At Issue: The livelihood of our print edition
Our Take: Our print edition is a learning tool
Over winter break, the publishing company that prints our weekly edition closed down their printing services. With the first issue scheduled for publication in less than two weeks following this news, we had many decisions to make and possible changes to maneuver. Our advisor popped the question of whether or not we should become an online-only publication. Luckily, an affordable printing press became available, but the possibility of having to move the paper to a fully digital format left a scar.
The Berkeley Beacon is Emerson’s only student-run newspaper and consistently covers campus-wide news and events that affect students, faculty, and staff. Our newsroom works to ensure that every story we publish—online and in print—is of the highest quality. Although our daily news site is equally as valuable as the print version, the physical copy is the cumulative representation of a week on campus and delivers the most relevant news to our readership.
At the Beacon, we firmly believe print is not dead. Newspapers make up the fiber of journalism. Even though an argument can be made that moving content completely online would allow us to further enhance our daily schedule, we take pride in maintaining and producing a weekly print edition and updating our website daily.
Our print issues are more than pieces of paper—they are a way for our readers to hold an artifact that represents a point in time. We’ve published memorable editions, including our Oct. 4, 2018 print edition which reported on the Sen. Jeff Flake protest co-organized by Emerson students. This edition not only symbolizes an emotional and momentous week but also serves as a cohesive representation of the Beacon’s extensive reporting and dedication.
The Beacon staff takes immense pride in seeing our bylines in print, as we are sure many other on-campus publications do as well. For journalists, there is simply nothing better than physically holding the result of our hard work.
By having a printed issue, we reach a wider audience—because, despite popular belief, a printed issue can be more accessible than the internet. Every week, copies of the latest issue will be delivered to the Walker Building, Ansin, Piano Row, 2 Boylston, and Colonial. Parents and prospective students who visit our campus can pick up a copy when touring. Security guards who work at the front desk read it when they have free time.
As student journalists, it’s important we prepare ourselves for the world beyond Emerson. As print remains an active element in the publishing industry, it is key we learn the skills to produce a print edition, like layout and design. If print editions suddenly stopped appearing on campus, people may think we simply shut down. The print edition is a tangible reminder to students and faculty of the important events happening on campus and the impact these potentially pose to us all.