November 16, 2012

The State Press | Downtown Devil | The Red & Black
Arizona State University student newspaper The State Press will cease printing daily next year and distribute a print edition once per week, the paper announced. “The leadership staff of the State Press is incredibly excited to announce its focus on a digital-first newsroom with a weekly print product that is twice the size of our current issues,” State Press Executive Editor Julie Vitkovskaya said in the announcement. (It’s mandatory to describe print reductions as “exciting.”)

“The truth is our students are probably not going to be asked to layout a daily print newspaper when they hit the professional world,” student media director Jason Manning told the paper.

The weekly newspaper will be distributed directly to residence halls as well as via racks. “Honestly, I feel like it’s going to be a lot of litter,” journalism major Kyra Geithman told Downtown Devil’s Miguel Otarola. “I see it now — when you distribute pamphlets or flyers, there’s a chance of it not being regarded strongly.”

“For some, it may seem like a somber moment to see the newspaper turn into a weekly edition,” reads an editorial in The State Press.

After all, our daily college newspaper is a tradition that extends as far back as 1890. But if we look closer at this tradition, we see that it was more about covering our University in an independent and responsible way. This tradition is very much alive, even if daily newspapers disappear. Instead, it will be carried out through video, blogging and social media. It will be carried out through in-depth news features and investigative stories. Our editors realize that a digital-first newsroom provides a better way to serve our generation — a way that is meaningful and relevant to our lives.

The University of Georgia independent student newspaper The Red & Black announced a new emphasis on digital newsgathering alongside a shift to a weekly print edition last year. Advertising revenues dropped, though, precipitating a crisis at the paper after a member of its board drew up a plan for more positive coverage from the newspaper. Some of the students running the paper walked out, started an alternate online publication and returned only after they were guaranteed more autonomy. (Poynter ran a series of blog posts about The Red & Black kerfuffle this past August.)

In distantly related Red & Black news, The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia received a $250,000 grant from Don Carter, a 1938 graduate who edited the paper.

In distantly related ASU news, the “Men of Journalism” calendar planned by the SPJ chapter at ASU’s Cronkite School is now fully funded on Kickstarter.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
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