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Around the Columns

Missourian cuts back print

missourian

The School of Journalism stopped producing the Saturday and Monday print editions of the Columbia Missourian in February 2009. Photo by Nicholas Benner

School of Journalism alumni and students value the hands-on experience the Columbia Missourian provides. But a struggling economy and evolving media landscape are forcing periodicals nationwide into difficult choices, and Mizzou’s renowned training ground for journalism students is no exception.

The Missourian was scheduled to stop producing the Saturday and Monday print editions by the end February 2009. Recent annual deficits have forced the move, which will save the University of Missouri about $350,000 a year.

“We have received a great deal of input from many sources,” Provost Brian Foster says. “There is virtual consensus that we must maintain a significant print newspaper presence as a laboratory experience for J-School students.”

The tabloid-format Weekend Missourian was delivered free to more than 40,000 Columbia households on Saturdays. Monday editions have been dwindling at newspapers around the country.

“In my day, we didn’t have a Monday paper because we didn’t make any money on it. It’s very hard to do so,” says Don Ranly, professor emeritus of journalism.

The Missourian, a community newspaper established in 1908, will continue to publish news seven days a week online at ColumbiaMissourian.com. Vox, the Missourian’s city magazine, will continue to publish on Thursdays as before.

“We knew we had to be fiscally responsible. But we also knew the Missourian has to continue to be a great, real-world journalism laboratory for Missouri students,” says Dean Mills, dean of the school of journalism. “This new model will do both.”

The university will revisit the matter in three years, according to Foster.