By Chris Dacanay
This is a tough message to write — one that I had hoped I wouldn’t have to draft in the first place.
Emblazoned on the front page of this newspaper print is the phrase, “Since 1947.” That means this newspaper has printed the campus’s latest news for over 75 years.
After all of those years, The Troubadour is faced with its greatest challenge yet: the march of time. The world progresses, and as it does, changes inevitably come. Now, it is time for The Troubadour to change radically as the world urges it forward.
The difficulties The Troubadour is facing now are not unique. Problems like increasing costs, decreasing interest in print media and a lesser dependence of the market on traditional advertising can be seen in any print news medium.
This is the tidal current of news, and we, The Troubadour’s staff, are being swept along whether we like it or not. The ebb and flow of news evolution have backed us into a corner, and we are obliged to evolve or perish.
On the front page of this print can be found a summary article detailing all of the major changes readers will see The Troubadour implementing within the next few weeks. I am not going to describe them all here in this letter, but I am going to talk about some of them from my perspective.
First, we are almost entirely eliminating the print version of the Troubadour as it currently exists. This decision was arrived at after much debate, struggle and prayer among the staff.
Most, if not all of us, are deeply pained to see this tradition fade away. I myself, as one of The Troubadour’s senior staff, am saddened by this in particular.
We do not want the print to die out entirely, and we fought to preserve it in some sense. The solution we came to is utilizing new poster boards around campus that will be updated every two weeks with new stories. Each poster will contain teasers for new articles along with QR codes to read the articles in full.
More and more news mediums are eliminating print staff and transitioning into online publications. We at The Troubadour will not alienate our staff, but we will be making heavier use of our website troubonline.com, which will be updated near-daily.
Supplementary to the biweekly posters, we will print pamphlets known as the “TROUB!” with relevant, weekly news. This will fill in the gaps between posters, satiating readers’ ravenous hunger for new content.
In addition, extra revenue from advertising leaves us the option to create an end-of-the-year “Best Of” print. This would be a last hurrah from us, the people who love to hold a physical piece of literature in our hands.
I’m not happy about having to change, but I am hopeful. My amazing staff has been clawing its way through the past year, and I have to give them so much credit for sticking things out. The Troubadour’s employees’ hard work and dedication are stellar, and they are what makes this newspaper truly special.
We are going to continue working hard and delivering a quality news product. However, I must ask you, the reader, to bear with us amid these challenges. Keep reading amid the growing pains, but know that we journalists can’t be taken down so easily.
During this time, I’ve found myself thinking about The Troubadour’s situation in the grand scheme of things. The newspaper’s advisor has informed me that this is perhaps the most cataclysmic time in the Troubadour’s long, storied history.
I feel like Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender, looking back at the previous editors-in-chief and wondering “how would you have handled this?” Everyone is going to have a different say on the matter, but the least my staff and I could do was hear each other out and move forward in trust.
So, please, take a step in faith with us. This new era of The Troubadour is going to be bittersweet, but at the same time, oh, so exciting.