Today was a big day in The New Hampshire (TNH) history. Our budget for next year was officially passed by the Student Senate. In years past this hasn’t meant much for our readers. We have had the same twice a week platform for many years. Within the past few years TNH has made a digital presence, this year being our most successful. We have gained a serious following on social media, brought our digital newsletter to light and continue to improve our website. Now, starting with the 2017-18 school year, our readers can expect some major changes.
First, TNH will be welcoming Main Street Magazine (MSM) to the newsroom. Although the magazine will keep its name, the publication will be opperated as an umbrella product of TNH. This will not only allow MSM to publish four times a year again, but hold a place on TNHdigitial.com for weekly lifestyle blogs to be published by its editors every Sunday. MSM will still contain its same content style, but we hope to improve the overall quality of the publication by allowing committed students on both staffs to help edit, design and brainstorm unique content and pages.
Our other major change is that TNH will be publishing a printed 24-page all-in-color issue once a week on Thursdays. Although a print copy will only be put out once a week, we will produce new content online three times a week. This will allow our readers to receive news and event coverage closer to the exact date of the story. Although this may be disappointing to some of our readers, please hear us out. As many know, traditional print news organizations have been tossed into this new digital age, with that all too often meaning that newspapers are being tossed into the trash. As more and more people consume their news online, many new organizations have been faced with this dilemma of adjusting with the times.
Over the past few years, we have noticed many leftover papers. With an increased shelf life, we hope to waste less while providing more for our ever changing technologically savvy student population. According to Dan Kennedy’s “The Wired City: Re-imagining journalism and civic life in the post-newspaper age,” more than 40,000 print newspaper jobs were eliminated in 2009 and that number has only continued to grow. Paid daily-newspaper circulation fell from 61.3 million to 45.7 million, and these numbers will continue to fall. The New Hampshire is home to many young aspiring journalists and editors who will soon be thrown into the real world of the media business and preparing our students for this is also a top priority for us.
In the next few issues, staff News Editor Emily Young will have several pieces published on why this change is one that we hope our readers and alumni can see as a positive one. We intend to embrace the “Digital First” philosophy already adopted by existing news organizations such as the Journal Register Company, the New Haven Independent and so many others that have made efforts to boost their digital platforms both locally and nationally. Over the course of this fall semester, Young has conducted a series of interviews with professional editors at news organizations on the local level and beyond, and will continue to share our plans for TNH’s future.
The historical value of TNH is very important to us. We will continue to print our paper for years to come. Although we are natives of the digital age, we recognize the importance of producing a physical copy and we hope and urge further newsies to continue this tradition our university has held since 1911. This change is vital for the future of our publication. As quoted by Kennedy in “The Wired City,” media futurist Clay Shirky said, “Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.” Without some sort of digital switch-up, our paper would become obsolete within the next few years. The New Hampshire will not be the same as it has ever been in the past, but we pledge to continue to bring our community well written and produced content.