In a nod to the reading habits of its audience, the University of Minnesota's student newspaper will cut back to two print editions a week this fall while shifting more resources to online and digital reporting.
The Minnesota Daily, which has served the Twin Cities campus for more than a century, used to publish five editions weekly during the school year for most of of its history. But several years ago, it dropped the Friday print edition. Starting in September, the newsprint edition will come out only on Mondays and Thursdays.
The move was prompted, in part, by declining ad revenue and a study that showed students were more interested in getting their news on their smartphones than from old-fashioned newspapers. "It was totally motivated by our readers' habits," said Dylan Scott, 21, the incoming editor-in-chief. "Everyone at the Daily knows that students have trouble really finding the relevance in a print legacy product."
At this point, no one is suggesting changing the Daily's name. If anything, it should be even more timely than ever, at least online, officials say.
The student-run newsroom plans to roll out a "digital first" approach, with staffers working around the clock to update the news site with breaking news, according to a news release Wednesday.
"We feel like we're going to be more relevant and more daily," said Gayle Golden, chair of the Daily's board of directors and a senior lecturer at the U's school of journalism and mass communications.
As part of the transformation, the Daily is investing in a new web platform to improve how its content appears on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, according to the news release.