Sad to See BYU’s The Daily Universe Go from Daily Print to Digital Only; It Was the Right Move
I was saddened to find out Brigham Young University’s, The Daily Universe, changed from a daily print newspaper to online only. A January issue of The Universe reported the BYU Communications Department made the decision to move the paper to a digital first news based on the evolving news industry, the curriculum, the financial state of the paper and decreased advertising.
This is nothing new. Newspapers and magazines across the country have been making these moves for the very same reasons for years; moves which included reductions in force. The Communications Department let eight of their full-time Universe staff go.
As a BYU alumnus, I remember fondly my days working at the campus daily newspaper. At the time (late 1980’s), the award winning newspaper was the largest campus daily in the U.S. It was a full-size newspaper covering campus life, campus news, local news, national news and sports.
I had the privilege of working there as a student sports writer, a senior reporter and as news editor. I covered many great stories including Ty Detmer’s first game on a BYU football field, on-location coverage of the first NASA Shuttle flight two years after Challenger was destroyed, a student suicide in Deseret Towers, the Utah County Commission, the drama of the Yellowstone wildfires and politics.
It was a great time in my life. It was a great time for the campus, for Utah and for our nation. I will always remember the teachers, professors and Universe staff who helped and mentored me during those great days at the paper.
Change can be difficult. Especially when tradition becomes a victim to change, but the BYU Communications Department made the right move. In fact, it probably should have done it sooner. Today’s world requires instant and constant digital news, available on the digital devices we carry and use.
The newsgathering and reporting at BYU needed to change in order for today’s journalism students to learn how to perform their craft within this digital world – an ever-changing world that can literally be different by the time they graduate.