Letter from the editor

Fall 2015 edition


Welcome to the first digital-only publication of the Jayhawk Journalist. Thank you for clicking here and checking it out. Let’s not mince words: I know many of our alumni may be less than thrilled that there is not a print version of this edition. We are expecting plenty of impassioned feedback, which we welcome wholeheartedly. Send to jschool@ku.edu.

However, we hope you will give the digital version a chance while keeping in mind we still will produce a printed edition of the magazine and mail to J-School alumni each spring.

My assistants, J-School students Garrett Farlow and Allyson Maturey, were thrilled to create this digital edition. We all learned a lot, just like other journalism students have done this year with the new JSchool Tech program (and JSchool Tech is for alumni, too). Read the story here.

Our digital magazine is actually a website platform — ­­I am calling our new digital version a “mag-site.” We selected the website builder Squarespace for its functionality — it was easy for me and my student assistants to create and design the digital Jayhawk Journalist, and we chose a simple, easy-to-navigate design for you, the user. Here are the positives about the digital magazine:

No space constraints

Stories didn’t have to be cut to fit a page, and we can use as many photos as we want. Both of these are benefits that add substance and depth to our storytelling about our alumni and what’s going on in the J-School.

Links, links and more links

You will notice throughout the magazine we have linked to additional content that you might be interested in. For example, the In Memoriam page lists our recently deceased alumni. We have added links to each person’s obituary, so you can read more about them, who they were and what they accomplished.

Video

In the digital format, we can highlight videos. If you never saw the video of the KU student who dropped to his knees after he won $10,000 on a half-court shot at Late Night in the Phog, we have that link here. If you do remember the video, and you probably do because it was featured on ESPN, we also have the story behind that video, and it involves one of our J-School students, Ben Allen, who works at Rock Chalk Video. Read that story here. 

Costs

The cost was not really a factor in our decision to have a digital magazine, but it is a nice benefit. A printed magazine costs thousands of dollars to print and mail. The digital magazine is pennies on the dollar in comparison, which allows us to use that money in other ways to benefit the J-School and its students.

Archiving

As it stands now, if you would like to see the old Jayhawk Journalist editions dating back to the 1970s, you would have to stop by my office. I’d love to see you, of course, but having a truly digital version allows us to save it — and share it — much more easily. 

Responsive design

You can read the magazine easily on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or cell phone. Squarespace’s responsive design automatically adjusts to the device you are using.

JayhawkJournalist.com

The Jayhawk Journalist now has its own domain name, and there are so many possibilities that I haven’t even had time to think about all of them. Stay tuned and feel free to offer suggestions.

For some, even all those positives may not be able outweigh this: There is just something special and comforting about being able to hold a freshly printed magazine, flip through its slick pages, and savor the content. True, true and true. Print is our history and our legacy, and we will keep printing because of its tangible importance and value. Each May, when our graduates exit the stage at our J-School recognition ceremony, we hand them a Jayhawk Journalist magazine as a sendoff. As brand new alumni, they are the first readers who get to thumb through the smooth pages each spring, and that’s an important tradition that we will preserve. 

Regardless of the format, thank you for reading the Jayhawk Journalist, and let us know what you think.

Julie Adam
Editor, Jayhawk Journalist
julieadam@ku.edu