One of our proudest achievements this semester as a paper has been our new website and improvements to our web presence in general. Our WordPress-hosted website, designed and implemented by our own Kyle Rosenberg ‘13, is both attractive and user-friendly.
Last Friday, we had 4,576 page-views on the site, the highest daily total so far. Particularly popular articles have been viewed thousands of times by themselves and liked on Facebook hundreds of times. Our reporting has been referenced by many major media outlets, such as the Star Tribune and City Pages.
Next year, The Mac Weekly plans to build on this success and make full use of the advantages of publishing online–specifically, stories can be put out more quickly and reach a wider audience than if they are published only in each Friday’s print edition. In our coverage of the Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus (KWOC) sit-in, we published our first story online as soon as it was finished, rather than waiting until Friday as we normally do. We also published updates on the story as they happened, rather than waiting until this week’s print edition. We chose to do this because we knew students would be aware of updates to the story, such as the college administration’s decision to remain with Wells Fargo, well before this Friday, and we wanted to present a reported account of the news as soon as possible.
We also wanted to avoid falling behind the coverage of the protests put out by mainstream news outlets, since as Macalester’s student newspaper we wanted to make sure our accounts of news involving Macalester students can be part of the conversation as soon as possible when other outlets chose to cover it as well. We also used our Twitter account (@themacweekly, follow us!) to report breaking news in real time.
Next year, we plan to cover other stories that are developing quickly and/or that generate outside media coverage in similar ways. There’s no reason for us to treat our website and Twitter as simply extensions of the weekly print edition, as we have in the past, and no reason for us to not have some measure of flexibility about when we publish news to allow for more topical coverage.
In addition to emphasizing our website in the future, we will decrease our run of paper copies to cut down on waste and publish PDF files of our print edition online so readers who are not on campus can see what the The Mac Weekly looks like on paper.
In this announcement about the future of the paper, we’d be remiss if we did not mention that in a vitally important way that future belongs to you, the students. If you have any ideas for how to make The Mac Weekly better, or any stories you think we should explore, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us. Over the summer, we may not be working on the paper, or staying up to ungodly hours on Wednesday nights, but we will be thinking about what we can do to be better. The Mac Weekly truly belongs to everyone at Macalester, not just those who work on it, so please let us know what we can do for you.
The Mac Weekly Staff