Daily Nexus Editor: Print Newspaper Still in Play on Campus

I received an excellent comment recently from Mackenzie Weinger, editor in chief of the esteemed Daily Nexus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She further confirms a truth I’ve fought hard to get recognized over the past year (through this blog and via a chat with CICM’s Bryan Murley): College students are still reading print newspapers.

Here’s Weigner’s brief, well-written treatise on the subject:

As someone who fought hard this past year to get a lock-in fee passed to bring back our Friday paper, I’ve got to say that trying to save print is not about fear of the unknown.  It’s rooted in the fact that the only place where everyone still picks up a paper each day is a college campus, and where less than a handful of students venture online to read content.

No one goes into a huge lecture hall without a copy of the paper, if only because they just might need the Sudoku or crossword if things get boring.  I’m fine with that- maybe they’ll even glance at a lede or a photo while they’re at it.

And students still love print– after all, we somehow convinced the student body to give us more funding in order to bring back our Friday edition.  In the midst of this fantastic economy, that’s really saying something. [END of comment]

I do believe campus papers’ uber-accessibility, free price tags, and convenience as crossword/Sudoku puzzle providers help a ton.  I also think campus print papers still inspire reading because they are thin enough to not seem overwhelming (as compared to the immediate guilt factor of picking up most dailies and knowing you’re only going to sneak a peek at a few sections).  And they are true peer-to-peer content vehicles, something professional papers for the most part struggle to echo because they are reporting first to a specific PLACE not to a specific demographic of PEOPLE.   (Although of course faculty, admins., parents of students, townies also read campus papers, in the end most staffers passionately espouse a student-first editorial philosophy for their publications.)


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