From newspaper to magazine

October 11, 2021

In an age where digital technology has taken over the world, journalism is no exception. When daily newspaper printing was at its peak, we were finding out the news that happened yesterday when the paper hit the stands the following morning. People want to find out the news as it happens or directly after. Digital publishing allows us to provide this.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sundial stopped printing for the first time in history. This forced us to do something we didn’t do much before — publishing daily news online. This was a step in the right direction on a road to us keeping up with what I like to call “new school journalism.”

While we would love to take all the credit, my team and I are not responsible for creating a Sundial news magazine. The 2019-2020 school year’s editor-in-chief, Madison Parsley, took the Sundial from a daily print newspaper to a weekly news magazine. Her staff, which I was a part of, printed weekly themed issues on communities that make up our campus.

As time goes on, it’s important to refine ideas. After much planning, the Sundial is finally back on stands in a different format.

When looking at a magazine in general, it’s important that everything has a niche. The editorial team and I decided that the magazine will cover issues we face as a generation in addition to covering communities to highlight the voices on our campus that are seldom heard.

We also changed the size of the magazine to an 8.5×11 glossy cover as opposed to a traditional magazine format. Newspapers are something many publications are trying to break away from due to the fact that they can be a bit outdated and not as necessary in the digital age.

We don’t want to see our hard work go to waste. We don’t want our audience to read it and toss it into a trash can. Our work takes hours of the team’s time and many trees died for the news to end up on the laps of our audience. We wanted to treat it as such.

The glossy cover allows the audience to preserve it as a keepsake. Traditional newspaper’s shelf life is not long and we wanted to create something evergreen with a longer lasting impact.

The final change we made is the frequency of our print schedule. You might think, “Wow they went from daily to weekly to semi-monthly in a span of three years?” I know it’s a big change, however, it’s for a valid reason.

All of our editors and reporters’ energies went to working on the stories that would not go on stands until the next Wednesday when the copy is printed weekly. This is not feasible. Coming into my position as print editor, I want our reporting content to be amazing in every facet.

The three-week slate we now have to publish the next issue allows the Sundial to publish better content on our website. It gives editors time to work on multimedia projects and it allows for what we put on stands to be thorough and accurate.

I know the change may be large and uncomfortable for some who have followed the Sundial for years. Sometimes change can be good. We are trying to adapt and navigate the digital era while keeping print alive for our audience!

Be a part of the change and continue to follow us through this journey as we continue to provide the CSUN and greater San Fernando Valley community with campus and local news.

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