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As Media Evolves, So Must the CollegianThe newspaper business isn't just about newspapers any more. In fact, traditional newsprint is falling to the wayside to the audience's demand and desire for instant content delivered online and through social media. With increased competition to gain clicks and likes, today's staffers must enhance their written stories with podcasts, videos, and Tweets. There is a constant challenge to cut through the clutter to get a story read.

"Traditional paper newspapers delivered to doorsteps are dying out," said Barbara White Stack '75, who saw a lot of industry evolution in her 2 years at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette before joining the communications department of the United Steelworkers Union. "Students must be prepared to thrive in the news collection and distribution environment that replaces the old-time papers. That includes telling stories with new media platforms including film and upstarts like Twitter. Students also must be innovative and flexible, prepared to come up with new ideas for presenting news and to transition to new platforms."

Jim McCanney '80, who worked for the Collegian before the PC was invented, has personally witnessed the technology evolution firsthand—both as a student and in his career.

"We were the first newsroom in the state to use VDT terminals with dedicated software," he remembers. "Prior to that, we used good old-fashioned typewriters."

Today, Jim is working to keep his own publishing company, which publishes business-to-business newsletters, relevant and competitive with emerging technology trends.

"We recently modified our business model to rely less on telemarketing adn more on Internet-based lead generation," he said. "It's a big change. Hoping it works."

Our youngest alumni—who have been the closest to the current Collegian newsroom and staffers trying to keep up wiht the rapidly-changing technology using outdated equipment and software—can perhpas shed the most light on the critical need for support.

"As newsrooms have gotten smaller and jobs that rely on journalism skills have become more multi-faceted, it's important to be able to have those foundations, in my case in design, web, and social media, to be able to build on professionally," said Shannon Simcox '11.

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