As a high school journalism teacher who has been trying to get her newspaper students to post their work online before it goes to print, I applaud the push of digital-first publications. My students have done great these past two weeks of the new school year when they posted new content every single day. Not bad for a small (450-student) public school where news doesn’t often happen.
But it saddened me when I read the news today that Cal State Northridge’s 57-year-old daily newspaper is changing to a weekly one to focus on their online and mobile content starting this week when the new semester begins. The Daily Sundial been publishing four days a week and will be renamed Sundial as a weekly.
I am a product of the Daily Sundial, having spent one semester as a staff writer and another as news editor in the early 1990s. Yes, publications need to adapt to the digital age and produce content on a regular basis online. But I still believe that there is a place in the world for print journalism.
I still have a daily newspaper delivered to my home and it’s read with my morning coffee before I leave the house every day. It’s been a routine of mine since my high school days. And when I was a daily newspaper reporter, I read at least two print papers in the morning.
I use online publications (mostly via Twitter) to keep updated on news throughout the day. I don’t automatically log onto a news website to browse through their articles. It’s usually a link via social media that takes me to their site and a particular story.
As CSUN’s Sundial moves to publishing once a week, I’m sure more college papers will follow. And eventually high school papers (those that are still around) will cease to exist as they post their content only on their website. That, to me, will be an even sadder day.