The Harvard Crimson will transition to publishing a weekly print edition this fall in a historic move toward a “digital-first” future, the paper announced Thursday.
The Crimson will reduce its daily print rate but will continue to publish online every weekday. The newspaper’s decision follows in the footsteps of sister publications the Ivy League – all of which have reduced their printing frequency in recent years.
“Over the past two decades, our newspaper – and the journalism industry – have raced to keep pace with the internet, where content is delivered faster and more creatively than it was when our presses first operated in 1873,” read a letter to readers published by the newspaper on Thursday. “Today, an overwhelming majority of our readers interact with our content online.”
Crimson President Raquel Coronell Uribe ’22-’23 wrote in an emailed statement that the decision will provide “the opportunity for a new era” for innovation in the newspaper’s digital and print formats.
“We will continue to be a daily news operation and maintain our regular online publishing cadence,” Coronell Uribe wrote. “In the meantime, we can breathe new life into our printed product. With the new weekly format, we will redesign and expand our content to include our best journalism, with the original reporting, analysis and opinion that our readers expect.
The Crimson abruptly switched to an online-only daily format during the escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The newspaper did not resume daily printing until the fall of 2021, during which Crimson President Amanda Y. Su ’22 convened a task force of undergraduates and alumni to develop strategic recommendations regarding the paper’s digital future.
Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University, said The Crimson’s transition to weekly print while covering daily news digitally is a “natural decision”.
“Print has continued to work for academic journals longer than it has for real-world journals, but like everything else, I think trends are starting to catch up with academic journals,” he said.
Kennedy said the change will benefit students who plan to pursue journalism after college, as professional newspapers increasingly focus on digital content rather than print.
In their letter to the readers, Coronell Uribe, Editor-in-Chief Jasper G. Goodman ’23, and Business Manager Amy X. Zhou ’23 said moving away from daily printing will improve both the staff and customer experience. readers.
“This change will allow us to invest our resources in meeting our readers where they are: online,” they wrote in the letter. “And to prepare the next generation of journalists, we need to train them in the tools of tomorrow – not just a broadsheet.”
Currently, the publication receives more than 200,000 page views per week with tens of thousands of subscribers to its email newsletters, according to Coronell Uribe.
“For decades past, a print newspaper was the fastest, most impactful way to deliver our content and allowed for the widest possible distribution,” Coronell Uribe wrote in the release. “In 2022, this is no longer the case. Indeed, our digital platforms allow us to inform our readers minute by minute, whether they are in Harvard Square or on the other side of the world.