The Arizona Daily Wildcat undergoes changes every semester, including new staff and editors, new policies and new goals.
Last semester, we were working on our social media presence. Like any professional newspaper, we needed to modify how we produce the news since paper circulation is on the decline and digital news is on the rise.
This semester, new digital media editor Casey Lewandrowski has many ideas on how to make the Daily Wildcat more accessible and connect with its digital audience. We reworked our website and encouraged our reporters to use Twitter and Facebook more. Casey is also exploring ways to expand our social media presence to sites like Instagram and Tumblr. This endeavor isn’t just about building the Wildcat’s social media presence or its brand — it’s about establishing and maintaining connections to our audience.
Last semester, the editors decided to stop producing a regular Arts and Life section and created what is now known as Wildcat Weekend. The content within Wildcat Weekend was mainly arts and sports, but it was a section that often came under criticism. We took our comments and yours, and we met each week to make adjustments and work out the kinks. But we still have a long way to go.
For example, we noticed that much of the entertainment suggested in Wildcat Weekend required access to Fourth Avenue or downtown. We often would write about bars or places that target a 21 and older audience, and we weren’t representing a whole other fraction of Arts and Life readers. Plenty of our readers aren’t 21, or aren’t interested in the bar scene all the time, and they were often neglected. We hope to change that. Arts and Life editor K.C. Libman has returned to the position for a second semester, and has said he hopes to refocus content on what’s happening on the UA campus — not just near it. In addition, we’ve expanded the arts section to the daily paper as opposed to just Mondays and Fridays for more complete coverage.
As the new readers’ representative, I want to ensure the Wildcat continues to be transparent and that I keep readers informed of our plans. Our staff of about 75 caters to 40,000 students plus staff and faculty. We know that interacting with a number this large is difficult, but through social media and our dedication to thorough and representative coverage of the UA, we hope to continue making the Wildcat a publication worth reading.
As a student publication, we often work by trial and error. We value constructive criticism and want to hear your suggestions. We seek to produce a professional and informative paper, and that means looking to improve every day.
— Lynley Price is the assistant copy chief and readers’ representative for the Daily Wildcat. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter via @LynleyPrice