Duke is constantly changing—just this week a new class of freshmen moved into their homes on East Campus and West Union (finally!) opened its doors, bringing a wide range of food options to campus. And The Chronicle is no different—this year, we’re making a change as well. Starting Monday, we will print three days a week—Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays—with new content still published online daily. Towerview will no longer be in magazine format but instead will be a print supplement to the regular paper each month, and we’ll publish long-form stories in the Towerview section on our website.
The reduction represents a shift toward our digital model and efforts to give our readers the news where and when they need it. Nobody wants to wait until the next day to read about protests, presidential searches and task force recommendations. They want it immediately and with our digital first mentality, we’re prepared to deliver it. We’ll have the same amount of content, just now on a different platform.
During the last academic year, the student staff and the Duke Student Publishing Company board of directors discussed the possibility of making these changes, and the board voted in favor of cutting a day of print in June. The DSPC is the independent, nonprofit organization that The Chronicle has operated under since 1993, when it became financially and editorially independent from the University. Composed of Chronicle alumni, it’s responsible for setting broad policies of the newspaper.
This doesn’t mean that print is going away—it’s simply evolving to appeal to a younger audience, people who consume their news via a phone or laptop rather than a print paper. We’re constantly working to incorporate our digital model by investing in new digital products, analyzing readership every year and fine-tuning our strategic plan.
Cutting one day of print production will allow staff to reallocate time and energy toward generating digital products. It enables us to use print for feature stories and long-form stories and to gear our attention more toward social media and creating the digital content that we want.
The decision to print one day less per week was not solely or even significantly motivated by finances, given the strong reserve funds The Chronicle has maintained and the small surplus that it has seen each of the past five years. Increasing digital revenue from advertising and a focus on fundraising with Chronicle alumni has contributed to the paper currently being in strong financial shape.
We’re excited to begin this year—there’s never a shortage of newsworthy events at Duke, and we’re prepared to report on them. Hope you’re ready.