IPFW Students Fight for their Newspaper

By Eric Olson

February 22, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana--Another day in the newsroom of IPFW’s award winning student newspaper, The Communicator.

“We’re documenting everything that happens on the campus,” says editor-in-chief Kristan Mensch, “and we’re the only people doing that.”

Like all student papers The Communicator reports on campus issues, while providing a training ground for the student journalists who work here. But the 45 year old paper is in transition. University officials want The Communicator to cease publishing its print version, and move to a cheaper online website. Ad sales used to fill the gap between school support for the paper and final cost of publication. But since the recession ad revenues have slumped.

“We’ve had to cut issues this year;” says Kristan Mensch. “We just cut two issues from this month to be able to continue printing and not be in a deficit at the end of the year.”
Mensch says printing a hard copy of the paper increases circulation. Students see the papers in newsstands all around campus..pick them up and read them.

“It’s an ability for people to be connected without having to go and search for it,” Mensch explains. Being only on line you’re only going to get those people that seek you out. We just don’t want to drop print all of a sudden and go online and have that not really work out for us.”

The Communicator’s new webpage was launched last week, a nod to the digital age…but until future university funding is nailed down…that’s still in discussion…the hardcopy of The Communicator will remain in jeopardy. An uncertain future for a respected news source, now unsure if it will survive for a second half century of service. Eric Olson reporting out in Your Country.

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