Editorial: The State Press in a digital age

Each day, we ask ourselves: What is the future of journalism?

We now look across a spectrum of new media tools and see an abundance of storytelling potential. There are many unknowns, but one thing is certain: Our way of doing journalism is not the way of our parents or professors.

Our journalism unfolds in real time with a deadline of “now.” It is fast-paced, demanding and continuously redefining itself. We are a part of that “now” generation, and in order for The State Press to provide this kind of journalism, we must think digitally.

So it is with incredible excitement that we announce a shift toward a digital-first newsroom starting Spring 2013, but we’re not completely abandoning print. The current newspaper will double in size and be distributed every Thursday directly to 7,500 University dorm rooms across four campuses as well as the newspaper racks. These changes are unprecedented in the history of The State Press, and we will continue to push digital and editorial boundaries.

This also means we get a chance to be creative. One story may need powerful visuals, while another can only be told through sound. As student journalists, we can be thought leaders in our industry and not just silent observers. Our reporters are not bound by the same journalism playbook.

They can take video, blog and Tweet the news as it happens. Already this semester, we’ve redesigned our website to reflect these changes and switched the look of our mobile and tablet applications.

The shift toward a digital newsroom actually began with our readers. We cannot ignore that a daily print newspaper has a different value in the digital age. College students consume more and more media on their computers, smartphones and tablets. We’re all connecting, sharing and relating to each other on multiple social media channels. The spread of information no longer relies on ink, but on an Internet connection.

For some, it may seem like a somber moment to see the newspaper turn into a weekly edition. After all, our daily college newspaper is a tradition that extends as far back as 1890. But if we look closer at this tradition, we see that it was more about covering our University in an independent and responsible way. This tradition is very much alive, even if daily newspapers disappear. Instead, it will be carried out through video, blogging and social media. It will be carried out through in-depth news features and investigative stories. Our editors realize that a digital-first newsroom provides a better way to serve our generation — a way that is meaningful and relevant to our lives.

In the next few weeks, we encourage our readers to send as much feedback to us as possible. In the meantime, our editors will be working to construct a newsroom that meets the expectations of your demands and provides enough substance to cover stories in dynamic ways. We already know most of our current digital products will increase — our blogs will cover more topics, multimedia will be redefined and social media will play an even bigger role. In the weekly paper, readers can expect to see more analysis and feature stories.

We hope you welcome the future of journalism with us — the “now” generation.

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