This time last year, our organization had financially flatlined after 93 years of printing. It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly went wrong along the way, but the changing landscape of advertising in media and the transition away from print were factors of the fall.
On Feb. 8, 2019, The Triangle was jolted back to life after a mind-blowingly successful “Save the Triangle” Campaign in partnership with the Drexel Fund. The Drexel community, along with collegiate news media supporters on a national scale, generously poured thousands of dollars in support to get us printing again. Words can’t express how grateful we were to see Drexel students and alumni showing their support for us and independent student journalism. If actions speak louder than words, then we needed to make our second chance count.
One year later, where are we now? What did $16,000 plus in donations to The Triangle buy? The short answer is time. The long answer is…
We immediately got to work recruiting new journalists and revamping our expectations for what makes our college newspaper worth reading. After a couple terms of searching for the brightest writers at Drexel, we were fully staffed with about 70 total students. As the quantity of articles shot up, so did the quality, and it wasn’t long before we had regular columns worth reading. Our strategy shifted from covering what events happen to why events happen, making meaningful connections with the people we write about.
Case in point: if you’re a regular reader, you’re probably familiar with The Triangle’s newly-formed food column. The food column, published weekly by Ethan Hermann, introduces an original format for content, encouraging the Drexel community to explore Philly and develop new tastes. It has also broken new ground and made new connections for the Triangle itself.
It’s a lesser known fact that our business team dissolved at the time of our financial crisis, leaving us writers to make sense of what happened. Since then, we have managed to assemble a new business team with promising young talent — but this time, we aren’t going in blind. It became increasingly apparent that financial advice from successful business people in the field was the best way forward. Our alumni network connected us to new insights and strategies that are underway today.
If we wanted real change, our paper needed to reflect that. We reduced our paper size to tabloid format, a return-to-form for us, as we’ve been broadsheet-size since the summer of 2007. We concluded that tabloid would feel better to handle, being a more manageable size with a more concentrated collection of content. As a not-so-coincidental bonus, tabloid size is more cost effective, despite being many more pages than our broadsheet format.
We never want to give up our tradition of print, but we will continue to find new ways to embrace multimedia. Besides continuing to publish our content online, we’ve dug deeper into audio media, launching our first consistent podcast, “Last Call,” as part of our podcasting section, officially known as “Tri-Pod.” With many new shows to come, Tri-Pod acts as our maiden voyage into alternative forms of content.
In the last quarter, we’ve come a long way. From active recruitment to diversifying our content, we have made a lot of change happen. However, much like a shark, we can’t afford to remain static. We hope you continue to pick up copies or listen on your devices, and who knows? We may even see you among our team. See you in spring, folks!