It was sometime this month two years ago that, while still an undergraduate at Temple University, I started tossing around what I hoped to be a new tagline for The Temple News, the college newspaper on North Broad Street.
Weekly in Print. Daily online, I suggested.
I wrote it on a piece of paper and posted it in my cubicle, as editorial page editor. In the mid-1990s, our newspaper staff rather presciently decided to move from printing three days a week to just once, having already dropped from a daily a few years earlier.
The intent, a front-page story read at the time, was to reduce costs at a time when the Internet would soon be the source of all news. Gosh, they were a bit too early, but dead on. So, they’d update daily online and follow-up with the biggest stories weekly.
A fine concept if it had carried through. However, at some point, the legendary NEWS, as old-head TTNers call it, fell into disrepair in the late 1990s and into the 21st-century. Despite some bright spots and top talent, the paper became a tabloid weekly at best.
By the time I got to Room 243 in October 2004, things were already improving. By my senior year, we were returning to national recognition — having repeated with an Online Pacemaker, awarded by the AP’s Collegiate division. I wondered if a tagline could further change the culture of a newsroom.
So, among a slew of other initiatives, we set about, as a staff, returning our focus to daily online updates, with bigger, more feature-orientated pieces in the weekly product. We started the action, so the pledge seemed to be a logical next step.