BEND, OR -- When Central Oregon Community College students return in the fall, they will be without a student-run newspaper. The Broadside started in 1952, and put out its last edition in early June.
COCC Director of Student and campus life Andrew Davis says readership was down to just a couple hundred per edition, and it was difficult to recruit enough students to put out a paper twice a month, "We had dwindled from as many as 25 students that were involved on a regular basis, down to – this year we had about 10 students that were involved. And of those, not all 10 were even fully committed; they wrote occasionally or were involved in an editorial position."
Davis says a task force looked at ways to save the Broadside, but in the end, decided shutting it down was the most cost-effective option. "There are people who wish we could’ve kept it open. There are people that wish we could have changed direction and changed strategy, to see if that would’ve helped increase readership and increase student participation. But," he says, "There definitely are also people who say, ‘we totally get this decision. It was really difficult but students were far less involved with this than they have historically been'.'
In the end, Davis tells KBND News, it comes down to changing student behavior, "Some of it certainly is an element of print: Students don’t read in print anymore – I shouldn’t say, ‘they don’t read in print.’ They don’t read in print at as high of a rate as they used to. So, I think it’s probably a combination of factors." No word yet on whether students will create a digital or blog version of The Broadside to fill the void.