Recent changes at The Collegian serve as proof we care about our future

At our recent midsemester meeting, The Collegian staff gathered to discuss the progress of the newspaper during the first half of the semester, including awards won and the exceptional news coverage our reporters have produced.

Two reporters were also given new assignments as beat writers – Bineet Kaur will focus coverage on the California State University system and William Ramirez will report on the New USU project for the remainder of the semester. Both topics are of importance and we intend to fill our pages with developments on both.

We also discussed how we interact with readers, how we produce our work and in what ways we can do both better. These talks came at a time when we are forced to adapt to the changing landscape of journalism and a time when a group of media, communications and journalism faculty is set to meet and discuss our future. That will happen at a meeting in the Henry Madden Library on Tuesday.

You may remember our previous pieces, in which we laid everything out on our financial situation and where we asked students to take ownership of their newspaper. As we inch closer to the end of the spring semester, the staff has taken steps to alter our product delivery to prove that we care about our future.

As the financial future of this publication is discussed by experts in the media, communications and journalism department, we hope the changes we’ve begun to implement produce results that will help The Collegian thrive if they are continued beyond the spring semester. We have reported previously that within a few months, we are set to enter a financial red zone.

If you have been following us lately, you may have noticed that we have launched a variety of podcast shows for readers to listen to. An email news alert system now lets you know of breaking news and what you may miss if you didn’t pick up our newspaper; it gets delivered straight to you if you subscribe on our website.

We’ve made a stronger push online to better inform readers by recently launching “The Blueprint,” a Friday email package with latest news and developments of the week. And with “The Blue Tape,” a weekly news broadcast featuring the weekly happenings on our campus, we seek to creatively deliver information to you

Collegian Digital Editor Hayley Salazar, who has spearheaded the digital efforts, offered her perspective for readers recently.

“The Collegian is a classroom where reporters, editors, photographers and marketers alike can learn fundamentals of media to become career ready. That includes learning how digital media works,” she wrote.

These efforts to increase our digital presence are all meant to enhance our print product, which remains the root of our existence. About 96 years ago, the printed Collegian came into existence because there was a need to inform students on a mass scale.

Just recently, our Associated Students, Inc. beat reporter reported witnessing several concerned public speakers at an open ASI meeting present hard copies of The Collegian to voice their opinions on matters we had covered in print. The students of this campus recognize the print publication as an irreplaceable way to deliver critical, unbiased and relevant information.

Doing away with the printed product would do more than damage communication between an independent source of news and its readers. Doing away with the print product would almost certainly reduce overall advertising revenue. And the real-world experience that advertising students get would greatly diminish and it would no longer put Fresno State’s student journalists at a competitive level with student journalists at other universities.

As we attempt to grow our digital audience, we certainly hope that it leads to new opportunities. More news consumers means advertisers will see the potential in promoting their services to students on our digital and print platforms. The financial benefit of that would be helpful, to say the least.

The commitment by this editorial board to The Collegian as a sustainable institution is one that has grown by the day. We expect that our efforts will be respected and reflected in any decision made about our future.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of Collegian editors.

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