Budget cutbacks at Bowdoin newspaper
There is no question that with the development of new media and technology, print journalism is becoming more and more outdated.
With the recent budget cuts to The Bowdoin Orient, the nation’s oldest continuously published weekly college newspaper, the issue of the decline in print journalism hits close to home for students on the Hill, and college students in general.
“In addition to its ad and subscription revenue, the Orient receives money from the Student Activities Funding Committee. This sum has usually totaled somewhere between $17,000-20,000 but the last two years we have received about half of that,” Seth Walder, Editor in Chief of the Orient, said.
This cut in funding to the newspaper has left the Orient in a tough spot. Without the proper funding, the Orient has had to look for new ways to continue with their weekly production of the paper.
In one opinion article, Steve Kolowich, a guest contributor, suggested that the Orient “stop publishing the newspaper” and begin “publish[ing] only online.”
Kolowich referenced the decline of print journalism in today’s world when he said that “the chairman of The New York Times Company said last week that his newspaper will eventually stop putting out a print edition,” and that, “this is a decision many papers, including some college ones, have already had to make.”
However, this idea was merely a suggestion and Walder clarified that, “We have no plans to go online only and I don't see us going there anytime soon.”
Instead, the Orient plans to “act as [they] always have” and “at the beginning of next semester [it will] seek money from student activities and probably alumni as well,” Walder stated.
Although the Orient has plans to keep from reverting to publication solely online, other colleges have not been so fortunate in their ability to do so. Around the country, a number of community college newspapers, such as that of Salt Lake Community College and Seattle Central Community College, have been shut down or are at risk of being shut down.
So what does this say about the decline in print journalism in general? Some big newspapers like The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal have had online subscription models for years, but the increasing popularity and development of these models coincides with a decrease in subscriptions for print newspapers.
How long will it be before the entire establishment of print media becomes obsolete?