The incredible shrinking Iowa State Daily

When I saw the copies at the Alumni Center, I thought what was there was either an insert or a mistake. But then I looked closer.

An eight-page paper the same physical size as a Farm Bureau Spokesman, with four news articles (two of which were mostly graphics), one sports article, an editorial and an opinion column, carried the masthead of the Iowa State Daily. The issue the day before the UNI game was 12 pages.

“So, over the summer, our staff worked to vastly redesign our paper to better fit the feedback we’ve received from our readers during the last few years,” the Daily’s editor in chief wrote Aug. 20, on a website that has had a definite mobile-first mindset for years. “The new design includes three main changes: size, style and type of content.”

Size: Smaller. Style: Lots of white space. Type of content: Well, there is some, with big graphics.

The Iowa State Daily has whacked the print product down to a shell of its former self. This carries some emotional heft for me, because it is there that I started a professional journalism career 16 years ago today. (Yes, that day.) To see a newspaper from the first week of classes, when I would have scrambled for wire articles to fill the extra-large ad-filled sections, reduced to a pamphlet was very sobering.

Or, to put it another way, as someone whose income depends on the existence of a physical medium: eep.

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