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College Papers = Ad Dollars

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by lesboulez, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. lesboulez

    lesboulez Member

    who says the kids aren't reading...

  2. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    There are still plenty of situations where young people are reading papers, whether its the Yuppie commuter on the subway or the kid that grabs a paper on the way to class. The industry needs to make more of an effort to tap into that.

    If the ad revenue is there, why not have a print product that skews younger and is available free on college and high school campuses? We all know that despite all the pressure to go online, the money still comes from the print product. Why aren't we looking for more and better ways to make the print product(s) profitable?

    If I was running the chain I work for I would produce a football section to hand out at college games on Saturday mornings. We already have papers all over the state, beat writers covering the two major schools and a brand-new printing press located smack-dab in the middle of the two campuses. Why not produce something with previews of the college games, high school scores from all over the state and a bunch of ads telling you where to eat and drink before and after the game, then go hand it out to the tailgaters?
  3. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I do think an answer is in what you are talking about. Weekly arts/alternative magazines have done well at reaching their readers by putting them out there, usually for free, at places where their demographic is going to be — restaurants, shopping, coffee shops, etc.

    Your local paper, in my opinion, should give itself away at every hotel in town, at high schools and colleges and via promotions. And advertisers who may be interested in reaching those niches should be told exactly how many of those free papers are circulating at Central High or at State U or at the Holiday Inn Express...
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Students need something to read during class, or before class starts.
  5. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    Or in the bathroom.
  6. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    Here's the problem for professional newspapers trying to tap into that college newspaper success, as I see it: College papers are widely read by students mainly because they cover the campus with ridiculously more depth than any professional paper in the area could, and they are usually the only source for that coverage. For a professional newspaper in or near a typical college town, the college campus is only one of many beats that paper has to cover. For the college paper, however, the campus is IT. College papers cover a lot of student events that a professional newspaper won't or don't have the resources to cover. This is also made possible because of the pools of free labor many college papers get in the swarms of J-school students wanting to work for the paper. In order for a professional newspaper to get anywhere close to that level of readership among students, it would have to go cover all those campus events. In shifting its resources to do so, it would basically neglect most of its readership -- non-students. Furthermore, the readership among college students will plummet in the summer months, making it that much more unfeasible for a professional paper to remake itself into a campus paper.
  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Well said, captzulu. Most importantly, most college papers are free. So there's four (or five, or six) years of free news -- how many after graduation then accept paying for it? Not nearly enough.
  8. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    The local rag where I went to school was free to those who lived in the dorms. I always thought that was kind of cool, though I don't think it's the case anymore.
  9. WoodyWommack

    WoodyWommack Member

    I went to school at UCF in Orlando, and when I was there you could get the school paper for free, the Orlando Sentinel for free, the New York Times for free, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal for free. Not sure how well it's working to hook young readers though.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Professional outlets trying to go glitzy and tap into the college market don't do so well. Ask folks at the Centre Daily Times about how Blue went over at Penn State.
  11. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    We had to pay $5.00 per semester for our school paper to be available at all campus buildings, although anyone who wanted a refund could request one. The local rag, along with the two big metros from the state and the New York Times were also available for free in buildings. The communications building had all of them for free, and from time to time had the Wall Street Journal and some others for free as well.

    It was really cool, but in those days you were sitting in classrooms, or cafeteria's or dorms for awkward 10-20 minute breaks all day long. Now, it's not like that. It's sitting on a computer all day long, at work, or from the press box, or from home, and all the sites are accessible. Who wants to sit and read with a paper sprawled all over there desk.

    It also makes you look lazy if you are reading other newspapers at work all day. Nobody notices if you are loading them up on your browser.
  12. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Wish that was the case at my school, being I was in college when The National was still around. Even though I had to pay, my roomates didn't care too much for my newspaper addiction.
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