Beginning late next fall, Mitzpeh will follow in the footsteps of its sister publication, The Diamondback, and change its focus to “digital first” in light of ongoing trends in journalism. This publication will release print editions at the beginning of October and November as we transition to our online role, publishing breaking news and Jewish reactions to the news on a more frequent basis.
The transition is spurred by a combination of factors including low ad revenue, low print readership levels and a sense that the future of journalism is moving away from the printed page onto the screen.
Newspapers are struggling to stay relevant during a time when you literally cannot use a computer without being flooded with all kinds of news. The Diamondback is assuming its print readership prefers to read the paper once a week, rather than four days a week. When Mitzpeh goes online-only, it will have to compete with the noise of online content a hyperlink away.
Looking at online news, you will see declining quality as papers print more “cheap thrills” type article to grab more readers. This is the kind of thing you click on as you scroll mindlessly down your news feed. “How to seem smart at meetings without really trying” is the number three most popular online article on WashingtonPost.com right now.
Newspapers can stay relevant without resorting to stories devoid of news content. Going online sets the bar higher for writers. Readers are less likely to read an article just because it is there, and more likely to read an article because somebody else thought it was great and shared it with them.
This publication strives to chronicle the news and events happening within this university’s Jewish community and to tell the stories of its students through features like the “Jew You Should Know” (we did it first, Washington Jewish Week!) and “Mitzpeh Matchmaker.” Next year, with our attention focused on online content, we will be able to continue to write these classic features, and we will also have the opportunity to better fulfill our role as the campus Jewish community’s news source with more timely articles than the current print format allows us to write.
Last month, we published a column about the Student Government Association’s relative obscurity on campus (“SGA voter turnout up from last year, but still disappointing”). Mitzpeh has also struggled to become a campus-wide name, and it will be more challenging to reach new readers without a print edition So when it comes time to say goodbye to the print edition at the end of next fall, we will look to you, current print readers, to spread the word about Mitzpeh to your friends and family. Increasing Mitzpeh’s exposure will ensure that the publication can continue to cover events going on in the Jewish community at this university.
What kind of content would you like to see from the Mitzpeh next year? Send us an email with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.