Scattered in newspaper stands around campus, the Cardinal & Cream has long been a key source for Union student news.
In years past, the paper has run six editions per semester, in both print and, more recently, web formats. However, starting in fall 2013, the publication plan has been changed to include three web-only editions and three printed editions that will also be available on the web.
One of the goals for this change is to increase readership.
“I hope that people who are tech-savvy will take advantage of the change,” said McKenzie Masters, editor-in-chief of the Cardinal & Cream. “We’re going for a bigger presence on Facebook and Twitter. All the editors will have a day to write something for the Facebook page or tweet on Twitter, which will bring personality to the posts; they won’t be stale or impersonal, and will keep followers updated.
The switch to more and online-only editions is an effort to promote awareness of and traffic to the new website (www.cardinalandcream.org) and reflect the current trends among potential readers.
“I would be more apt to click on a story through the Cardinal & Cream Twitter page than to pick up and read a paper,” Masters said.
The online-only editions will provide student writers the opportunity to develop multi-media pieces that can be used in their portfolios.
“We want to keep the department up-to-date and prepare students for post-college experiences,” said Kathleen Murray, visiting assistant professor of photojournalism and Cardinal & Cream faculty adviser. “The student writers will be responsible for making a social media blast on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
“The hope is that links and photos will be shared within the Union community and in the online communities each social media user has established in order to draw people in.”
The responsibility for the social media blast falls on the editorial staff members.
“We’ve made it so everyone has a role in the promotion of the Cardinal & Cream,” Masters said. “In order for this change to be a success and for our goals to be reached, we need everyone to be involved. It’s a team effort, especially now, because of the social media side.”
Murray said that fewer print editions are more “practical and cost-effective” and will enable this semester’s printed editions to be of better quality, both in material and in content.
The first print edition of the paper this semester was scheduled for a Sept. 12 distribution, with another edition following every two weeks.