Changes ahead for the Daily Kent Stater

Jennie Barr

Beginning fall 2014, the “Daily Kent Stater” will no longer be printed five days a week; instead, the award-winning newspaper will drop to print only three days a week.

Fall editor and senior news major Audrey Fletcher said the newspaper will be printed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“I really think it’s a great opportunity for us to better our web coverage, which is really what’s happening in the industry right now,” Fletcher said. “There’s definitely a switch to web and mobile and I think forcing ourselves to think that way as well will really help us in the long run.”

The first printed issue for the “Kent Stater,” dropping “Daily” from its nameplate, will be Monday, Aug. 25. The day-to-day coverage will continue to be posted on the web throughout the day in order to be more in touch with the students at Kent as much as possible, Fletcher said.

Beginning Aug. 25, Fletcher said Mondays and Thursdays will be regular newspapers and Wednesdays will feature the “Buzz” section.

Stater advisor and previous editor of the “Daily Kent Stater” Mitch McKenney said the newspaper was printed only four days a week when he was the editor.

“You’re still getting experience producing a publication, and a publication that is coming out multiple times a week,” he said. This also eliminates some of the trouble that arises from producing a print edition each night.

For the past decade, most print publications across the country have been struggling with their readership, said Mark Goodman, professor and member of the media board for Kent State.

“There are so many other avenues that are available for trying to reach the audience,” Goodman said. “And advertisers are spending a lot more of their money in alternative ways, many of which are online, typically cost less.”

Fletcher said the budget also factored in to the decision.

“It’s not completely different from what it was,” she said. “We are just trying to think of better ways to reach out to the audience.”

With many professional newspapers declining in advertising revenue, Goodman sees this as an opportunity for future journalists.

“One thing I think people mostly realize already, print newspapers are never going to go away, at least to a certain extent,” he said. “But, they are not the primary source of employment for journalists that they once were.” 

Part of the reason Fletcher applied for the editor position for the fall semester, she said, is because she knew there was a chance that there would be a lot of changes going on and she wanted to help shape those changes.

“I’m hoping too, with fewer days printing, we can work ahead a little more to really make the design of the print edition a lot better and stronger than it has been,” she said.

Contact Jennie Barr at [email protected].