Kernel to improve with new print schedule



A recently outdated cast-iron sign stands in front of the Grehan Journalism Building in the center of campus. The sign tells a brief history of the Kentucky Kernel. It says the Kernel first appeared in 1915 and became daily in 1966.

But a new chapter in the Kernel’s story began this summer. The independent campus newspaper publishes online every day, and now prints two days a week, Monday and Thursday.

“Where do you get your news?” is probably the most popular question journalism professors ask their students. The response is often “online,” whether through social media, a news company’s website or an app.

And those companies are getting more money than ever from their websites. The switch from TV, radio and newspapers to online happened years ago, but the Kernel has always focused on creating a printed newspaper with a website as an afterthought.

The decision this summer by the Kernel Board of Directors, a group of faculty, professionals and students, including myself, to cut print production from five days a week to two days a week was an effort to change that. Printed newspapers are still near and dear to the staff’s heart, and we still have a large, loyal print audience, but the web is calling the Kernel’s name.

Through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and through video and graphics, the Kernel will become one of the best daily online newspapers in the country. And the printed paper will be better than ever.

The paper will be something students can keep on their coffee tables and read throughout the week. Usually eight pages or more, it will be the students’ go-to place for campus news and sports coverage. But the response may not be entirely positive.

There will undoubtedly be some push-back from newspaper traditionalists who cling to the idea of a daily newspaper, and I sympathize with them. But this was bound to happen.

The Kernel needs to reach its readers, and students aren’t only hanging around newspaper racks to see the headlines.

Students want to read the Kernel wherever they are. From the cellphone to the printing press, the Kernel will now be able to produce more award-winning journalism than ever before.

I don’t know how much it will cost to replace the sign outside Grehan, but I hope newly found online advertising revenue will help pay for it.