Daily to unveil broadsheet paper designed with busy readers in mind

by Shane S. Hoefer

Evolution is inescapable, even for the Daily.

After decades as a tabloid newspaper, The Minnesota Daily will publish as a broadsheet newspaper for the first time Feb. 16.

After months of research and planning, the Daily will assume the same size as most daily college and professional newspapers, such as the Iowa State Daily, the Wisconsin Badger Herald and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Readers stand to benefit immensely from the switch. The Daily will tell more visual stories with more photos and graphics, giving readers more ways to engage and enjoy the news. A front-page synopsis of the day’s biggest stories will give busy, commuting readers a bare-bones briefing of the vital information they need to know. The paper will be an easier, faster and more useful read.

To intensify our focus on local news, we have added three reporters and an education desk to provide more in-depth coverage of the University.

Naturally, readers will also find all the other features in the Daily they have come to expect: our award-winning local news, a brief review of the day’s most important state, national and international stories, a comprehensive daily Sports section, editorials and opinions, and of course, Network.

Readers also can continue to look forward to an expanded edition of our critically acclaimed Monday Sports section and Thursday’s A&E section.

And perhaps just as important, we can confirm that the switch in sizes will not inhibit readers’ ability to fold the paper and covertly do the crossword in class.

In addition to the benefits for readers, the change will improve the Daily staff’s experience.

The student newspaper will dramatically augment its ability to train and prepare its advertising and editorial staff for careers in an industry dominated by broadsheet newspapers.

Finally, the newspaper will save money by eliminating some costs associated with adding separate sections, and it will gain flexibility in adding and reducing pages.

The process of researching and planning for this transition began two years ago but gained steam this summer.

After producing a mock-up broadsheet version of the newspaper in August, Daily advertising and editorial staffers compiled a report on the benefits and drawbacks of switching. We contacted numerous college newspapers that recently made the switch, conducted focus groups and queried our advertisers.

In October, a committee of 10 of the Daily’s top leaders reviewed the research and voted overwhelmingly to recommend the switch to the Daily’s board of directors. After careful consideration of the report and a long debate, the board approved the transition in late November.

As the launch date approaches, look for a series of in-depth articles explaining other changes associated with the broadsheet switch.

As always, we look forward to your input, so please send us your thoughts before and after the transition.