The Buchtelite, the University of Akron’s independent student newspaper since 1889, this year marks its 125th anniversary. And it so happens that 2014 is shaping up as one of the most important years in the publication’s long history.
Like its counterparts in the professional print media, The Buchtelite is facing the challenge of how to remain relevant in a digital age. The need to face up to that challenge, along with some unforeseen circumstances, make this an opportune time to pause and think about how best to position The Buchtelite as a contemporary news outlet serving the needs of a college campus.
Several of the students who made up the core Fall Semester staff were unable to continue in their jobs during Spring Semester due to internships, heavy class loads or personal issues. Another student graduated. Replacements were not readily available.
With the staff depleted by key departures, publishing the newspaper twice a week became impractical. Therefore, for the time being, The Buchtelite is suspending publication of the newspaper. Limited content could still be posted to the website.
During this time of transition, The Buchtelite will be working with the Division of Student Affairs, the School of Communication, student organizations and other university stakeholders to craft a plan that will assure The Buchtelite’s future as a sustainable, student-run, multimedia enterprise.
What does that future look like? It could include a revamped print product, a more robust website, audio and video components, better integration with social media. There are many possibilities.
That’s where you come in.
We welcome all serious suggestions. From content, to design, to ways of enticing students to take an interest in gathering and presenting campus news, we want to hear your ideas. Leave a comment here, visit our Facebook page or contact me directly.
I’m a retired newspaper journalist with many years of experience as a reporter and an editor at the Akron Beacon Journal and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. I believe that a thriving, independent student voice is an essential part of any college campus.
With your help, The Buchtelite will soon return with a new sense of vitality and relevance.
Adviser, The Buchtelite