HARTSDALE, N.Y. — Woodlands High School's student newspaper The Falcon will join The Times-Picayune, The Patriot-News and a long list of other major newspapers in cutting back this year.
Giving in to forces pushing the school to go green, The Falcon will half the print edition to two issues per year, according to the student newspaper staff. The threat isn't to Woodlands alone. A Pew Research Center study released in October found that the percentage of Americans who get their daily news online is steadily increasing, reaching 39 percent in 2012, while print readers have declined to an all-time low of 29 percent.
Woodlands' student journalists are now turning to The Falcon Online, which made its official launch this year. About 25 students, freshmen to seniors, work on The Falcon, headed by faculty advisor Chaz Busuttil.
Senior Jackson Davis, the online editor-in-chief, said The Falcon's print version can compare to the amount of type and media he's able to upload online.
"There's an advantage to online over print," Davis said. "You can upload media at an unbelievable pace. We've received great feedback."
Woodlands alumnus Shane Burke handed the online paper over to Davis last year after Burke created the site as his senior project. The website has now blossomed to include video interviews, polls and content uploaded on an almost-daily basis.
But print editor-in-chief Marcus Mosley isn't giving up on the paper version, which costs the school about $1,000 for 400 copies of the 10-page publications. Mosley said he likes to have a physical paper to hold in his hand rather than use a laptop to get his news.
"A paper is more static, and you're not distracted by all the hyperlinks," Mosley said. "A University of Oregon study found that people who read print news actually remember it more."
The first paper is set to be published next week, Busuttil said, and the staff plans to release its second issue in June just in time for graduation.
Busuttil said he and the students have to put more work into every print story, but he still hopes the publication will survive over the next few years because of its popularity among the students.
"I hope they consider keeping a couple of print issues per year," Busuttil said. "Print still has a presence here."