Alexandra DeMarco

It’s no secret that newspapers across the country — especially those with smaller circulations — suffered this year. While the battle between print and digital has been raging on for decades now, the decreased personal interaction of the pandemic has led to a decline in pick-up rates for physical papers, as well as a decline in opportunities for advertising revenue. Not as many students, faculty and staff wander campus these days, leaving fewer patrons interested in picking up a print copy of The Daily Beacon.

In recent years, The Daily Beacon has slowly been decreasing its circulation and number of issues per volume. Because of the changes the newspaper industry and our personal paper have undergone this year, The Daily Beacon will now be transitioning to a once-a-month print schedule for the spring 2021 semester. This situation is hopefully temporary, as we are aiming to return to our weekly printing schedule by fall 2021.

Our digital content will remain the same, and our team of editors and staff writers, photographers and videographers will continue to work toward our goal of providing accurate, objective and newsworthy stories pertinent to our campus and East Tennessee. Because most of our readership occurs online anyway, we will continue to maintain a valuable relationship with our community and university through our website and various social media outlets.

The four issues that we do publish in the spring — in addition to our two magazines, Rocky Top and the Housing Guide — will be the culmination of months of work, and we will be using this schedule to our advantage by taking extra time each month to ensure that the quality of our stories is substantial. Our first paper will be published on the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 20, and we will publish on the second Wednesday of each month through April.

Now, more than ever, it is important that you support your favorite local and student-run newspapers, whether that be through a donation or simply by taking the time to read through their websites. Student newspapers play a crucial role in the development of young journalists. In our newsroom on the bottom floor of the Communications Building, students learn how to report, interview, film and shoot content for everything from serious investigative pieces to lighthearted entertainment.

The skills student newspaper outlets provide are irreplaceable, and without them, the next generation of student journalists would be missing out on a fantastic opportunity to professionally practice journalism and hone their understanding of news ethics prior to entering the workforce outside of their universities. It is imperative that we work to ensure these institutions are able to remain in operation — especially during a time of particular international importance, when every day seems to arrive with some new, and usually disastrous, story.

Throughout the next semester, please continue to visit our website regularly. If you are interested in placing an ad with us — digital or print — please contact admanager@utk.edu.

You can find us online at utdailybeacon.com and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @UTKDailyBeacon. If you are interested in working for us, please apply online through our website. For more information, contact editorinchief@utdailybeacon.com.

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