In recent decades, we have seen a greater shift into a technological age. Where we have thrived with innovations like iPhones, laptops, GPS-enabled fitness watches and Google glasses, we have also entered an online age.
Missing a required textbook? Buy it online. Hungry for some pizza? Order it online. Trying to connect with friends? Log into Facebook. Want to catch up on today’s news? Read all you want online.
The convenience is undeniable—as long as you have access to WiFi or data on your phone, you have the world at your fingertips. At long last, we can do everything from the comfort of our own homes, desks or even beds. But this convenience has not only created simplicity, it has also begun to destroy print sources.
For nearly every magazine and newspaper, there is a corresponding website that features most if not all of the same material of a printed copy. Paper is becoming obsolete. Some news sources have even moved to a strictly online platform. Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, Campus Reform: all three are offered strictly online and are thriving.
For the community at Juniata College, technology has meant the decline of our print newspaper. For 97 years, the students have produced the Juniatian. We’ve taken photos, created graphics, conducted interviews, written pages of content and sent off to press. No matter how dedicated of a staff we have, it’s time we face the reality that papers just aren’t flying off the racks like they used to.
It seems younger generations are attached to the ease of the Iinternet where they can retrieve their news from social media and other digital platforms. When you can read your news just as easily on your phones, tablets and computers, there isn’t much need for a printed copy.
As some have already heard, the Juniatian will no longer be produced as a printed newspaper. The current and former model of production, as a class and writing practicum, will be replaced beginning in the fall due to a steady decline in students interested in and remaining on staff as well as a increase in the number of print copies left on the news racks each issue. We don’t know what our future will be at this time, but I am hoping that there is no need to say goodbye just yet. Alongside the administration, our next steps will be measured carefully to continue a Juniata student news source in some iteration.
With our next platform, the Juniatian staff is hoping to be able to give the community more of what they want. We would be able to cover more stories without the restrictions of a print schedule if the news source goes completely digital. We wouldn’t need to worry about whether a story we’d love to write or read will be timely when we send to press a week later.
We’re heading into an unknown filled with opportunity, but it doesn’t make this any easier. Surely it is the end of an era, but we are only saying goodbye to inky newspaper fingers.
For me, this issue is a bittersweet farewell to my time at Juniata. Four academic years of my life—eight semesters and 40 issues—have been dedicated to the production of the Juniatian.
It’s an uneasy feeling, knowing that this is the last time I will be able to flip through the pages of the newspaper. I never expected that when I would return to campus as an alum, I wouldn’t be greeted by the familiar sight of a printed newspaper.
As I write this letter, do my last edits, and laugh with the editorial board at one last layout night, I know I have had the privilege to work with a group of leaders I trust and have come to know and love.
The Juniatian has always been more than a class for me; it was my passion. I loved every second of designing layouts, writing stories, taking photos and editing. I know I’ll never forget all the newspaper has given me, and I hope you treasure the memories we captured in these thin pages.
Erin S. Gaines, Editor-in-Chief