Canadian College Newspapers in Advertising Funk; ‘Big Changes Coming This Fall’

Like their U.S. counterparts, college newspapers across Canada are increasingly cash-strapped, meaning “big changes are coming this fall to how students will be able to access news and gossip.”

According to a new report in the Canadian newsmagazine Maclean’s, a number of student pubs operating out of our neighbor to the North are dropping the frequency of their print editions and (hopefully) simultaneously upping their digital A-games. 

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One apparent online success story, at least in the short term, emanates from the Canadian province Prince Edward Island. As Macleans shares:

“The Cadre, a small paper at the University of Prince Edward Island, went entirely digital last September. Lindsey Handren, then editor-in-chief, says only a few hundred of the 2,000 copies printed each month were picked up and no printer would allow fewer copies. With printing at $5,600 yearly and print advertising bringing in just $1,000, going digital-only seemed an obvious move. It worked splendidly. The Cadre became more relevant, breaking stories that The Guardian and CBC subsequently covered. Website traffic grew from 2,000 unique visitors in September to 7,500 in February and there was more advertising revenue than ever.”

I admit I’d be more inspired by that anecdote if I hadn’t attempted to access the Cadre online immediately after reading it and found the website inactive. Maybe a temporary glitch? Hmm.

Meanwhile, one paper defying the seemingly inevitable march to all-out digitization is the Ubyssey at the University of British Columbia. An editor confidently tells Macleans the Ubyssey will remain a twice-weekly print product for the foreseeable future, with plans to up its page count and add color to attract additional campus readers.

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