Three years ago, The College Reporter’s editor-in-chief, Tim Jackson ’12, knew he and his team had some tough decisions to make. He had just taken over leadership of Franklin & Marshall’s student-run newspaper and learned that his staff was struggling to secure enough advertising and subscriptions to pay the bills. Like other newspapers nationwide, the student weekly also was fighting to keep readers who increasingly were finding their news online.
“Tim found a business manager and developed a new business plan to keep The College Reporter afloat,” recalls Sloane Markley ’14, who recently completed editor-in-chief responsibilities with fellow senior Justin Kozloski ’14. “The plan was to go exclusively online. We made some changes to the website, and this gave us a basis for digital transition.”
That six-semester transition was completed during the spring semester. The College Reporter, which is editorially independent of the College, printed its last newspaper on Feb. 3, almost exactly 50 years after printing its first edition in 1964. It concurrently unveiled enhancements to its website and weekly emails. Instead of printing a weekly edition, The College Reporter staff will now post articles only online and offer an electronic PDF for download.
“This content will be distributed weekly, just like the regular paper, but instead of picking up the newspaper at a few locations on campus, students and faculty can find the newspaper in their email inboxes,” the editors announced.
The move from print to digital is one that many other newspapers—commercial and student-run alike—are making nationwide. “This is not a temporary fix,” Markley said. “We had an outdated platform for business and for our primary audience, which is college students who read everything online.”
“Our primary readers, students, were used to getting their news right away,” he said. “If news broke on a Wednesday or a Thursday, we couldn’t publish a story about it until the following Monday. By that time, it was old news.”
The College Reporter launched in 1964 as a successor to The Student Weekly, which was formed in 1915 by the union of The F&M Weekly, founded 1891, and The College Student, founded 1881.
“While the paper has changed, the tradition is that students are coming together to deliver the news and get the pulse of campus,” Markley said.
To read The College Reporter and subscribe to the digital newspaper, visit the-college-reporter.com.