Lindsey Van Leir – Staff Writer
Among Roanoke College’s many publicationsâ€”daily email updater, the Roanoke College newsletter, literary magazine, etc.â€”there is the school’s weekly newspaper, The Brackety-Ack. Usually available by the entrance to the Commons, many may have noticed that the paper is M.I.A. as of late.
Since it started in 1917, the weekly paper has provided the RC community with the current national and campus-wide news. It’s covered everything from the two world wars to the infamous establishment of Mac and Bob’s in the late 70’s. What sets the paper apart from other RC publications is that it is and has always been a student project. Students pick the articles, students write the articles and students design the layout. It was also the students who in the first years of publication decided the name by holding a campus-wide competition. “The Brackety-Ack” won for its whimsical nature.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In recent years, students worked daily to prepare the paper for the following Friday print deadline. Articles are assigned Sunday night and due by Wednesday afternoon. Thursday night the paper is organized and edited, and the final product is in your hands by Friday at noon. Again, you might be used to grabbing a copy on your way to lunch on Friday afternoons. So, sorry you are missing your crossword and Dr. P column but The Brackety-Ack has undergone some changes.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â After almost one-hundred years, technology has allowed the paper to develop in layout, content and now, delivery. This day, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010 is The Brackety-Ack‘s first full-length on-line publication. Instead of printing weekly, the paper can now be accessed through your browser at www.brackety-ack.pages.roanoke.edu.
This is different from previous publications that were included on Facebook in the event there was a printing obstacle. While Facebook may help networking and visibility for the newspaper, having an official website of its own makes the paper more visible for prospective students and community members. They no longer have to visit the campus to get a copy. It is the paper’s way of “keeping up with the Jones’s,” since all the big name and many other college newspapers are available on-line.
This is a big step of change for the paper. If the change becomes permanent, it will affect staff positions and deadlines. Current Editor in Chief, Cody Sexton ’11, said “I’m happy that we’ve finally been pushed to go on-line.”
Historically, the college orders 1,000 copies per week for campus circulation. Readership of the paper format is estimated to be 400 copies. The paper’s webpage will have counters on it to keep track of the hits. Sexton said that to start out with roughly 500 hits would be a “good goal” for the paper.
“Putting The Brackety-Ack on-line is a new adventureâ€¦ I hope to see more student involvement than ever before,” said Valerie Maldonado ’12, managing editor.
The Brackety-Ack webpage publication also saves paper (and ultimately money for the school). This is more aligned with RC’s goals of environmental consciousness, and in particular with the latest addition of the bike rentals available at Fintel Library and the LEED certified Lucas Hall. Though these are results of the decision to go on-line, the decision was not made out of any collaboration between the paper staff and RC Sustain.