By Luis Quintanilla
It’s official: The Settler, after years of being a physical newspaper one could pick up from various stands around campus, has succumbed to the confinement of digitalization. This was hinted in last week’s editorial, which dealt with the topic of the rapid digitalization of media and the subsequent straggling of mediums such as newspapers and other print. Now it has hit close to home.
Being digital isn’t anything new for Vol State’s student newspaper. Like any newspaper caught in the 60 ft. wave that is the digital age, it adapted with an online presence since 2012. Alongside several social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, The Settler was not a newspaper left in the stone age, but this is the first time it’s printing production has halted.
This change was expected. Plans to go only digital were in the talks for Fall 2020, but due primarily to lack of writers this semester, the newspaper had no choice but to post its stories online starting now. Again, this is nothing new. The paper has been doing so since 2012, posting all its stories found on its eight physical pages onto its website soon after print. But since there are not enough writers to cover stories to fill eight pages, print itself is no longer viable.
Journalism is important in several factors, but most importantly it serves to inform the masses, that is citizens, on the world around them and the people in it. Whether pixels on a screen or type on a thin piece of paper, the information gathered by writers to inform readers is important, even when at times it appears trivial. So to see a drop in writers for Vol State’s paper is unfortunate.
But there is two sides to this coin. Although one will no longer see copies of the Settler stacked on one another around campus, the same information held within its pages will now be found in the phone of one’s hand. Going fully digital means no longer waiting a week waiting on print, but will allow for quicker and easier access to stories and information of events going around campus. As stated in the last editorial, most people receive their news and information on their mobile devices, so hopefully an online only version of the Settler will be more handy for these people.
Still it is sad to think for the time being, copies of the Settler, a compilation of work from writers, editors, and faculty advisor Clay Scott will not see its physical manifestation on stands around campus. However, like all things the Settler will adapt.