Student newspapers switch focus from paper to online newspapers

December 12, 2012

As the media world moves to more digital forms, those who are used to reading a physical newspaper may find the change bittersweet. In 2009, Ann Arbor News was the first major newspaper to go all digital, with the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Detroit Free Press following a few years later.

Now, university newspapers too are making the switch from print editions. For newspapers hoping to make this transition, scanning services can help publications bring their archives into the digital realm.

Starting next year, the Arizona State University student-run newspaper will begin printing a weekly paper instead of a daily, instead providing new content to the paper's website, along with smartphone and tablet applications. Arizona State is not the first to do so, since many university newspapers have younger audiences – more keen on the idea of a digital format – than their "real-world" counterparts.

At the same time, the Daily, News Corp's iPad-only newspaper, announced recently that after two years, the paper would end publication, implying that, at least currently there is still a preference in some audiences for traditional newspapers. The Daily, which required a subscription, competed with other digital – and free – news formats.

As student and professional newspapers continue to publish both digital and paper copies simultaneously, many may begin the process of bringing past copies into the digital world as well. Digital archives of paper newspapers are easier to access for most readers, who may even be more inclined to transition to fully-digital papers.

For print publications working to move into digital formats, bulk scanning services can not only efficiently scan the large volumes many newspapers have archived, but also add indexing to papers to offer easy accessibility to past information and articles.