FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After 110 years, the award-winning campus daily completes digital transition and schedules final print edition for March 2020
- After 110 years in print, The Diamondback will become online only in March
- Maryland Media Inc: The Diamondback’s service won’t end with its print edition (Opinion)
- DBK editor in chief: The Diamondback is adapting to meet the demands of its audience
COLLEGE PARK, Md., September 30, 2019 — Maryland Media, Inc., the nonprofit publisher of The Diamondback, today announced it will cease printing the University of Maryland’s award-winning student newspaper after 110 years and continue publishing on digital platforms. The newspaper will publish its final weekly print edition in March.
The Maryland Media, Inc. board of directors decided to accelerate The Diamondback’s digital transition and discontinue printing due to years of declining revenue from advertising, a broad trend that has affected most of America’s newspapers over the past two decades. Over the past few years, the board reduced printing from five days a week to four, and finally to once a week, as printing costs overtook advertising revenue.
At the same time, The Diamondback’s student leadership partnered with the computer science students in their development lab and drove innovations to the newspaper’s website, dbknews.com, and engagement tools on social media. Their hard work building a healthy digital community for The Diamondback audience convinced the board that it was time to end the print edition.
“This is the logical next step in The Diamondback‘s mission to serve the campus and College Park community,” Tom Madigan, president of the Maryland Media, Inc. board and a former Diamondback sports editor, said. “Our audience now consumes most of its news online. We’re excited about The Diamondback’s future as an all-digital platform, where we’re already giving readers more content than they find in the print edition and more ways to access that content, through dbknews.com and social media.” In today’s The Diamondback, Madigan wrote a column further explaining the decision.
The Diamondback currently reaches a larger audience digitally than it ever did in print. The current print edition reaches 5,000 people each week and a maximum of 20,000 people per month. In September, dbknews.com has attracted 160,000 unique visitors – 800 percent larger than the print audience.
Investments in new technology have included the newly redesigned dbknews.com, a new Diamondback app optimized for mobile devices and digital TV screens across campus carrying the latest news from The Diamondback.
“For 110 years, The Diamondback has produced carefully-vetted journalism and provided an invaluable learning experience for hundreds of students,” said Leah Brennan, The Diamondback’s editor in chief and a senior journalism and government and politics major. “We’re looking forward to doing that same work moving forward, and digital skills are an essential part of that.”
The Society of Professional Journalists has twice named The Diamondback the best college newspaper in America. Since 2010, The Diamondback has won more than 20 SPJ regional and national awards.
Numerous former Diamondback staff members have worked, or are currently working, at the largest and most influential news organizations in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. Diamondback alumni include David Simon, creator of HBO’s “The Wire”; Jeff Kinney, author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series; Margaret Talev, Axios political editor, CNN political analyst and former president of the White House Correspondents Association; Aaron McGruder, creator of “The Boondocks” comic strip and television series, and past members of the Pulitzer Prize board.
The Diamondback has served the University of Maryland community since 1910. The newspaper began publishing independently in 1971, with the establishment of Maryland Media, Inc., as its publisher.
About Maryland Media, Inc.
Maryland Media, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting independent student-operated media at the University of Maryland, College Park. Maryland Media, Inc. publishes The Diamondback, Mitzpeh, which covers the campus’ Jewish community, and The Terrapin yearbook. Established in 1971, Maryland Media, Inc. provides educational experience for students in the editorial and production functions of news media, while striving to reflect the diversity of the campus and College Park community. Maryland Media, Inc. is financially independent of the university, empowering its student-run publications to practice journalism without fear of censorship or interference.