Adjustments from COVID-19 may mark permanent changes for student newspapers
By Angel Trinh
While universities across the country have suspended in-person classes to limit the spread of COVID-19, the future for student newspapers remains unknown because being online-only until physical classes resume could create long-term changes.
More than 600 universities responded to a survey conducted by the American Association for Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers to gauge the changes institutions are making or considering in response to COVID-19. According to the press release published April 2, 81% of institutions have moved completely online for the rest of the spring term. Of the universities that have moved online, 23% have decided to keep classes online for the summer and 38% are considering doing so.
Student publications have had to quickly adapt to producing web-only content, and some may not return to printing once classes begin again.
College Media Association Treasurer Steven Chappell said the number of student newspapers that decide to move online-only increases each fall, and he thinks he’ll see a larger number make that decision this year than any previous.