Letter from The Telescope Adviser: Professor Erin Hiro
After two years of careful thought and discussion, Palomar’s campus newspaper will no longer have a print edition delivered to campus. Instead, the independent, student newspaper will publish only on its website and social media.
Palomar’s Journalism Department will continue to print an annual campus magazine called Impact that will be distributed on campuses in the Spring.
The Telescope newspaper first began printing a newspaper the year after Palomar College was founded in 1946. It was printed weekly and then bi-weekly in recent years. You can see its print archives.
In March 2020, The Telescope stopped printing a physical paper but took its Covid coverage online. Since then, as the adviser, I have been agonizing on whether to bring back a print edition. As a former print newspaper reporter, I have strong nostalgia for the permanency of print. But I could not ignore other factors that told me it was time to give up the past.
1. Skills. The students enjoyed designing a print version of the campus paper. But it takes a lot of time, which could be used to develop other technology-based skills. To work in journalism these days, students need to know how to generate a newsletter or effective social media post more than how to design a physical newspaper page.
2. Cost: The cost of printing a newspaper always goes up, while the number of available printers has decreased. Meanwhile, the restaurants, car dealers and colleges that used to advertise with us aren’t interested in a print newspaper anymore. We have never taken money from the school to print the newspaper so that it can be truly independent. Staying online gives the student journalists the ability to stay financially untethered from the college.
3. Environment: Printing 3,000 copies of the newspaper every other week takes a lot of paper. We used to print 6,000 copies when I began advising 15 years ago. I have been reducing slowly based on demand. Before the pandemic, I noticed that we often had a lot of newspapers left on the racks. The Palomar community said they wanted a print paper, but they weren’t picking it up. That is a lot of wasted paper.
With those factors, going online is the right call. But I am still worried. The biggest concern for The Telescope remaining online is that the campus community will forget that we have a campus newspaper. We don’t want to bombard your inbox but we have important stories that the students are writing about Palomar. We hope you will routinely check our website, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media.
We are excited about the next chapter of The Telescope newspaper.
Check us out:
The Telescope www.the-telescope.com
- The Telescope Newspaper Last Prints: Nick Ng/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved