Type of site
|Student-run blog for the Penn State community|
|Owner||Lazerpro Digital Media Group|
|Launched||November 17, 2008|
Onward State is a student-run blog geared towards members of the Penn State community in Pennsylvania. The blog provides news, features, and event-listings. Founded in November 2008, U.S. News and World Report named Onward State the "Best Alternative Media Outlet" in February 2009.
Blogger Alison Go of U.S. News and World Report organized the contest "Best Alternative Media Outlet" at the beginning of 2009. Onward State, still a fledgling organization, was surprisingly nominated. Pitted against Onward State were seasoned blogs from UC Berkeley, Vassar, Wesleyan, Columbia, Georgetown, Middlebury, Yale, and an Ivy League conglomerate. Snatching 24.76% of the vote, Onward State finished in first place, pleasantly surprising the PSU bloggers.
The Daily Collegian first acknowledged Onward State at the time of the blog's victory. The two Collegian articles brought greater awareness of the blog to the Penn State community. In an interview with the Collegian about next year's contest, Davis Shaver explained "We have big ambitions... I think that we're just going to be more established, more of a name within the Penn State community by then. There is a strong possibility of being Alternative Media repeat champions."
On January 21, 2012, Onward State's official Twitter account tweeted "Our sources can now confirm: Joseph Vincent Paterno has passed away tonight at the age of 85." This tweet, described by The Patriot-News as "an unconfirmed rumor about an anonymous email [that] was taken and reported as fact," was picked up and re-reported by CBS Sports who repeated the rumor, citing Onward State specifically as the source of the information. The national media quickly followed and reported Paterno's death as fact, before the Paterno family issued a statement that he was, in fact, still alive. Later that day, Onward State's managing editor resigned, saying "I never, in a million years, would have thought that Onward State would be cited by the national media, and today, I sincerely wish it never had been. To all those who read and passed along our reports, I sincerely apologize for misleading you." Paterno died the next day. Onward State explained that they had believed the death reports to be true after receiving an email supposedly sent to the football team (later determined to be a hoax) and confirmation of the email from a writer "whom [Onward State editors] later found out had not been honest in his information."
- Go, Alison (February 18, 2009). "Best Alternative Media Outlet: Onward State". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- Which nontraditional medium do you prefer? U.S. News and World Report.
- Karas, Kristen (February 19, 2009). "Last-minute voting propels student-run blog to victory in national poll". The Daily Collegian. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- "False report of Joe Paterno's death: Here's how it spread like wildfire". The Patriot-News. January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- "Joe Paterno Erroneously Reported Dead Saturday Night By Many Media Outlets". Time. January 22, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- Shaver, Davis (2012-01-22). "What Happened Last Night". Onward State. Retrieved 2012-01-22.