Showing our work: the determinants of your magazine (Part 1).

Jacob Harn

As the spring 2013 semester wound down, myself and Spinnaker Print Art Director Joey Taravella, made a decision: We would begin researching the possibility of transforming the print publication into a magazine.

The first step was to take the temperature of UNF’s student body — Spinnaker is produced for students, by students, and the creation of the magazine ultimately depended on what you all had to say. Eleven questions were compiled, and multiple options for extended responses were provided.

Over the course of forty-three calendar days — from May 20 to July 1 — 453 students and 52 Alumni and faculty responded. The total number of respondents came to 505 ***(these totals reflect the elimination of some responses, where the short answer portions were in contradiction to the publication type preference questions).

***Although there were more than 505 total respondents, some of their short answer responses contradicted their  answers to questions two and three. Once these unreliable responses were eliminated, the total number came to 505.
***Although there were more than 505 total respondents, some of their short answer responses contradicted their answers to questions two and three. Once these unreliable responses were eliminated, the total number came to 505.

The two questions relating directly to the magazine and their results are reproduced on this page. The other nine questions were related to content and cross-platform promotion, which would help (and has helped) give context to how we would approach the magazine if general approval was given.

The survey results leaned in favor of the magazine, and so — a couple months of hard work now coming to fruition — the magazine is now what exists.

The survey responses published below largely focus on those who were not in favor of the transition. We want you to know that we deliberated over your responses, and although the magazine has come to pass, your concerns are still on our minds. We hope the discourse continues in some fashion, and encourage our readers to continue giving us feedback now that the magazine can be held in their hands.

For the sake of the anonymity with which we initiated this survey, no names have been listed. The number and sequence with which each person responded is listed, and ordered according to: 1.) university affiliation, 2.) stance, whether “against,” somewhere in the “middle ground,” or “in favor of” the change .

 

 

The Questions and Results:

Picture 19

Q2 STUDENTSQ2 FACULTY

Picture 18Q3 STUDENTSQ3 FACULTYStudents:

Against

Survey Respondent #32: rather see more news and events and keep a weekly edition. maybe an app that would link content to the UNF app for reading on mobile device would be nice. I do not want email.

SR #64: A weekly email and a monthly print magazine is not a bad idea, I think that changing to a glossy print magazine is a HUGE waste of money and resources

SR #67: Don’t change a thing. I love the way it is. Weekly NEWSPAPER!!! That’s what the spinnaker is. Wouldn’t it just cost more money to make a fancy glossy paper… Please don’t change it.

SR #80: The Spinnaker should embrace the electronic world that we live in. Investing student fees into a print magazine is a waste of resources. It would be.much more cost effective to run a high end website for the spinnaker, as opposed to wasting money on print magazines which mostly end up.on the sidewalks of campus.

SR #103: I think that the spinnaker is one of the best things we have on campus. I work on campus and we are very excited to have a new spinnaker every week. I love how the spinnaker focuses on current issues and has very relevant articles to students. It would make me and many other students unhappy if there was less newspapers a month. As a new campus it is hard enough learning about the new things happening as the campus grows.

SR #106: Every week, I look forward to the new Spinnaker paper. Making the subscription monthly would be disappointing, no matter how much more content was in it.

SR #114: I really hope that The Spinnaker becomes more of a news source and less of a tabloid. Work with the students to produce something worth reading. Not something that is better used to pack my apartment or dorm.

SR #116: As long as the glossy-print magazine DOES NOT cost extra money to make, then I don’t care. But I don’t want to pay extra for something everyone seldom ever reads unless it has a picture of marijuana on it.

SR #164: First, this took more than 20 seconds to complete, and worth the time. Second, more information about the value of going glossy print vs what we have now and the number of distribution times a month would be helpful. Based on how the questions are written you leave an impression that going glossy and monthly will cost the same as the current weekly publication. Is that true?  Finally, what value outside of the UNF community is brought to the publication by going glossy and monthly?  Thanks for asking.

SR #174: What about changing to an email publication. All the students have computers. Wouldn’t that be less expensive and more convenient.  That is the way I would like. Thanks for considering to my opinion.

SR #233: While its not clear that printing a glossy magazine will save money, I am concerned that the news with which a monthly periodical can cover will be grossly out of date and cover less. I’d also be concerned with the experience the students/staff of the Spinnaker would get would be diminished (1/4 of the cover opportunities, reduced headlines/features, etc) and would lose revenue from vendors who want a more consistent and frequent exposure to their audience.

SR #291: Spinnaker is terrible and the funding should be stopped, immediately.

SR #347: Please don’t change the Spinnaker!  I fell in love with the Spinnaker this past Spring semester and I would hate for it to change.  A “glossy-print magazine” has a gossipy, superficial image that would take away from the classic, respected, and dignified image of a school’s newspaper.  Nothing beats the satisfying texture of a newspaper in your hands.  I think it would be a tragedy to the current Spinnaker lovers if the newspaper were to change.

SR #376: The current Spinnaker is great! Changing it to this new format will lose my interest. The weekly updates keep me the most in the loop. I do not want to wait a month to hear about what happened 4 weeks ago or have something important missed in the spinnaker because it occured so long ago.

SR #378: students are already busy enough with classes and homework, the convenience of the spinnaker is being able to pick it up while on a lunch or while you have some downtime between classes and peruse the information.  if i have to seek it out online, it will be as if it doesnt exist, at least to me.  there are already weekly unf updates in our in boxes, that most people that i know skim over if they open them at all.  UNF students spend more than enough in fees to keep these sort of programs going, i dont see any logical reason why the publication could not afford to stay in its current form.  please dont change this periodical. somethings need to stay in print form, and i think this is one of them!

SR #416: I think weekly news is timely pertinent and informative. I don’t think the Spinnaker on a monthly basis is a good idea.

SR #429: There is no need to make the spinnaker glossy. I can read it perfectly just how it is! Why invest more materials and money/fees into something people read and then toss? What a backwards step to UNF becoming a greener school. Also, the monthly issue sounds like a good idea with less materials consumed but I honestly like how it is right now because if there is a major event, it is published in the following weeks issue. As far as the digital age goes, I think the only reason why I do read the Spinnaker is because it is widely available across campus and I much prefer reading material like that over browsing and reading articles over the internet.

SR #449: I would like to read more news (factual) and less opinion.

SR #347: Please don’t change the Spinnaker!  I fell in love with the Spinnaker this past Spring semester and I would hate for it to change.  A “glossy-print magazine” has a gossipy, superficial image that would take away from the classic, respected, and dignified image of a school’s newspaper.  Nothing beats the satisfying texture of a newspaper in your hands.  I think it would be a tragedy to the current Spinnaker lovers if the newspaper were to change.

SR #497: The Spinnaker is goo, but could be so much better.

 

Middle Ground

SR #62: as long as there’s not more fees for us to pay for this ‘magazine’ to come out. and/or if you do decide to publish more often.. I never read the spinnaker.

SR #109: If we could cut down on costs, and better the content in the magazine i suggest a bi-weekly.. or monthly. I would rather read a better magazine with better written stories twice a month or once a month, than read a half put together magazine every week.

SR #232: The spinnaker is a really opinion based and not factural.

SR #111: If its more expensive to print the spinnaker on a glossy format I don’t think we should spend more money. However I do like that it is a newspaper format because its just easy to remember to recycle it once you’re done reading.

SR #330: Include info about and for ADULTS students too. There are enough of us back in school now to warrant that!  We matter too!

SR #313: I stopped reading Spinnaker because it was not pertinent or interesting.  Just more stuff about its political biases, their pot agenda, and alcohol/sex.

SR #314: Only go monthly if the content is going to be far superior.

SR #332: Print stories that make UNF a high caliber university….one that everyone can be proud of …highlight progress – academics- community- service. Focusing on bars and nightclubs and apartments? Really?

SR #412: Can we get the Spinnaker emailed to us.

SR #445 The Spinnaker feels a little redundant when the college emails me campus updates every week already

SR #455 I think creating a monthly magazine publication is a good idea. Especially with local magazines, such as Void magazine, gaining stronger viewership opposed to the traditional beaches’s newspaper.

 

In Favor Of

SR #6: Whatever changes you make to the paper, I am confident that the Spinnaker will remain a trustworthy publication.

SR #70: I like the current format because I can recycle it when I finish with it but a glossy magazine would be pretty cool. It would definitely stay together easier. PS- do more police beats because they are pretty funny

SR #117: The change is awesome with the work they are putting into it. Hopefully it still covers the same type of material and photos.

SR #164: First, this took more than 20 seconds to complete, and worth the time. Second, more information about the value of going glossy print vs what we have now and the number of distribution times a month would be helpful. Based on how the questions are written you leave an impression that going glossy and monthly will cost the same as the current weekly publication. Is that true?  Finally, what value outside of the UNF community is brought to the publication by going glossy and monthly?  Thanks for asking.

SR #245: Where can you locate a copy of the spinnaker? Poor advertisement…

SR #305: I would prefer an RSS feed. And for this to work, the website has to be the first priority, the magazine second.

SR #327: I think the Arts/Culture/Entertainment/Fashion aspect of the Spinnaker could be improved upon. I feel like those particular features are put together almost as if it was an after thought in an attempt to be more “interesting”.

SR #431: most of the photos/graphics in the Spinnaker are of the staff… i found an odd number of photos depicting ways to use your spinnaker, as if people wouldnt be reading it. It lacked a lot of content in order to display full page pictures of students with newspaper up their shirts pretending to have large breasts. it honestly made me feel like the whole paper was a joke

 

Faculty

 

Against

SR #59: Like to see more promotion of services UNF provides. For example with the information technology area, articles could focus on Ospreys E-mail, Blackboard, SkyDrive, Student Technology Sessions, Virtual Lab (coming), IT Service Status, classroom student response system (clickers), UNF Mobile app, Mathews Collaboration Lab, services Help Desk provides, etc. You could do the same with Counseling Center services, Women’s Center, Military and Veterans Center, One Stop services, Food venues, etc. Promote all the great services available (many students are not aware of these).

SR #118: Improve your content and quality of work. Honestly, this is one of the worst student newspapers I’ve seen, high schools included.

*[Editor’s note: Although a number of faculty were in favor of the change, many did not respond to the extended answer portions, and thus, only those against are included in this addendum.]

 

Middle Ground

SR #11: Like to see more promotion of services UNF provides. For example with the information technology area, articles could focus on Ospreys E-mail, Blackboard, SkyDrive, Student Technology Sessions, Virtual Lab (coming), IT Service Status, classroom student response system (clickers), UNF Mobile app, Mathews Collaboration Lab, services Help Desk provides, etc. You could do the same with Counseling Center services, Women’s Center, Military and Veterans Center, One Stop services, Food venues, etc. Promote all the great services available (many students are not aware of these).

 

Alumni

 

Against

SR #503: I think the Spinnaker works fine for its intended audience in its present format. The students read it and toss it. Why pay more for glossy magazine type format?.

SR #400: Don’t ever lose yourselves, guys. You are an institution that is there to train news reporters under tight weekly deadlines. The goal for us nearly a decade ago was to lay the foundation so future Spinnaker generations could obtain the ultimate goal — independence. We wanted to publish more frequently. I understand times and readerships change, and maybe a daily or biweekly edition will never happen, but reducing your publication seems like a step back.

If you are interested in starting a monthly magazine supplement to the regular run of the Spinnaker, I will gladly help you to reach that goal. It could be a great addition to your publication as well. I’m always here as a resource or for historical perspective. Don’t hesitate to reach out. That goes for any former Editor in Chief. We all still hold the Spinnaker close to heart. Keep up the good work. And as always, f**k Tuesdays…

Dave Strupp

Editor in Chief, 2005-2006

 

Middle Ground

SR #475: I am a UNF Alumni and graduated in 2009 and live in Chicago. I have not been to campus since, but get most of my Spinnaker news via RSS. I really would appreciate if you could publish more stories there. I believe the Magazine style would be nice, however, what will separate it from the UNF magazine I already get as an alum? I answered 3 (middle) on most of the questions as I did no feel they applied to me, as I have not seen a spinnaker copy in almost 3 years.

 

In Favor Of

SR #3: I think this is an awesome idea! I’ve worked for two Jacksonville-based magazines, and monthly is such a great route. You’ll have WAY more content to present, which means a bigger issue, which is so much more appealing than a skinny, lackluster paper. List events by the month, and feature more things to do around town! Jacksonville is so large, and so many students who aren’t from here complain about not knowing what to do. Maybe feature an area of town once a month with things to do in that area (ie. Downtown has the river walk, the Landing, a large bar scene, love music, museums, boutiques, etc…). Good luck!! I wish there was a way to get copies sent to my home! I’ve always loved the Spinnaker.