If you haven’t kept track of the back-page announcements we’ve run on the last two print issues of The Wood Word, then we have an announcement to make: the paper you hold in your hands is the final print issue of The Wood Word.
Does that mean we’re going away? Not at all. In fact, we’ll be more present on campus than ever before, since, from now on, we’ll be publishing exclusively on our website.
And I, for one, could not be more excited about this switch. There are a lot of reasons for this, due to realities both on campus and at large in the news industry.
There is a lot of argument going on in the field of journalism over whether print-based media is dying. And while I’m not sure if I’m confident enough to say that it’s on its way into the coffin yet, it’s certainly on life-support.
Let’s face it: web-based journalism is the future. And if The Wood Word is to function not only as Marywood University’s primary news outlet but also as a learning experience for student journalists, a shift to the web simply makes educational sense. As a student journalist myself, I would rather learn the future of the medium. Not the past.
But the main reason why I’m excited to make the switch to all web-based media is the increase in the amount of content we can produce and the increase in quality of that content.
Right now, with a small budget, we go to print three times a semester. This means that, by the time we go to print, many of the stories are no longer as timely as they once were. With no print edition to worry about, stories can be immediately published upon completion, which means keeping Marywood news as up-to-date as possible for the reader.
And we at The Wood Word have been focusing heavily on our website for some time now. Our coverage of both the controversial hanging of an American flag upside-down in a protest early last Dec. and the bomb threat that cancelled classes and evacuated buildings in Sept. relied heavily on web-based reporting. Both required up-to-the-minutereporting and updates, something that would have been totally impossible on ourtri-semesterly printing schedule.
Also, we’ve been making strides to produce more interesting multimedia content for our website. In addition to a copy of all of the articles that you see in our print edition, on our website you can find podcasts about sports and music, multimedia enhancements to our articles such as audio clips and photo slideshows and even video news packages provided by our sister news outlet TV-Marywood.
If readers are concerned about getting the content they know and love from The Wood Word, they shouldn’t be. We’re working on a solution, that will allow us to send our weekly top stories directly to readers’ emails.
The Wood Word has had a great run in print, and I count myself lucky to say that I was a part of some of it.
But don’t think of this final print issue as “goodbye.” Instead, think of it as an opportunity to hear a lot more from us; because that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Social media helps news spread on campus:
•Flag hung upside-down in the Rotunda in support of Ferguson:
Post reached: 27,264
Fact: This was posted exclusively on The Wood Word’s Facebook page on Dec. 2, 2014. The post contained pictures of students protesting in support of Ferguson. During the protest a flag was hung upside down and written on. The flag said “There is no Justice on stolen land,” “#BlackLivesMatter “ and the name of recent deaths associated with actions by law enforcement.
•Flyers distributed on campus discuss state of Marywood’s affairs:
Post Reached: 24,075
Fact: On Sept. 1, 2015, The Wood Word posted on its Facebook page a picture of a flyer discussing Marywood’s finances that was found in Marywood’s Rotunda. This post led to multiple news stories on the flyers and multiple updates on additional flyers via social media. This post has 114 shares, 20 comments and over 120 likes on Facebook.
•Bomb threat causes campus evacuation:
Posts reached: 18,420 (combined)
Fact: The Wood Word posted several updates to the Facebook page, keeping readers up to date with the status of the evacuation on Sept. 24, 2015, caused by a series of bomb threats called into campus. The series of updates received a total of 18,420 views.
•Faculty Senate holds special meeting, distributes no confidence info:
Post reached: 3,221
Fact: This article was posted on Sept. 26, 2015. It was shared 19 times, had over 20 likes and had numerous comments on Facebook.