University Daily Kansan at KU Goes Digital-First, Shifting to Twice-Weekly Print Edition in Fall 2015
The University Daily Kansan is set to become a digital-first enterprise. Beginning in the fall, the student newspaper at the University of Kansas will focus more intently on “utilizing online resources” while shifting its print publishing schedule from four days per week to two. Amid the reinvention, however, the UDK editorial board confirms to readers, “We aren’t changing the news — just how you consume it.”
In an announcement, top editors broke down what they feel are the financial and editorial benefits of the shift: “We believe the money used to print and distribute Tuesday and Wednesday papers can be allocated more effectively in a way that will best benefit our readers. … While the production of the printed paper will be reduced by half, the Kansan will not cover only half the news. Without the stress and pressure of producing content for four print editions per week, the Kansan staff will focus its resources on breaking news, multimedia and online-exclusive content, as well as in-depth articles for the two print editions per week for news, arts and features, sports and opinion content.”
Kansan editors also attempted to assuage what they predicted would be the chief reader concern: “You’re probably wondering if anything is going to happen to the basketball posters, puzzles and free-for-alls. They aren’t going anywhere.”
Kansan special projects editor Emma LeGault graciously weighed in with a few candid thoughts about the implications of the switch and the staff’s initial reaction.
Prior to her current role, LeGault served the paper as a senior reporter, special sections editor, news editor and editor-in-chief. She is also a spring 2015 CMM Editorial Fellow.
As she tells me: