Chronicle at Duke “Insulated” From Industry Spiral

A recent feature and separate editorial in The Chronicle at Duke University reaffirmed what The Chronicle of Higher Ed and CMM have previously written: The print versions of student newspapers are NOT in dire straits.


The main feature’s start: “The newspaper you hold in your hand has not changed dramatically since the 1970s. But the business side that makes The Chronicle‘s content possible has evolved to sustain Duke’s student newspaper over the years.  Despite the chill of economic downturn experienced by some commercial and college newspapers, The Chronicle remains relatively ‘insulated’ from both the shift away from physical papers to online content and drastic revenue decrease.


The Chronicle‘s basic argument: Ad revenue has dipped but not plummeted.  Student readers still want to pick up the print version before or after class (according to editors, the tabloid size helps).  And the paper has a “defined niche” audience that will not be unenrolling or losing tenure or alum status anytime soon. 


The separate editorial, headlined “Keep the Presses Hot,” also noted the significance of the paper’s role as “an institutional relic,” “a conduit for the student body to access relevant issues,” and a “written reflection of [Duke’s] identity.”


Although some newspapers have cut staff and distribution due to low profit margins, The Chronicle has been largely insulated from the economic tumult.

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