded by how ardently USA Today was promoting the app, from brand merchandise to campus advocates.
“It looked like everything was healthy and going really well,” Finch said. “But they ended the entire thing.”
Despite this setback, the future of the Clarion app is promising.
“We had the program close on us, so we said, ‘Why can’t we try to do something like this ourselves?’” Finch said.
An independently designed app, built by a professional developer and Clarion’s own design editor Kaitlyn Anderson, is slated to launch this January.
“This one will be just ours,” Finch said. “This is the voice of the students.”
Many other plans for the app, from design to sponsored content, are in the works but remain unconfirmed.