After an historic 46-year run, Western News will publish its final print edition on June 21.
Those aren’t the easiest words to write for those of us who love print in all its messy, costly, time-consuming glory. But we realize the time has come. We have changed. You have changed. And we both know there are far better ways of presenting and delivering news and information about this institution.
Western News traces its roots to The University of Western Ontario Newsletter, a one-page leaflet that debuted on Sept. 23, 1965. The first issue of the newspaper you know today, under founding editor Alan Johnston, was published on Nov. 16, 1972, merging the UWO Times and Western Times newsletters.
For nearly the last half century, we have held a unique position at this institution and within Canadian postsecondary education. Today, we stand as the last ad-supported and one of the few remaining university print newspapers in the country.
Our success has been thanks to a cast of thousands – dozens of staff, hundreds of advertisers and thousands upon thousands of readers who have supported us.
But for years, we have watched as fewer and fewer of you picked up the print product every week, while more and more of you consumed our content in its various digital forms. Tracking the numbers closely, we soon realized the time, energy and resources allocated to the production of a print product were better deployed delivering more and deeper content.
Rest assured, this is not the end of Western News. In fact, the end of the print product accelerates an exciting digital chapter for Western News – one already well underway.
Each week, the Western News team works to feed more than a print edition, by providing dozens of stories and photographs for the university homepage; Inside Western; faculty, department and unit websites; social media channels; alumni magazines and faculty publications; press releases; and so on.
There are few corners of this university Western News has not told the story of – and we will continue to do so in a new environment.
Free from the demands associated with the print edition, our team will cover more events in a timely manner, as well as provide new types of content not feasible in print, due to time or space limitations, including exclusive features and profiles, photo essays, videos, podcasts, etc., as well as long-form assignments.
We still love print – and we mark this passing with a celebration of its past alongside a touch of sadness.
However, the stories do not end here. In fact, it is only the beginning.