A farewell to print

Dear reader,

This week, we published the final print issue of The State Press. After 123 years, nine months and 13 days, your student newspaper is moving entirely online.

There are plenty of reasons behind this move, and our staff is looking forward to the opportunity to improve coverage and better serve you. However, for this one week, we’d like to take a moment to pay homage to the legacy of the print newspaper.

On pages four, five and six of this week’s newspaper and here on the website, you’ll find alumni reflecting on their times at The State Press. They shared long nights in the newsroom after elections or while trying to cope with the immediate after-effects of 9/11. A few met their spouses here, and many met lifelong friends.

One alumnus recounts how he and friends would re-enact the perennially popular police reports while dressed up in a friend’s distinctive jacket, then tape both the picture and the article up on the friend’s door.

While these shenanigans were taking place, a dedicated crew of students has toiled away in the basement of the Matthews Center, and the results of their work can be seen on the fourth floor of the Hayden Library. The Luhrs Reading Room houses books full of copies of The State Press, dating from its debut as The Normal Echo, a one-page supplement at the end of The East Valley Tribune.

Through multiple name changes for both the school (Tempe Normal School, Tempe Normal Teachers’ College, Arizona State Teachers’ College, Arizona State College and finally Arizona State University) and the newspaper (The Normal Echo, The Tempe Normal Student, The Tempe Collegian, The Collegian, The Arizona State Press, The State Press), The State Press has spent the past 120 years as a watchdog for ASU students.

That won’t change. What will change, as it has so many times before, is the format. This modern iteration of The State Press, with its tabloid-style cover, dates back to November 2011. It was a broadsheet for many years before that, but its style changed dramatically from the groovy shapes of the 1970s to the block lettering of the early 2000s.

The first readers of The Tempe Normal Student picked up a small tabloid with ads for farm loans each week. Students reading The State Press in the ’50s and ’60s found stories about student government sandwiched between advertisements for cigarettes. Two front-page stories in one of the first issues of 1999 featured a proposed smoking ban and parking problems, proving that some things never change.

During its long run, the print issue of The State Press and the reporters, editors, designers, columnists and photographers who worked here did their best to serve a changing University audience. As the student newspaper moves into its new all-digital era, the current staff and those that follow have a lot to do to live up to that legacy.

 

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to opiniondesk.statepress@gmail.com. Keep letters to 300 words and include your university affiliation. Requests for anonymity will not be granted.