NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — After more than 13 decades of printing newspapers, Illinois State University’s student-run newspaper, The Vidette, is transitioning into a digital-only publication.
ISU senior Elizabeth Seils, current Editor-in-Chief of The Vidette, said the decision is bittersweet, but it is the best route to keep the newspaper running.
“Physical papers aren’t as much of an advertising draw as online or other forms of advertising. That was already kind of slowing down and giving a hint of what was to come. And then, in my opinion, COVID was just kind of that nail in the coffin,” said Seils.
She said while The Vidette will not print physical copies of the paper, they will continue to publish online, something they have already been doing for some time.
“We’ve always prioritized the website, and we’ve always worked on making the paper this very pretty weekly product, but without having that, it’s like ‘okay now we just take those hours that we devoted to that and just keep devoting them to the website like we have been doing,'” said Seils.
Reflecting on her time at The Vidette, she said being able to see her work printed on paper was fulfilling.
“I don’t know how to fully explain it, but I remember the first time that I was like… on the front page, it’s just a fun feeling like you just look at it and you’re like, ‘that’s my name, I did that, that’s me,'” Seils said.
She believes The Vidette will still offer students the same rewarding experience even after shifting exclusively digital.
“So much of who I am, I owe to The Vidette, and I think it’ll still do that for students whether there’s a physical paper or not,” Seils said.