Editorial: Meet The Link 3.0

  • Photo: Brian Lapuz

This is a love letter.

This is a love letter to you, our dear readers.

Every decision we, as The Link’s editorial team, make has you at heart. Every word we write, every photo we take, every video and podcast we produce—everything is for you.

That’s why we, as a team, proposed to make a transition to focus on daily online content and discontinue the weekly newspaper.

In 2011, a letter from our then-outgoing and incoming Editor-in-Chiefs Justin Giovannetti and Laura Beeston, titled “Meet The Link 2.0,” explained what was then the biggest shift in this publication’s history. That was when our masthead—the team of student editors who put their hearts and souls into this publication each week—was split into the current structure, with part of the team responsible for online-only content, and others responsible for the weekly print edition.

“The Link wants to be as accessible as possible—we want to tell your stories, hear your feedback and interact,” wrote Beeston.

This sentiment has not changed in the six years that have passed since this letter was published. What has changed is what it means to be as accessible as possible, and that is why two years ago, at our 35th anniversary celebration, these conversations started. It’s also why, on March 30, we asked you, our members, to vote on this proposal.

Most of our readership comes from our digital platforms. About 30,000 people visit our website each month. Our Twitter followers and Facebook likes are growing significantly, as well. The way that you, our beloved reader, consume media is changing. As a result, we need to change as well. Everything we do is for you, after all.

This is a love letter to our newspaper.

Every Tuesday morning, a new issue of The Link appears on stands. That newspaper is a labour of love. We, a team of 16 students, spend an exorbitant number of hours in our Hall building office writing, editing and creating this newspaper every week with the help of our dedicated, overachieving contributors.

We do this because seeing the newspaper on stands every Tuesday is a big deal for us, and because we know it is for you as well. But we also recognize that more and more of you—a majority, even—are reading your news online. Online news has become a game-changer in the industry, allowing journalists to break stories immediately, update them with to-the-minute information, and integrate video storytelling. These are some of the things that we hope to do more often as The Link goes online, and we’re really excited about it.

Because of this change in the industry, and the way that we’ve already begun adapting to it, an increasing number of copies of this paper are being left on newsstands each week. And we get it. Newsprint is cumbersome, and when you can read the same stories on a website, a physical edition is not as necessary.

The Link has a long and storied history of printing newspapers, and training extremely talented journalists to do so. Digging through the archives of this paper is like taking a step back in time and seeing the early days of journalists who we admire today. They were trailblazers, people who were not afraid to ask tough questions and make powerful people uncomfortable.

We’re making this change to honour that legacy, and continue on the path that has been laid out by the giants who came before us. The media industry is changing and we’re jumping headfirst into it, rather than having that change happen to us—just like the pioneering journalists whose shoes we fill.

By setting our own terms, and defining our change for ourselves, we hope that we too can push the limits in a changing field. We want to create a space for The Link to further cement itself as an integral part of the Concordia community, and Montreal as a whole.

This is a love letter to what’s to come.

When you walk into the university next September, we might look a little different. What you will see on stands will be a bit smaller, a little thicker and much glossier. Our magazine, The Link magazine, will be full of the in-depth features, carefully composed photos and expertly-designed graphics that you’ve come to expect of us, and we can’t wait to bring these things to you in a new and exciting format. We hope that it will be something that you will flip back to continuously. We hope that you will cherish it, much as you have cherished this newspaper since 1980.

We hope that our actions—this big change that we’re making—will make you happy, and help to keep you informed about what’s going on in your communities. That’s why we stay up late at night making phone calls, writing, editing, designing and producing. That’s why we’ve put out a newspaper for 37 years, that’s why we’re making this change. We do this for you.

With love,

The Link

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