A Case for Printing Less Copies of the Wesleyan Argus
By Alex Garcia.
Why should we reduce printing in the first place?
•Environmental cost of printing 2,000 copies of a newspaper a week is very high. Current Wesleyan Argus printing numbers an outlier in trend to reduce paper waste on campus such as the removal of paper towels in dorm bathrooms in 2015, the elimination of print copies of the NYT in 2015, the elimination of paper orientation guides 2015, and the reduction in printing of “The Wesleyan Connection” magazine over the past few years.
•Many students read The Wesleyan Argus online. With 3,000 daily average views, the justification that students would no longer be informed without 2,000 paper copies around campus a week is unconvincing. Proposed use of existing digital monitors to show articles in common spaces is a very feasible alternative to mass printing.
•The money saved by reducing printing can be put to better use elsewhere. For example, “the stipend, academic credit, and digitalization proposal” outlines strong initiatives to make campus publications more inclusive for students of all financial backgrounds. In addition, digitization initiatives are much more cost-effective in reaching readers and allows us to fund publications more equitably than is currently being done.
With increased funding for editors and web, but reduced funding for printing how are we going to print enough copies under this new budget?
•Print once a week. Most of the newspapers at our peer schools print once a week.
•Print only special edition issues. Homecoming weekend, admission open houses, and other time periods where readership via paper will be higher than usual due to campus visitors.
•Eliminate printing. Use the $13,000 savings to further increase stipend positions for editors, writers, and web layout staff. A resolution can be passed protecting the money on the condition the money is primarily used to fund stipends that increase opportunities in media for students with financial need.
If we completely eliminated printing we would lose several jobs such as: delivery person layout editor, and production manager.
There are web equivalent positions these people could occupy:
delivery person -> social media coordinator and listserv manager.
layout editor -> web layout, and layout for articles on monitors.
production manager -> web layout, and layout for article on monitors.