Student Newspaper Dropping to Twice a Week in Print

The Western Herald at Western Michigan University is cutting two days per week from its print publication schedule,  a cost-cutting, future-focused move I imagine I will be writing about a lot this summer. 

As The Kalamazoo Gazette reports, the paper’s normal print run during the school year is Monday through Thursday.  Now, it will just be Monday AND Thursday.  Online content and innovation will increase, something student editors admit is necessary (the Web site basically parrots the print pub). 

Part of the piece: “Ad revenue, virtually the paper’s only source of income because it is distributed free to most readers, hasn’t been as robust as it has been in the past.  At the same time, operating and printing expenses are on the rise.”

My only problem with the article is its contradiction.  It mentions at one point a random ‘well, people say’ type statement that more young people are going online and journalism seems to be going there too, so it’s time for the newspaper to accept that.  This ignores the established fact that students still like reading their campus papers in print, something the piece itself acknowledges in a throwaway quote at the end.

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Here’s the quote, “‘People still like to pick up a newspaper and carry it around,’ said [a Western Mich. comm. professor], adding that advertisers also expressed interest in continuing to see their ads printed. ‘I still think there’s room in this country and in this world for a print newspaper.'”  (Tell Tuesday and Wednesday that!) :)

Comments
One Response to “Student Newspaper Dropping to Twice a Week in Print”
  1. Bill says:

    It is a shame that the paper will be published less often but it does seem that a move towards more unique internet content might be a move in the right direction. Don’t be too swift to accuse the article of contradicting itself, both the statement that students seem to be going online and the statement that people “still like to pick up a paper and carry it around” are just opinions and hear-say. Despite your suggestion to the contrary, there is no established fact here. However, the seeming contradiction here does present a very real tension concerning the future of journalism in general. For some great discussions of this issue check out http://www.ourblook.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view,category/#catid69 There are some great interviews with major figures in journalism there concerning possible directions for journalism’s future.