Since 1901, The Bulletin has been a voice for the students at Emporia State.
As technology has changed, the newspaper has changed with it. The newspaper’s current website is something that would have been undreamed of just a couple of generations ago. Now, esubulletin.com—along with the newspaper’s social media presence—are integral parts of our coverage, supplementing but not replacing the traditional print editions. The focus groups we have conducted over the past few years tell us that students like having the print edition. We do, too.
But many regional newspapers, faced with declining ad revenues and changing readerships, have reduced their publication schedules or changed their delivery methods. The Wichita Eagle, for example, recently announced it would stop Saturday publication, but put more resources into a weekend package edition. And, the Emporia Gazette dropped carrier delivery in May in favor of postal delivery. So, too, must the The Bulletin adapt to a changing media landscape.
As of this semester, we will reduce our print publication schedule to every other week during the semester. This will be an experiment in saving printing costs, as well as a way to channel more resources into our online presence.
The cost-cutting measure is made necessary by a combination of two things: declining ad revenues (which all newspapers have experienced in the past few years) and a reduction in our fee allocation two years ago by Associated Student Government. Despite many cost-saving measures implemented in the intervening time period—and an emergency grant last semester by Students Affairs—we face the unpleasant task of having to make significant cuts. The question was whether we would keep the weekly print schedule as it has been for the past decade, or whether we would reduce coverage. Our decision is to cut back on the print edition, but to continue the vigorous, independent coverage we’re known for.
The print edition will continue to be delivered on Thursdays, to all of the campus and community locations it had before. There is, however, a change in the deadline to submit press releases and advertising to us. This is made necessary because, among all the other changes we’re facing, we have also had to change printers. The Bulletin will no longer be published at the Salina Journal, which has ceased publishing onsite (but continues as a solid community newspaper, but printed elsewhere). Our new printer is at the Hutchinson News. This change has made it necessary to have earlier deadlines. Beginning now, all press releases and advertisements intended for the next print edition must reach us by noon on Friday preceding publication.
The publication dates for this semester are: Sept. 12 and 26; Oct. 17 and 31; and Nov. 14.
Change is often painful, but is necessary for growth. In our more than a century of publication, The Bulletin has seen many changes. When we began, women didn’t have the right to vote, antibiotics had yet to be invented, there had been no world wars, and commercial radio was still a couple of decades away.
What lies ahead? Well, it’s risky to predict the future. We don’t know how, in the next few years, technology will transform us. We just know that it will continue to do so. What we do know, however, is that journalism will continue to be vital to democracy—in whatever form it is delivered.