For nearly 150 years — 77 years after UT's founding — UT students have had the privilege of conceptualizing, creating, publishing and putting their work into the hands of its community.
In 1871, this exchange took place through a semi-monthly newspaper, The University Times-Prospectus. In 1906, the Prospectus transformed into the Orange and White, which published for 61 years as a weekly and later semi-weekly paper. And in 1967, it became The Daily Beacon, the daily student newspaper printing Monday through Friday — the paper you hold in your hands today. Kind of.
The Beacon has evolved drastically in the 50 years since it became a daily newspaper, and even over the past four years, the paper has become barely recognizable to what was on stands when those now leaving first arrived
The Beacon has transformed from a daily broadsheet paper to a daily tabloid publication. It's gone from printing 10,000 copies every day to 6,000. Our staff has been restructured, and our newsroom has gotten (reluctantly) more tech-friendly.
And at the same time, journalists in Knoxville and across the world have watched the media monster morph into an entirely different beast — a beast that print-focused journalism just doesn't stand a chance against.
So in the fall of 2017, The Daily Beacon will be making yet another monumental change.
After 50 years of producing a newspaper five days a week, the Beacon will be switching to a twice-weekly publication, distributing physical copies all over campus only on Mondays and Thursdays.
We'll still be The “Daily” Beacon, publishing news, entertainment and sports content online Monday through Sunday, but the print copies will be less frequent, include more pages and only consist of the best written, researched and relevant articles to our campus community. We aren't removing print from our priority list; we're placing it where readers want it.
Our website will be the spot for breaking news, that night's game scores and the information you need to know when it happens. Our paper — your paper — will be home to features, investigative pieces and all the content that makes sitting down to read a paper worth it, including the crossword puzzle.
We're not changing because we no longer believe in print but because we still believe in journalism, and, if you've been around long enough, you know that journalism's only constant is change.
So whether you read this paper every day or you only picked it up to look intelligent walking to class, we hope you stick around for this change. We hope we can still inform you — online and in print. And fifty years from now, when the 2067-2068 Beacon Editor-in-Chief writes a letter to talk about their unthinkable change, we hope they look back at 2017 and say it started there.
By Bradi Musil, 2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief and Alex Holcomb, 2017-2018 Editor-in-Chief