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Dec. 10, 2013, 12:28 p.m.
LINK: www.pewresearch.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   December 10, 2013

Nancy Vogt at Pew Research has a good overview of some of the strategies college newspapers are using to try to adjust to new financial realities — from paywalls to reduced frequency to selling naming rights and more.

Many of the nation’s estimated 1,600 college newspapers are now experimenting with editorial and business innovations in the face of some of the same economic hardships that have hit the rest of the newspaper industry.

There is little hard data on the student newspaper field compared to that of the widely-studied commercial side, but these publications also struggle with issues ranging from the balance between print and digital to diminishing advertising revenue.

There are varying theories of what a college newspaper is really for. Is it to inform the college community? To be a check on the college administration’s power? To make a profit? To train future journalists?

The answer, of course, is some combination of all of the above — but the balance can vary from place to place.

If training future journalists a key part of their mission, for instance, I truly can’t fathom this statistic Vogt cites: As of 2012, 37 percent of college newspapers surveyed did not have a website.

2012.

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