If you are reading this article in a printed newspaper, you are a rare individual.
While around 900 people pick up The Daily Utah Chronicle each day, more than 3,200 are visiting the paper’s website to read their campus news, said Jake Sorensen, general manager of Student Media.
Because of these numbers, The Chronicle will shift to a more digital approach in Fall 2016.
Anna Drysdale, the paper’s current editor-in-chief, started the discussion this year to cut print days. Come August, the paper will shift from five days per week to two days per week (printing Mondays and Thursdays).
“The truth is, the way that students consume media now is a lot different from how students consumed media in 1950,” Drysdale said. “We’re just barely starting to adapt.”
She hopes these transitions will allow for more flexibility, with breaking news posted online rather than printing in the next day’s paper.
Katherine Ellis, the appointed editor-in-chief for next year, said the transition will not mean fewer stories, but rather more content to be placed online.
“It’s a different way to engage in news,” Ellis said. “It doesn’t make news any less important.”
The Chronicle began posting stories online around 2000 but is now putting a heavier
emphasis on their digital presence. Sorensen said this started in Sept. 2014, when Student Media hired a digital manager, and online traffic has nearly tripled since then.
Cutting the cost of the daily print paper is one benefit of the digital shift. Student Media receives funding primarily from two sources: the U and advertising sales. But lately those sources haven’t been enough to cover product expenses.
Student Media also includes DigitalU (the online division), K-UTE (the student radio on campus), an advertising department and a marketing team. Karlie Dodds, marketing manager of Student Media, is excited for the change.
“We’re looking to take news to a different level so that it’s not just about stories being printed in the paper anymore,” she said. “There’s so much more potential to grow with the digital wave.”
Dodds anticipates more video and audio content to complement written stories.
Ellis said the change is not just about new technologies but rather giving students on campus the news and information they need.
“As a student organization, we have the unique opportunity to present the student voice,” she said. “It’s important to be engaged and know what’s going on around campus and in the world, and we provide that outlook.”