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We're getting rid of print

After two years of not printing a physical paper, editors have made the decision to stop printing altogether.

An empty student publications paper stand sits in front of the Old Main Business Office on Western's campus. After over two years of not printing due to COVID-19, The Front's editorial teams have decided to permanently stop printed newspapers. // Photo by Emily Bassett

Hello readers,

It is with sadness that we announce that we are permanently stopping the print version of The Front. After over two years of not printing due to COVID-19, the decision was made final by two years of editorial teams and Western Washington University’s Student Publications Council.

We stopped printing the paper in March of 2020 when the pandemic hit our community. After doing so, we increased our presence on our website, newsletter and social media accounts. Everything that you would have found in our print copies is accessible on our website (which has been revamped to account for the higher traffic we expect) – just faster, and with more ways for readers to find it. Ultimately, our readership is far higher online, we are able to publish breaking news far faster than we would with a print edition and we are able to connect more directly with you, our community, through interaction in comment sections and across social media platforms. 

Thanks to this connection, we were able to publish stories that are more interactive and personalized for you, our readers. Ryan Scott and Bella Neff visited the Rally for Roe and showed those who couldn’t attend the passion of the protesters. Liz McLane got a first-hand look into the fall club fair and introduced students to clubs they may not have known about. Julia Kohut took readers directly into a house show at The Bluebird House, a local indoor venue that prioritizes community.  None of these stories could have been as successful if we were limited to solely print production. 

We have restarted our newsletter, which comes out weekly on Mondays with a curated sample of our most interesting stories from the previous week, as well as some online exclusives. Since we are an independent, student-run publication, that also means that our turnover is extremely quick – we’re training 30 brand-new reporters every quarter. In the past, the print edition was limited to eight pages most of the time – meaning that a lot of useful reporting was left out each week. Those student reporters focus on doing accurate, responsible and high-quality reporting, and now they can think about the best way to share their work (Text? Social? Podcast?), rather than worrying about whether their careful work will be published each week. We also have found that fewer courses and professors at Western are teaching for a print publication, since the future of journalism is, without a doubt, overwhelmingly online. 

The world of journalism is rapidly shifting. As the world evolves, we must, too. We’re glad to have your company — and your news tips, advice and stories — on our journey.

Thanks for reading,

Emily Bassett (editor-in-chief, winter 22) and Cameron Martinez (editor-in-chief, spring 22)

Signed by Audra Anderson (editor-in-chief, fall 19), Mallory Biggar (editor-in-chief, winter 20), Jax Kiel (editor-in-chief, summer 20), Emily Feek (editor-in-chief, fall 20), Izzie Lund (editor-in-chief, winter 21) Nate Sanford (editor-in-chief, spring/fall 21), Ryan Morris (editor-in-chief, summer 21)


Emily Bassett

Emily Bassett (she/her) is the campus news editor for The Front in spring of 2022. She is a third-year, majoring in medieval literature with minors in communication studies and education & social justice. Her writing interests include focusing on education issues and building community relationships. She likes discussions about grammar, deep dives into Old English literature, and baking in her free time. You can reach her at campusnewseditor.thefront@gmail.com or emilybassett.westernfront@gmail.com


Cameron Martinez

Cameron Martinez (she/her) is the editor-in-chief for The Front this quarter. She is majoring in visual journalism with a double minor in queer studies and anthropology. She has written stories ranging from making sushi on a budget to murder hornets on campus. When not reporting, she enjoys listening to podcasts and playing arcade games.

You can reach her at me.thefront@gmail.com or cameron.westernfront@gmail.com. Her Instagram handle is @doctorcameron.


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