By Scott Strasser, April 4 2017 —
After 57 years of printing weekly newspapers — and for a time bi-weekly — the Gauntlet is moving to a monthly print and daily website format.
Starting this spring, the Gauntlet will stop producing a weekly newspaper and will instead publish a monthly magazine.
“We recognize the media landscape is shifting and we have to shift with it,” outgoing editor-in-chief Melanie Woods said. “The fact of the matter is that print newspapers are dying out there, but digital and online content and longer-form content are seeing a surge in popularity. It was time to shift with the times and adapt.”
Woods said the transition is due to several factors. She said the new format will allow for more up-to-date content to be published regularly on the Gauntlet’s website.
“It will allow us to be more timely and more pressing and it will allow us to prioritize stories not just to fill space in the weekly paper, but to prioritize stories for the sake of them being stories,” she said. “People don’t wait for the weekly paper to get their news. People get things from Twitter now and we have to keep up with that.”
In the 1990s, the Gauntlet had a circulation of 13,000 copies. While the paper has seen a decrease in circulation and pickup over the years, Woods says the paper’s readership has increased online.
“It’s not that people aren’t reading the Gauntlet, it’s just they’re reading the Gauntlet in different places,” Woods said.
The Gauntlet currently prints 6,000 copies weekly, while the website — thegauntlet.ca — averages 40,000 hits a month. According to Woods, online readership has increased by nearly 60 per cent in the last two years.
Incoming editor-in-chief Jason Herring said he’s excited about the possibilities the magazine will offer.
“It will give us a chance to explore some more long-form investigative pieces,” Herring said. “We’re going to have an opportunity to explore that kind of journalism and expose our staff to writing in the long form.”
Other Canadian student publications that have moved towards monthly magazines include the Gateway at the University of Alberta, the Link at Concordia University and the Brunswickan at the University of New Brunswick.
The Gauntlet was founded in 1960 when the U of C was still a U of A satellite campus.