This past Sunday, Dec. 9, a new NYU media outlet made its debut. Washington Square Local had been tweeting since December 7th. Now with fifty-two Twitter followers and over eighty likes on its Facebook page, the site has started to garner attention within the NYU Community.
Founded by Ryan Connors (Tisch ’15), Roy Luo (Stern ’15), Griffin Simpson (LSP ’15), Charlie Ambler (Gallatin ’15), Cameron Mattis (Tisch ’15) and Max Gorden (LSP ’15), the site has been deemed The Onion of the NYU Community. Using WordPress, dry humor, and the little they knew about social media, the six managed to gather a staff comprised of “the best damn journalists alive as well as the rotting corpse of Hunter S. Thompson.” In a later statement they said, “All our writers are alcoholics, our publishers are sexual deviants, and our editors are dead.”
WSLocal explained that the site had started as a prolonged joke and that the last one to stop pretending that the site was a real thing “was just not going to be their friend anymore.” The founders do not intend to take the site seriously, and when asked about their goals for the future they refused to break character. When asked for a serious quote, WSLocal refused to give one. They stated, irony dripping off their breath like the smell of whiskey on your uncle at Christmas, “Obviously the truth is our priority. Unlike many other news sources at NYU we report what is relevant and what is right. We have our fingers on the femoral artery of the community. We really finger the community.”
This is not the first time NYU Local has been the object of parody. Some of you may remember the at first marginally funny, and then later inexcusably horrible Fake NYU Local Twitter and Tumblr accounts that were launched last year. However, WSLocal has all of the tools (ie, a real website) to create a true “Onion of NYU.” Are they funny enough to succeed? Or will their total lack of seriousness with the project be its downfall? Check back next week for a full review.
The site includes an Academia, Lifestyle Opinions, and a “Sports” section entitled “hahahanyusports,” which is left blank. There is also a sidebar with a live Twitter feed. So far, the site has only been running for one full day, and features posts including “John Sexton Declared Glorious President for Life, Promises Thousand Year Reign,” “Entire NYU Football Team Exterminated, Erased From Existence, “Chic-fil-A is Made of People, and “Max Wiseltier Accidentally Sexts Entire NYU Community.”
When asked if WSLocal had a message for prospective readers, they said, “We’re coming for you. It’s not going to be painless, but it will be quick.” To their current readers they said, “Shhhhhhh.” Here at NYU Local, we’re not sure how long WSLocal will be around, but we’re willing to watch them try.
Image courtesy of Washington Square Local