The Story of the Student Press So Far This Semester…

The story of the student press so far this semester: The existence of the first sustained crack in college print papers’ seeming invincibility to the online takeover and economic downturn. 


Some major student newspapers have cut back print runs and claimed financial woes, at times tying them directly to the reasons behind the doom and gloom affecting professional papers.  In turn, other editors have fought back, declaring the college print press as vibrant, ad-worthy, and well-read as ever.  For example, late last month The Chronicle at Duke University claimed to be “insulated” from commercial newspaper woes. 


In response, Bryan Murley, founder of The Center for Innovation in College Media, pointed out the hard reality of such insulation: “Unfortunately, [the] students aren’t going to be shielded from the economics of the industry once they graduate.” 


His comment raises a new question definitely worth considering: Does too much work on a dying medium make student newspaper staffers the journalistic equivalent of twentysomething dinosaurs



As a follow-up, I asked Bryan whether any value remained for students to gain experience working on a print publication.  He wrote me the following:


I think working on a college publication is still relevant as long as students are getting training in thinking about the web alongside their print training. ALL students need to spend more time with their web sites, not just web editors or multimedia producers. The basics of telling a good story are still the same, but they need more to succeed in journalism in the future.

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  1. […] financial future is more sound (or just less bleak?) than their professional counterparts.  As I first wrote back in October (and again in November and again…), the once-indomitable economic spirit of collegemediatopia […]