The Quill has been doing the same thing for several years now. We publish our physical copy of The Quill every Tuesday and get it out on stands, after slaving all day Sunday to make sure it’s altogether. Over the next few days we would get our stories on our website and try to get people to pick up a copy of The Quill as they walk by some of our stands.
It’s tough and has been really difficult trying to get a higher readership. One of things we are trying to change is just how accessible The Quill is on campus and how we can ensure students are getting the news they deserve to hear. I personally have had to semi embrace the age of social media. That’s right The Quill officially has a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account. What ever will we do with it? Try to get the students of BU to read the bloody thing of course! That or come join us as a reporter, or come to us with stories, or offer your opinions on the stories we write.
Our material isn’t always great and our resources are finite. We need support from the student community to try and get our stories out their. We need people to come forward with ideas and with suggestions. We can’t report on whats going on around campus if no one ever says anything or just assumes we know it. We have a small team and limited amount of resources to utilize. Not to mention, every reporter is also a student and likely has another part time job or responsibilities to answer to. Sadly, there are never enough hours in a day.
Now I could blame apathy or busy lifestyles on campus for why people don't pick up the paper but ultimately it is up to us as part of The Quill to uncover the stories students want to read. So in an attempt to remedy this I have been working on several aspects of a plan to try and get: more accessibility for readership, better quality of stories and more relevant stories people want to read about.
How will this get done? A literal shit ton of coffee and excess sleep deprivation. Here is my plan for better accessibility and phase 1 has already begun. We will now be publishing paper copies of The Quill every other week and on the off weeks we will be posting material strictly online. We are aiming to have articles put up both on our website and on our social media. We began that last week with our 16th issue which was our first strictly digital copy. Now we will just continually post what we can and try getting our ideas off of paper and instead on the minds of the student body. Another way to increase accessibility and readership is through scanning QR codes. We want students to be able to scan a story they want to read then be taken right to it on their smartphone.
My goal to create more digital content on social media will hopefully offer opportunities for people to share opinions on topics and have conversations online. This is how I am hoping to create more relevant stories, once people are able to share their opinions online. I would like to utilize polls and different options on social media in order to get a feel of what stories people want told. Once we know more about peoples opinions and what they want to talk about, then we will have the chance to focus on more relevant stories for students.
The final goal of having better quality of stories will have to come through either hiring an editor or going through PD sessions. What I am planning is to have a freelance journalist or professional editor come forward and offer some methods for how we can improve as a staff and as a team.
As with most projects, these types of things take time and money to properly implement and I’m not saying it will be easy but I do think we are capable of doing it! Please keep an eye out for our posts on social media and our papers in the hallways. I hope to be hearing some of your opinions soon. Cheers.