For some college newspapers, it’s not digital first. It’s digital only

Economics is a driving force in the digital only transition

By Miriam Ascarelli
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Two words: Digital first.

That was the trend of this 2013-2014 school year as a parade of student newspapers from the University of Missouri Maneater to The Daily Egyptian at Southern Illinois University Carbondale announced plans to scale back print publication days and ramp up their digital presences.

For some newspapers scaling back on print editions, the changes were part of a proactive strategy to stay ahead of the iGeneration, which already lives on the web, according to Bryan Murley, an associate professor of new and emerging media at Eastern Illinois University. But for others, Murley said, digital-first was an imperative motivated by a double whammy: declining ad revenue as national advertisers use social media instead of print ads to target college students and declining print readership as indicated by too many newspapers remaining on racks.

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