On Monday, in the midst of the ever-raging battle between the tradition of print newspapers and the convenience of laptops and smartphones, The Cornell Daily Sun announced that it would decrease the number of print issues each week from five to three, according to the The New York Times.
Because of our tendency to use the internet, and especially social media, to get news, the past few years have been tough for print publications. For a growing number of student newspapers, the solution has been to cut down on or get rid of print altogether.
There’s a long list of college papers who have already made the shift to digital, including Ohio University, the University of Georgia and Columbia University, the Times reported. However, many were surprised when the Daily Sun, which has been repeatedly ranked as of the country’s best student papers, announced via an email to alumni that they had been struggling financially for years, and planned on reducing their print schedule in order to focus more on digital journalism.
Even if changes like these are driven by finances, they can also force the students working for the paper to be more creative and make a better final product, Daily Sun editor Sofia Hu told the Times. She expects that the time saved from not having to produce a print edition will be invested in developing multimedia stories and focusing on longform journalism and investigative stories.
In an article posted to the Daily Sun’s website, editors Paulina Glass, Phoebe Keller and Sofia Hu expressed optimism about the future of the paper. “The most informative news is not published a day later, in next day’s paper issue, but rather continuously updated online,” the article reads. “Additionally, without the time or space constraints of a print paper, stories published digitally are becoming more comprehensive and drawing on multimedia and graphical elements to tell more thorough narratives.”
“By freeing ourselves from the constraints of a daily print model,” the editors wrote, “We are pushing ourselves further to pursue top-quality, around-the-clock journalism.”