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Western Herald reduces print publication

June 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Citing a need to prepare journalism students for the constantly evolving field, Western Michigan University's student-run newspaper will focus more on its Web entity and reduce its print publication to twice a week.

Starting fall semester, the Western Herald will switch from its four-day Monday through Thursday daily schedule to publish two days on Monday and Thursday, along with the Weekend Scene. It will continue its presence on the Web as a 24/7 news source and develop its video sharing, audio podcasts, photo slide show and interactive Web entity, according to General Manager Brian Abbott.

"We're here to prepare students for a job, and readers are going to the Web more and more," Abbott says. "Newspapers are looking for students who have these skills. We need to be focusing on that and giving them that hands-on experience."

Newspapers across the country and several in Michigan are closing or reducing publication schedules in favor of a larger Web presence. These include metro Detroit' two large dailies, the Free Press and Detroit News; Bay City Times, Saginaw News and Flint Journal that all reduced their delivery schedules from seven to three days a week. The Ann Arbor News also shutters in July, while the Web-based news entity AnnArbor.com will begin.

The change at the Western Herald will hone news skills for students outside of the classroom and possibly draw students who are tech savvy into the field, says the newspaper's editor, Ashley Wioskowski.

"We're giving ourselves this opportunity that we might not have elsewhere," says the junior from Gobles, Mich., who is majoring in journalism. "It will be a big learning curve for a lot of us, but maybe it will open the door for other students that might have this experience and haven't tried journalism before."


For more information, contact Brian Abbott at brian.abbott@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2110.

Media contact: Deanne Molinari, (269) 387-8400, deanne.molinari@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400