If you are a devoted reader of the Kirksville Daily Express, you have my sympathies. The local news source recently announced plans to switch from six days a week to a twice-weekly printing schedule for its newspaper, looking to focus more on the digital platform. The newspaper will print every Wednesday and Friday starting in October. I’m sure the content of the paper will remain as good as ever, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.
While I do enjoy the easy access of this digital age of journalism, I am also saddened to see the skill and art of page designs disappear and will miss the routine of picking up a physical copy each morning. Unfortunately, these are the kind of cutbacks being made all across the nation. Newspaper staffs and publications have been reduced while budgets are slashed, making the duties of journalists even more difficult while the need is ever growing.
In his column, Jason Hunsicker said the rising production costs of the newspaper were a major factor in the decision to switch production schedules. Maintaining a budget for printing is an issue experienced by many media companies, including The Index, however, I question why a budget should determine a community’s access to information. Journalism is like a public service, so I don’t like the idea of a bottom dollar being its driving force. Despite being the editor of another local news source, I wish the Daily the best in this new stage they are entering, as tough as it might be.
The Kirksville Daily Express is already doing some fantastic things with social media to get information out as soon as possible, which I think is great. I am excited to see where it goes as it devotes more time its digital platform in the future. Whether journalists like it or not, online is where the readers and the industry are heading.