The Harvard Crimson will shift to publishing a weekly print edition this fall in a historic move toward a “digital-first” future, the newspaper announced Thursday.
The Crimson will reduce its daily printing cadence but continue to publish online every weekday. The newspaper’s move follows in the footsteps of peer Ivy League publications — all of which have reduced their print frequency in recent years.
“Over the past two decades, our newspaper — and the journalism industry — has raced to keep up with the pace of the internet, where content is delivered faster and more creatively than it was when our presses first ran in 1873,” read a letter to readers published by the newspaper 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 of a new era” to innovate the paper’s digital and print formats.
“We will continue to be a daily news operation and maintain our regular online publication cadence,” Coronell Uribe wrote. “Meanwhile, we will be able to breathe new life into our print product. With the new weekly format, we will redesign and expand our content to include our best journalism, complete with the original reporting, analysis, and opinion our readers expect.”
The Crimson abruptly transitioned to an online-only daily format during the escalating Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. The paper did not resume daily printing until fall 2021, during which then-Crimson president Amanda Y. Su ’22 convened a working group of undergraduates and alumni to craft strategic recommendations regarding the paper’s digital future.
Dan Kennedy, a journalism professor at Northeastern University, said The Crimson’s transition to weekly printing while covering daily news digitally is a “natural move.”
“Print has continued to work for college newspapers longer than it has for papers in the real world, but like everything else, I think that the trends are starting to catch up with college newspapers,” he said.
Kennedy said the change will benefit students planning to pursue journalism after college, as professional newspapers are increasingly focused on digital content rather than print.
In their letter to readers, Coronell Uribe, Managing Editor Jasper G. Goodman ’23, and Business Manager Amy X. Zhou ’23 said the shift away from daily printing will improve both the staff and reader experience.
“This change will allow us to invest our resources into meeting our readers where they are: online,” they wrote in the letter. “And to prepare the next generation of journalists, we must train them on the tools of tomorrow — no longer just a broadsheet newspaper.”
Currently, the publication receives more than 200,000 weekly pageviews with tens of thousands of subscribers to its emailed newsletters, according to Coronell Uribe.
“In decades past, a print newspaper was the fastest, most impactful way to deliver our content, and allowed for the widest possible circulation,” Coronell Uribe wrote in the statement. “In 2022, this is no longer the case. In fact, 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.”
—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @vivielu_.
—Staff writer Leah J. Teichholtz can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LeahTeichholtz.