For more than 100 years, the OU Daily has existed in print. His newspapers filled newsstands on campus and in wider areas of the city and were once distributed five times a week.
Through decades of coverage, our journalism has changed its presentation to occupy multiple mediums, including magazines, tabloids and now our website, where we receive the most engagement from our audience. But our printing papers are no longer the commodities they used to be.
You could take a paper in times of chaos that require comfort, as The Daily covers presidential resignations or campus protests. Or, you might be drawn to an eye-catching cover, like when a A UT fan was caught shutting down the Sooners during the 2020 Red River Rivalry game. I know I have three copies somewhere in my closet.
But, as I walk around campus, it saddens me to see the newspapers that our copy and design offices spend countless hours accumulating in huge piles in our newsstands. I don’t blame our audience – most of you have already read the stories they contain online. An increased digital presence means you no longer have to carry around our four-page document to get the latest news.
While we love our physical paper and the history it has had as an independent and informative source of information that students, staff and residents of Normandy can retrieve anytime on campus, this no longer fits our digital orientation.
After over 100 years, we’re ready to say goodbye to this iteration, and this will be our last weekly print edition.
If you are currently reading this in one of our articles, first I would like to thank you for the dedication you have shown to our publication. In many ways, you have been worth the efforts of our copy and design offices.
I also hope you’ll find comfort in knowing that just because it’s our last weekly doesn’t mean you won’t see us in print anymore. Our other editions, including the Crimson Quarterly, New to OU, our Back to School journal, Living Guide, etc., will still be distributed.
We will also start fresh with new editions which will be presented under the generic term of “guide”. These guides will be published approximately once a month and will cover topics ranging from a Best of Norman guide, a phrase guide which will be a collection of opinion pieces and essays written by students and staff from the Daily, and a guide celebrating the promotion of OU.
The aim of these editions is to bring utility to the print medium – which has more recently come to recycle our online content – by producing separate, larger stories in service to the community that exist inside a blanket eye-catcher that you will want to display on your walls or coffee tables. . We look forward to seeing you at the South Oval to distribute these editions and look forward to the potential of the empty kiosks.
I hope this increased focus on digital will be understood as a way to strengthen the sustainability of our operations. As we enter this new era of The Daily, we want to continue to bring you breaking news and longer content featuring the voices of the community. This transition will allow us to focus more on journalism that informs our readers, empowers those in power and sends our staff members internships and jobs around the world.
Looking at the three years of printed papers that decorate the walls of my bedroom, I would say this moment is bittersweet. I loved bringing printed copies of the articles I write to my grandparents, and I still feel moments of disbelief when I walk into Midway Deli and see my friends’ names on the cover of our log. But that joy and pride is something I know I will feel as we produce these less frequent but more robust releases while simultaneously deepening our digital focus.
As we enter the year ahead with reflections from members of the OU community on two tumultuous years, we hope you will walk alongside us as we too enter our “new normal”. This final weekly will be the first themed edition you can add to your future collection as we continue to research ways to improve audience engagement.
We look forward to continuing to serve as an independent student voice at UO, and we hope you keep this article for years to come.