The ignored relevance of our newspaper ILLUSTRATION BY DESTINY CHOW

Student journalism neglected in time of pandemic

Read Time2 Minute, 17 Second

Distance learning, the new way of doing school, has brought a decline of a multitude of adored school activities. The Matador has been no stranger to these effects as it has lost its importance to its audience. When the school closed, The Matador switched its physical print editions to digital versions on its website. An inability to distribute newspapers directly to its audience has dramatically deteriorated the newspaper’s value to students.  

Online versions require greater proactivity on readers’ part, whereas stumbling upon trays of newspapers or having teachers pass out copies practically presented itself to students. As distance learning has removed students from school, they are no longer provided easy access to a newspaper. Although social media promotion exists for online issues, from navigating PDFs to having to search up specific articles, a greater effort is required from readers. Naturally, less are inclined to go through this extra mile, even if the publication quality remains consistent.

Not only is it more complicated to actively seek out online articles and PDFs, but the lack of a tangible copy of the newspaper also complicates students’ reading experiences. Print editions of the paper always prioritized the most important and engaging articles, compiling a collection of compelling material. The print editions of the newspaper were designed in an orderly manner with the most important article having the largest titles and pictures so that the audience would know what to read first. But with the Matador’s website having a large range of content, students may be unfamiliar with what articles to click on. Online articles do not share the same sentiment and accessibility of being organized as opposed to visually seeing the layouts and images of familiar faces. 

Arguably, students may find themselves less compelled to read the paper due to the perception that distance learning does not require as great a level of interaction with school affairs. However, The Matador publishes articles that are specifically catered toward the community, and a plethora of relevant topics are covered. Especially at a time like this, it is vital for students to familiarize themselves with the newspaper as new policies are made for the upcoming campus reopening. Articles concerning topics such as new Zoom policies, school lunches, and updates from the Superintendent allow students and staff members to voice their opinions on issues and mitigate the detrimental effects of misinformation. 

Readers must recognize the newspaper’s importance, even if distance learning inconveniences it. With no physical newspapers available and an overload of articles, it is often difficult to find interest. Nevertheless, The Matador does angle its articles so that they are geared toward the school population, bringing insight to pertinent issues that may affect the audience.

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