ASU’s 106-year-old independent, student-operated newspaper will be cutting back publishing to one day per week starting in January, according to a press release published on its website Thursday evening.
The State Press currently publishes every weekday, with circulation through news racks on every campus. The weekly publication will still be delivered to each campus via news racks, as well as through direct distribution to 7,500 dorm rooms in ASU’s residence halls, according to the release.
In an editorial also published Thursday evening, the editorial board emphasized a push for more digital coverage to keep up with the rapidly changing media landscape.
State Press executive editor Julie Vitkovskaya said the decision was not made to address any issue with the current publication, but rather the newspaper wanted to shift to meet the needs and wants of its audience.
“We wanted a lot more feature journalism; we wanted in-depth journalism. … I knew that we could have this with a weekly publication,” Vitkovskaya said. She added that the printed product would have a specific target audience, while the online product would be available for the broader readership that accesses the publication through the Internet and mobile devices.
Vitkovskaya said the State Press would decrease from publishing 80 to 90 pages per week to a 32-page weekly edition. Special sections and State Press Magazine would remain unchanged, according to the press release.
State Press editor-in-chief Yvonne Gonzalez said staff changes for next semester are still in the planning stages.
ASU’s Director of Student Media Jason Manning declined to comment.
Journalism freshman Sam Bero said she occasionally reads the State Press and that the new dorm delivery might make students more aware of what is going on at ASU.
“It could make the State Press stand out more,” Bero said of the upcoming changes. “They can find better stories since they’ll have more time to look into stories and offer more depth.”
Kyra Geithman, a journalism senior and community assistant at the Taylor Place residence hall, said she has always liked the feel of a newspaper. She added that the new delivery system might be ineffective in residence halls.
“Honestly, I feel like it’s going to be a lot of litter. I see it now – when you distribute pamphlets or flyers, there’s a chance of it not being regarded strongly,” Geithman said. “I feel like it could contribute to a mess. We (Taylor Place) try to stay sustainable, but there is no guarantee people are going to recycle it.”
Former State Press editor-in-chief Adam Sneed, 24, said the paper had been considering such changes since his time with the publication two years ago. He worked for the State Press for more than three years, serving as editor-in-chief and a variety of other editorial positions.
“We needed to increase the web presence. … There is just a whole lot more potential online,” Sneed said.
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Alexis Macklin, Mauro Whiteman and Danika Worthington contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.