The Uniter(.ca)

There’s a question still making its rounds through the media, in newsrooms, in classrooms, in online think pieces and sometimes even in actual printed newspapers. What’s going to happen to print journalism in an increasingly online-based world? 

I’m not going to pretend to have an answer or even fully address this question, especially in an editorial note. But it is something that we at The Uniter are closely watching. 

Just last week, the University of Alberta Gateway went online-only, so there is now one big Canadian student newspaper making a bold move. In late January, Postmedia cut 90 staff in newsrooms across the country. Closer to home, the Winnipeg Free Press has been running online content behind a paywall for about half a year now, while they continue to run a print edition. 

When considering how and where to share stories, markets and revenues play a big role in the decision. But we also have to consider where the readers are. 

And next week, as campus halls quiet a bit for reading week, we thought it might make a little less sense to put a hard copy of the paper on stands. So we’re going to leave this issue out for you for a little longer, and try a little experiment of our own. 

The next issue of The Uniter will be online-only. We’ll be covering the same issues, the same beats that you’ve come to expect from us, but we’re going to play with it a bit. 

Online media is a whole other world, with its own languages and traditions. Since there’s no Lonely Planet guide to online media just yet, we came up with a list – the precursor to a listicle – of common formats and extra add-ons to compliment our words. 

If you’re reading this in an actual printed paper, and find your palms sweating and throat clenching as you ask, “What is going to HAPPEN to The Uniter? What are they DOING?” – don’t fret. Think of it as a brief holiday. Come visit us in our home away from home, it’s not that far, just over at Uniter.ca. 

We’re watching the trends, but we’re not changing anything anytime soon. So watch your favourite stand or newsbox on February 25 – We’ll be back (in both worlds) before you know it. 

- Anastasia Chipelski, Managing Editor

Published in Volume 70, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 11, 2016)

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