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Letter from the Editor: After 50 Years of Print Media, New University Looks to Digital Future

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Starting in fall 2018, the New University will cease print operations and become an all-digital publication for the first time in its 50-year history, due to a combination of financial and journalistic circumstances. Despite garnering support from 52 percent of student voters last year, our Measure U Newspaper Fund referendum failed to pass the necessary threshold of 60 percent undergraduate approval. Thus, at the end of this quarter, the New University will no longer receive the student fees that have sustained our print operations over the past five years. As an independent student newspaper, we are entirely self-sustaining and rely on no other outside funding, so eliminating our print production is our only recourse from this loss of income.

However, the New University has anticipated the necessity for a digital restructuring for more than a decade, since social media began transforming the face of journalism everywhere, from The New York Times down to our very own  newsroom. Publications worldwide have needed to evolve in order to adapt to a swiftly changing media landscape. Print media has become a difficult operation to sustain in an increasingly digital world, where the speed, scope and content of news has rapidly evolved. We hope that going all-digital will give us the opportunity to bring our readers cutting-edge journalistic content that traditional print media cannot accommodate.

Thus, although the loss of our print newspaper makes this decision bittersweet, transitioning to an all-digital publication will bring requisite and exciting changes to the New University. Over the next few years, we will increase our frequency of publication, bringing stories to the UCI community daily instead of weekly. We will expand our capacity for multimedia journalism, collaborating with other campus departments to enhance our news with podcasts, video and audio content, and interactive stories. And we will expand our editorial board, widening the scope of our coverage.

As UC Irvine’s official and only student newspaper, we will remain committed to strong investigative reporting and innovative approaches to storytelling as our publication makes this historic, unprecedented transition. We thank our readers for their support during this time, and encourage your feedback on the changes ahead. Please pick up our final print issue on June 5, and follow us on social media for updates as we close our print legacy and usher in a new era of journalism at UCI.

Megan Cole, Editor in Chief 2016-2018