Financial Troubles May Force American University Student Newspaper to Go Online-Only

The Eagle at American University may have to drop its weekly print edition if advertising revenue does not improve and another infusion of cash does not appear.

In a letter to readers published earlier this week, editor-in-chief Zach Cohen confirmed a post-print Eagle is a strong possibility come fall 2013– at least temporarily.

As Cohen wrote, “Following many years of declining ad sales, the increase in free advertising options elsewhere and the crunch on small businesses in the recession, printing the Eagle every week has become a burdensome cost, leaving our writers to increasingly work with fewer resources. . . . As we move forward with more focus on digital journalism, the future of the Eagle in print is unclear.  If it does disappear, this does not mean the Eagle is abandoning print forever.  We may be able to raise the money necessary to bring back a print edition in a different form, perhaps once a month or even weekly again.”


The Eagle is in the minority within collegemediatopia for being solely reliant on advertising.  Two plans of attack to help offset its current and forecasted financial strain: joining the school’s student media board, funded by student activity fees (“No matter what, editorial independence is still safe.”); and upping its fundraising/endowment game.

In addition, Cohen says the paper “will be boosting its online presence both on our newly redesigned website and on social media.  We’ll be improving our work in video and continue to bring the news to you as it happens on live-blogs, Twitter, and Facebook.  Rather than you going to the news racks to pick up a copy of the paper, you’ll get more of the news from your laptop, tablet, and smartphone. . . . Change in journalism does not mean its end.  We’re just getting started.”


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  1. […] even know if their college newspaper was available online. When budget cuts and lack of profit threatened to shut down American University’s weekly Eagle, student response was so negative that they decided to […]