Letter from the editor: Spectrum reducing print day in effort to go more digital

Dear Spectrum readers,

You’ll probably be surprised when you head to our newsstands on Friday and find this Wednesday edition still on the shelves.

It’s not because of a printer malfunction or because our staff took the day off. It also doesn’t mean we’ve stopped reporting the news.

Go to ubspectrum.com and you’ll find brand new content just like you used to find in our Friday print edition.

The Spectrum will be publishing twice a week this semester as opposed to our usual tri-weekly publication.

We think this will help propel us into the future – and keep our methods in line with your news habits.

We – like you – get most of our news online and from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We know you still like to have the paper on campus – we’ve read the studies – but we also know that you’re increasingly reading news off of your smartphones, and that college newspapers across the country are reducing their print output to put more focus on keeping their websites updated.

This semester, we’ll be doing just that by dedicating the extra time we once used to focus on our Friday print product to update our website even more and bring you content in innovative ways.

We’ll be making our online articles more engaging by embedding more photos, videos, tweets, graphics and polls. Our creative desk is already brainstorming eye-catching graphics to help you gain a deeper understanding of our stories.

We will have a greater emphasis on breaking news and getting news onto our site in more timely fashion without sacrificing accuracy. We’ll be pushing for more student followers for our @UBSpectrum Twitter account and Facebook page so we can get you the news faster. Our reporters will be active on Twitter so you’ll learn the news as we learn it.

And look out for our revitalized Instagram account, which will give you a look at the stories happening on campus and in Western New York through the lens of our photographers.

We’re also experimenting with new content, like a Spectrum blog that breaks down the latest music and fashion trends and a weekly UB sports talk show.

And we’re going to engage with you more.

Seen posts about our sex survey for our upcoming Sex Issue? You’ll be seeing many more surveys like this as we look to make our content more interactive.

I – like many of you and most of my staff – love and care about our print edition. We know people read it on campus and sometimes during class. Technology is great, but it’s still more satisfying to hold and read paper.

And even after nearly four years of working for this paper, I still get excited when I see someone sitting down on campus reading a copy of The Spectrum or when a professor, administrator or fellow student starts a sentence with “I read in The Spectrum that...” It gives validation to the tremendous amount of hours my staff and I spend in 132 Student Union every week.

During the past year I’ve gotten the same satisfaction seeing students retweet and share stories about important topics, like last semester’s “White Only” art project and living conditions in the Heights, and watching articles about dad bods or threesomes blow up with clicks and sit atop our most-viewed stories.

Print and web can coexist. Our website gives us a flexibility and wider readership we can’t get from an on-campus print edition. But there’s that transported, quiet feeling you get when holding a newspaper that you can’t get staring at a screen.

Both are valuable.

And both will continue.

We’re just shifting our priority. Our print edition will now compliment our website, rather than the reverse.

We see it as a choice for the future. It gives us the chance to provide you with even more updated information about campus and beyond. And it will help make us better, more marketable journalists when we leave UB.

See you on the web.

Tom Dinki is the editor in chief and can be reached at tom.dinki@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tomdinki.