For a time, the University of Virginia was believed to be one of just two colleges nationwide (the other being the University of Wisconsin-Madison) to boast two daily student newspapers, as the Cavalier Daily and the University Journal duked it out for student eyeballs and advertiser dollars.
Alas, the UJ is no more. And now the CD, too, is fading — at least in its present form.
The Cavalier Daily announced Friday that beginning this fall it would publish a “newsmagazine” in print form on Mondays and Thursdays only, and instead focus its staff’s energies on digital journalism.
“From a literary perspective [restructuring] will allow us to cover breaking news the way it should be covered — fast,” Managing Editor Kaz Komolafe said. “We will also be able to offer more in-depth coverage of events, which we are currently prevented from doing because of the time limitations of producing a daily print newspaper.”
Perhaps it is a bow to economic reality, but to those of us who cut their teeth in print journalism, it’s another in a long line of sad deaths (or perhaps more accurately in this case, lingering illnesses) as newspaper presses around the country go silent – including one in our own family, as UVA Today replaced the printed Inside UVA several years ago.
The Cavalier Daily, formerly College Topics, began publishing in 1890; how many generations of students discovered the thrill of writing on a tight deadline in its offices? Part of the romance of print journalism is having a tangible product to hold in your hands at the end of the day, being able to point to something and say “I did that.”
It’s hard to do that with a website.
Still, we understand, and we wish the CD luck in its transformation, even as we lament the newspaper’s demise.
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