It’s no secret that the emergence of the digital age has impacted methods for news distribution, as print newspaper production declines and news organizations contemplate how to best connect with target audiences. By the same token, media audiences are faced with a plethora of news medium options — from traditional sources, such as television and radio, to new age sources, such as blogs and Facebook. Localizing this relationship dynamic to the Whitworth community, I challenge future Whitworthian editors to maintain an awareness of the communication trends so that they can best serve the Whitworth audience.
This academic year, we have begun to take strides to improve The Whitworthian’s digital presence — redesigning our website and working with a group of Whitworth computer science students to develop a Whitworthian app that will be available for download in the fall on the Apple, Android and Windows app markets. But there are still a lot of improvements to be made, as Whitworthian editors balance the management of an important weekly print edition with efforts to bolster a digital presence.
It is also my hope that The Whitworthian’s audience will take advantage of the app as well as an increased online presence, and provide feedback for Whitworthian editors, if desired. To reiterate the editorial in Issue 15, feedback is encouraged to keep student journalists accountable.
The challenge of balancing a print and digital presence is not specific to The Whitworthian. During Jan Term 2013, I took part in a class that traveled to the east coast to study media impact. Among other lessons, we learned traditional journalism is not dying, but changing. Media organizations are trying to learn how to digitally connect with audiences in a productive and efficient manner.
My call to future Whitworthian staffs is to uphold the consistency of a weekly print edition while making it a priority to continually evaluate how to best connect with the Whitworth community using digital tools. And to be a media literate consumer, recognize the plethora of news mediums available — both at Whitworth and beyond — to take advantage of medium options and be an informed consumer of media.
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