The Mirror transitions to online platform


Breanna Rae Weber

The Mirror staff members are excited about the digital transition.

Leah Ulatowski, Editor-in-Chief

This is the last time you will see The Mirror in this format. After extensive deliberation between the editors and advisors that started early last year, we have decided that going completely digital will best serve our future hopes for the publication. This means stories will be continually posted to the website,, as well as news snippets to the social media accounts, but we will no longer provide a monthly print product.

We understand that some readers are loyal to the print model, especially former editors. We are grateful for their continued support over the years, but the world is changing. We have watched as bookstores and video stores struggle to remain relevant with the ease of e-books and movie streaming. News organizations are fighting a similar battle. With dwindling subscribers, many publications are switching to strictly online platforms.

Yes, The Mirror has been presented in this format since 1933; however, according to The Guardian, Lloyd’s List—the world’s oldest running newspaper—went completely digital in 2013 after 279 years. If they can make the switch, we are confident The Mirror can do the same.

I worked as The Mirror’s copy editor for two years before becoming editor-in-chief this year. When applying for this position, I pledged to prepare my staff for future careers in the media industry by providing them with real life experiences and necessary skill sets.

Our advisors, Pete Barth and Gina Covelli, both having extensive experience as journalists, share that goal and have helped us secure internship opportunities at news organizations. During the interviews for those internships, we were not asked about the print product but rather about what we have done with the website, social media accounts and video packages.

At this point, not all of our staff members are getting substantial experience with the digital platform. This will change when the entire focus is on our online presence. We are excited to announce that the Spectrum will be transformed into a practicum class where students produce video packages for The Mirror.

In the end, we will have reporters who can write a story, take a photo, shoot and edit an accompanying video and upload the entire media package online, which are skills that will make them incredibly marketable in the field.

This is also a positive move for our readership. Most college students have never held their hometown newspaper, and that is totally OK! Millenials are getting their news online and through social media, so we want to provide news in the most easily accessible way for our target audience. While the print product mostly circulates the campus, the online platform will allow news about our Muskies to reach anyone with access to the Internet.

Additionally, our readers will not have to wait a month for new stories as the website allows us to continually and instantly update everyone with breaking news. It also allows for more interaction with our readership; our comments section on each online article allows immediate feedback and we will no longer be limited by space when it comes to how many letters-to-the-editor we can publish.

One of the first questions people may ask is whether this transition is the result of budget cuts. It is not. It is true that the print product exhausts our funds, so we will have more resources to add features to the website and to purchase equipment once we transition to a digital platform. However, our main incentive rests with the points made previously; we want to remain relevant in the world of news.

This is not the end of The Mirror. In fact, it is the exact opposite. It is the beginning of a new age for not only our staff but all the future editors and reporters to come. With the changes that have occurred on our campus in the past few years, it has been an exciting time to be a part of The Mirror. We have asked hard questions, and in the end, I believe we have made a name for ourselves as an outlet for students to have their voices heard.

Transition is always difficult at first, but it will be made easier with the support of our advisors, staff members and peers. Our readers’ comments on the website and “likes” on our Facebook page will help make this transition a positive one.

Our audience will experience coverage like never before: videos, photo galleries and stories presented without the space restrictions of the print product.

Come visit us sometime; we are only a click away.