In our previous issue, one of Peddie News’ editors wrote a piece stating his belief that Peddie News needed to return to printed, physical copies. This seems to be a popular sentiment among students and some staff, one that, as an avid admirer of journalism, I completely understand. Yet, it is my opinion that as of right now, Peddie News simply cannot return to print in its current state, and I feel obligated to step beyond my typical behind the scenes role of an Editor-in-Chief to explain why.
It seems to be perceived among the community that the Peddie News team is unaware of our own alleged irrelevancy. I assure you, as a member of the publication for three years now, I am acutely aware of this fact, but have often found myself unable to do anything about it.
Since its transfer to an Internet publication seven years ago, Peddie News has been able to publish around six articles a week, every week. The effort that goes into this includes an editors’ meeting to decide the subject of pieces each week, the assigning of articles, the reporting and writing of articles by our staff writers, editing done by section editors, editing done by the Co-Editors in Chief and editing done by our staff sponsor all before they are published each week. This does not include the conscious effort Peddie News makes to pursue promotion, including emails and updates to our Instagram account.
The Peddie News team has made an immense effort to produce genuine content important and relatable to our community, and I feel in every way we conceivably can, we have done that.
Logistically, a print publication would be almost impossible to return to currently. The effort within returning to such a format would be overwhelming as there are complicated matters such as a printer, a layout and relevancy. It would be impossible to produce a quality paper copy each week, as we are barely able to produce an online version up to our high standards. At best, if Peddie News was a literal paper once again we could produce maybe an issue a month and thus could not pursue journalism that would expire within that timeline. Furthermore, all that effort would be to produce a paper copy that students would likely leaf through before throwing our efforts into the garbage can. Plus, there are benefits an Internet publication presents that just cannot be matched. Besides the more consistent and relevant articles we are able to publish, Peddie News is able to reach a much larger community. Alumni, parents and other members of the community have access to a genuine news source that is connected to the community in a way no other publication or source is.
The only way I could imagine Peddie News returning to print is if it were to become a journalism class that was full year. In a way similar to yearbook, the primary focus of the class would be to produce print copies of the Peddie News. Though I personally love this idea, I’m not sure if there is enough dedication within the community to enact this plan. Our current staff is barely willing to dedicate time to an Internet publication in their already busy schedules, and as an Editor-in-Chief I think I’m privy to state that I unfortunately have little faith that a staff would be willing to put forth the time and effort to create a paper copy – even of the oldest publication on campus.
This article may seem cynical, but I assure you it comes from a place of love for journalism and a genuine admiration for all those on the Peddie News team as well as their journalistic efforts. But why does the community feel it appropriate to criticize us in our current state and make bold claims for us to return to print, when they apparently cannot even bother to open an email now?
So in response to an op-ed last week making bold claims that Peddie News should simply return to print; I assure my readers, we would if we could, but for numerous reasons for right now an Internet publication reigns supreme.