Three, two, one: The countdown began last week to mark how many more issues of the Spectator has left in print. Because, ladies and gentlemen next semester this friendly campus newspaper won’t exist as a physical, printed object. Starting in the fall, The Spectator will be 100 percent digital.
For decades, new issues of the VSU newspaper regularly appeared around campus each Thursday morning, and wound up in the hands of students. It may have seemed those papers magically appeared, but there was more than a week’s worth of work behind every one.
Each Monday, editors would assign stories to staff writers, who would spend a week reporting, investigating, and writing. Their stories would then go back to the editors, who would spend every Wednesday night laying out pages. Each editor is responsible for laying out his or her section, and each page may take hours. Finally, by sometimes as late as 3 a.m., the paper would be ready to print.
Then on Thursday, hot off the press, the papers would be picked up by the circulation manager around 5 a.m., and for the next seven hours, the newest issue would be delivered to a few places in Valdosta and around campus for readers to take, free of charge.
However, as time progressed and technology advanced, eyes became glued to screens instead of paper.
The disinterest is not in news though, simply in where it is coming from. The Spectator realized a large percentage of its audience is now reading online instead of print. In fact, according to Pew research center for journalism and media, 10 percent more of U.S. Americans get their news online than in print. While this divide is small, Pew research center for journalism and media also shows that readership in print is steadily decreasing, while online readership is steadily increasing, especially for young adults.
It’s sad to see traditions fade, but necessary for organizations such as the Spectator to adapt as society changes, so they can continue to provide a service to their community.
Next semester, expect to see an improved website, new social media accounts and more activity on existing accounts. The Spectator plans to continue to cover the news to the best of our abilities, keep its eye on those in power, and keep in constant touch with its readers to truly be “the voice of the students.”