The Exponent cuts print editions to develop digital presence


Google search: student+media+cutting+print

Results: About 2,000,000 (0.43 seconds)

In .43 seconds, Google is able to confirm that student media is heading to the digital world. Daily papers are printing one, maybe two editions a week.

The Purdue Exponent recently reduced their print editions to build their online presence — but they didn't start this trend.

“What that decision broke down to was we realized that in this day and age a daily print edition, people just aren’t picking up the paper like they used to and we wanted to you know, focus more on our online content,” Exponent editor-in-chief George Landsly said.

The Exponent will now limit their print editions to Monday and Thursday. Longer pieces will be featured in the paper, while a majority of content will be featured on their website. The decision was made by the publication's Board of Directors last fall.

“Those issues are bigger and generally speaking they have more long-form stories in them,” Landsly said. "Which means we’ll be putting 40-50 inch stories in the paper so that people have these big feature pieces, that they can only find there that you wouldn’t necessarily really wanna read online or on your phone because you’d have to keep scrolling for days."

For Exponent sports editor Brad Pushkar, this change was something he also witnessed in his home growing up.

“For me personally, with growing up, my family had a newspaper subscription and it come every day and then you’d get the big edition on Sunday and through the years, its just slowly dwindled down to we now just get the paper on Sunday," Pushkar said.

This change will impact many of the news desks at the Exponent. However, the sports desk, Pushkar said, has an advantage in the now digital-focused newsroom.

“The nice thing about the sports desk was that a lot of our content kind of already was online," Pushkar said. "Or it was more online-focused because when we would go to games, we would try to be the first organization with here’s the scores, here’s some stats, here’s player reactions, here’s the coach’s reactions, things like that."

Because a lot of content was already pushed online, Pushkar has pushed previews to only publish online, which has opened new opportunities for the sports section. In the future, students can anticipate to see more features out of the sports section, he said

As for the rest of the paper, Landsly says readers can anticipate new forms of media from the Exponent.

"I think it also kind of opens up versatility for us because I mean we can put the long-form stories in the print, but we can also have quick-hit online pieces," Landsly said. "We’re branching out into potentially doing podcasts or videos, which is something that we never really thought of. I mean thought of doing them before, but we just never felt like we had the time."

"So it allows us to kinda come up with new ways to share news — at least for us. They’re not necessarily news in terms of the news world. Things that we’re excited about doing.”

The changes have been in place for three weeks, which has given readers enough time to provide some feedback.

“We haven’t gotten a ton of feedback, but what I can say I’ve noticed two major things," Landsly said. "One, a lot of the staff and generally older customers that we’ve had, are not huge fans of the change. [Second], the students do seem to be going online more."

This change will, hopefully, improve the accessibility to immediate news.

“I think a little bit coming from being a reporter last semester to now is, I think this will be a little bit better for the reporters because what they an do now is if they find something that they think is newsworthy, it can go up online," Pushkar said.


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