Pew Research Center: College Papers Search for Creative Ways to Deliver News & Make a Buck

A new Pew Research Center round-up joins the growing chorus of confirmations about college newspapers’ current state: Just like their professional counterparts, student pubs are increasingly struggling with finances and searching for creative ways to deliver the news — and make a buck.

The Pew write-up by Nancy Vogt touches on a number of alterations and innovations carried out recently by mostly A-list student papers. While certain pushes mentioned — such as a digital paywall — are still not really part of collegemediatopia (at least yet), many others that make an appearance will most likely only become more popular and common in coming semesters.

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One example, as Vogt writes: “Reducing Publication Frequency. Many student papers have cut down on days of print publication as one cost-saving measure. In recent years, The Daily Orange at Syracuse University, The Daily Californian at UC Berkeley and the Minnesota Daily at the University of Minnesota all dropped one day of publication. Earlier this year, The Maneater at the University of Missouri went from publishing two days a week to just one. Even the Commonwealth Times [does she mean The Cavalier Daily?] at the University of Virginia, which had expanded to a wide broadsheet and full-color format, decreased publication from twice weekly to weekly.”

I’d argue it’s not just cost-saving but digital-first-thinking that is driving this print reduction, but the gist of her summary is certainly sound.

Vogt separately spotlighted a rise in “fundraisers and naming opportunities.” It made me think of a more random money-grab staged this past weekend by The Cord at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University to help save its monthly Community Edition. The student paper asked WLU students and other Cord supporters for their empty beer, wine and liquor bottles.

As the Facebook announcement shared: “As you might know, the Cord Community Edition is having some funding issues – and to help, we’re hosting a fundraiser for them! Here’s the deal: On Saturday December 7th, between 2-5pm, BRING US YOUR BEER, WINE & LIQUOR EMPTIES! In return, grab a free coffee, tea or hot chocolate on us! We return the bottles, and give the cash to CCE [Cord Community Edition].”

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Related

How Student Newspapers Can Survive (and Thrive) in the 21st Century

Cavalier Daily Launches ‘Ambitious Redesign,’ ‘Wherever, Whenever’ Publishing Plan

Podcast: Missouri’s Maneater to Make a Digital-First– Make That a ‘Content-First’– Shift

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