With a new year, a new focus


By Megan Jones

Since 1871, The Daily Illini has provided news for University students. Throughout these years, we’ve seen changes arise, adapted to new technologies — and we are still learning every day.

Starting this semester, we’ll only publish a print product on Monday and Thursday, and refocus some of our efforts to our website on a daily basis. We will continue to publish special supplements throughout the year, as well. We may not be running the presses each day, but The Daily Illini will still be a daily publication. Only the medium is changing.

Students don’t always have time to stop and pick up a copy of the paper (heck, sometimes even I don’t).

Through the data that we’ve seen on our website analytics, we often receive more traffic from breaking news stories than regular print content. In May, we launched a new website, and we’ve seen the amount of mobile traffic increase magnificently over the last year.

We asked ourselves, “Why are we spending long nights on production to create a product that doesn’t fully mesh with the student lifestyle?” The print schedule was consuming, and instead, we could be focusing our energy on providing up-to-date content online, available anytime.

We need to serve our campus community with the best quality content and product, and sadly, our print product can’t always do that. We are your peers. We see students on Yik Yak and Snapchat more often than we see them holding large copies of the DI on the bus, and it’s time to adapt how we deliver our content to make sense with that.

Life moves fast, and college students know this better than most. In an effort to keep up with you, we are shifting to an online focus so we can produce content faster than ever, with live updates and more multimedia and web development options.

Yes, seeing a decrease in print publications obviously saddens us. Yes, tradition is hard to break and the smell of fresh ink is hard not to miss. But we are excited and ready to begin a new era of digital news.

We will experiment, test, revise and recreate our production schedule, and it won’t all happen at once. In trying to adapt to a new culture, we are reinventing ourselves and the way we serve you.

Please reach out to me if you have any thoughts, and I greatly recommend you follow us on social media accounts to keep up with us. Hopefully, we can become an organization that helps reinvent a new wave of journalism.

[email protected]?