Student newspapers should go ‘digital first’
Student newspapers should go digital first. Or maybe even digital only. And here’s three good reasons why.
The importance of these reasons will differ from institution to institution so, though they are numbered, they are in no particular order. Promise (though ‘1’ is bound to be top priority for those footing the bill).
- It’s cheaper
As university budgets are squeezed, Students’ Union budgets are squeezed, local business budgets are squeezed, whoever pays for the newspaper’s production budgets are squeezed, it’s so much cheaper to move on to the web and inhabit that space.
- It equips student journalists for the digital future
The thousands of pounds spent yearly printing a student publication could be spent on so much more digital equipment and still leave you with a large chunk of change.
Flip video cameras, iPod touches, external microphones, Zoom audio recorders, the list goes on, training courses for data journalism and programming.
And these are the types of skills that almost everyone is professing are needed and required more and more as the newspaper business continues its revolution (read: slow death)
- It’s inclusive and caters for a new student body
Ever since tuition-fee-gate in 2010, everyone in higher education has been speculating on its effects on the student body of the future. Some think it will mean there will be less students on campus, more part-time study and more distance learning.
Printed news products rely very much on location. And distribution is costly. Online, no matter where a user is in the world, content can be distributed at practically no cost. Therefore, students who might not necessarily visit campus are given the same opportunities to engage with news and issues facing their education as those who are there all the time.