UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

Showing our work: the determinants of your magazine (Part 2).

Dave Strupp (Spinnaker editor in chief ‘05 – ’06) and Jacob Harn discuss Spinnaker’s current changes.

The cover of the September issue, and first edition as a magazine, of the Spinnaker.
The cover of the September issue, and first edition as a magazine, of the Spinnaker.
Thursday, May 23, 5:26 p.m. — Survey Response #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… *[Editor’s note: due to the long hours, breakneck pace, and general exhaustive nature of  creating the newspaper on Tuesdays, the production days and nights are commonly referred to in a derogatory manner. However, the “f**k Tuesdays” sentiment that has carried on throughout the years, is largely ironic: it’s difficult, yes, but necessary and gratifying.]

Dave Strupp

Editor in Chief, 2005-2006


Sunday, August 31, 10:20 p.m. 

Jacob Harn:


I want to thank you for responding with your concerns over Spinnaker’s transition.

It wasn’t an easy decision, once taking into account some heartfelt and legitimate concerns, such as your own. But we’ve done the research — spent an entire, sunny, temperate, skin-filled (in places that didn’t include our office) summer doing this research — and the research pointed toward going daily (online, which we have been pumping up and promoting, and have been seeing increased traffic daily), and adding a magazine.

 Though starting out monthly, I want to lay the ground to increase publication frequency for future Spinnakers. Bi-weekly first, then, god willing, going to a weekly magazine. Lots to be done before then, but as one person — who has lost sleep over, sacrificed personal lives for, and has a permanent warm place in the heart for the Spinnaker — to another, I wanted to directly reach out to you on this. And I would love to include you into the conversation, if you’re willing.

I plan to show my work in the Letter from the Editor, and this includes showing the concerns we received in the survey.

Hope to hear from you soon as you’re able,

 And yes, f**k Tuesdays, *[Editor’s note: see note above]

Sincerely, the brother whose choices you don’t quite agree with.

Post Script:

To address your concern of training “… reporters under tight weekly deadlines;” they are now being trained for daily deadlines. The news that people need to know asap (daily), still occurs, and we expect/are expected to cover it. We now rely on the medium that best suits the timely and urgent nature of daily news: the instantaneous and omnipotent Internet.

 And on top of this training and responsibility, the reporters now have an opportunity to put the time and painstaking attention to detail into investigative and narrative journalism pieces.

 Training for a daily operation, and for a monthly operation — for a newspaper and a magazine (the newspaper being replaced by a website in this case).

 I’m sorry if I’m droning on at this point. Just want to make my case to you.


 Sunday, September 1, 12:41 a.m.

Dave Strupp:

 Jacob, I appreciate the response, sir. It’s funny that you sent this when you did because I was just having the conversation about the transition yesterday with a friend. I’ve given it a surprising amount of thought in the past few weeks — I’m not certain as to why, but it’s a lingering thought — and can now say I get it. This is the direction we’re moving in now, and that’s blatantly obvious with the state of the industry, even when I left journalism a few years ago. The transition makes sense for you all now, and I’m actually very eager to see how it works. When we first started using the web for Spinnaker, it was hardly an impressive product. But, we tried as best we could and put together a website on a shoestring budget, something I’m sure you and many editors before you have done plenty of times. You guys are doing great work, and I imagine that will only continue to get better with this transition.

 Having said that, I should commend you for making quite a heavy decision with an eye on the future of what the organization can and should be. That’s what you’re supposed to do as Editor In Chief. You have only one year to learn, improve the product, make an impact on the university and lay the foundation for the future of the publication. My short-term goal was to redesign the paper and go full color (seems silly but it hadn’t been done before), while my long-term vision was to create a legacy to make Spinnaker a self-sufficient publication. I don’t know how the latter has gone, and maybe it makes no sense to do that in the end, but it was something for the greater good of the paper. And as of late, that’s how I’ve started to see your decision for this transition. Seeing this only makes me realize you’re doing it for the good of the Spinnaker, so cheers to you on that, brother.

 As for my previous response, feel free to publish it. Even though I’ve had plenty of time to see the light and realize the benefits, I feel it would be hypocritical of me to say you shouldn’t publish that. It was a pretty strong moment of nostalgia I had, and my concern was to see the hard news and weekly grind that we all loved and loathed go by the wayside. Your response has certainly confirmed what I’ve recently, slowly come to realize: this is what has to happen. Maybe Tuesday will never be the same…

 So charge on, buddy. I wish you guys the best of luck in the new venture. In all honesty, I’m a bit envious of your situation, if only because of the excitement of new beginnings you will get from this. If I were still in the area I’d offer to take you and your senior staff out to lunch or drinks or something. It was always nice to do that for a few of the editors after me, and I know the editors prior to me enjoyed it as well. In lieu of that, feel free to give a shout any time if you guys need anything. You don’t seem to need it though. You guys will do just fine. I helped guide that paper through some tragic moments and dark times, but the only way I was able to do that was with the support of some of the old editors, so I just want to make sure you guys know I’m happy to lend a hand in any way I can.

 Thanks again for your response, Jacob. Pardon my long-winded response as well.

 Best of luck to you.


Sunday, September 1, 1:49 a.m.

Jacob Harn:

Wow. Thank you. I’ve been trying to approach this without ego — treating legacy, and “me” as four-letter-words — and taking the results of each bit of research as a “make or break” benchmark. It was close, in certain cases, such as the survey, where the field was fairly split among over 500 respondents. But the survey tilted more toward a “yes;” media trends proved magazines to be holding out against the digital age better than newspapers, and it’s safe to say at this point that a majority of people find magazine print to be “prettier.” And this isn’t quite the right word, but I think you’ll be able draw the implications of something “pretty” in our current social environment — media related or not.

And I don’t want that to mislead you. There is, and will continue to be, hard news. Determining what sort of “newsy” article has a place in a monthly magazine is an intricate process — a process I haven’t grasped well enough to concisely list you it’s criteria here and now. In the meantime, check the first issue (out Wednesday morning, Sept.4): reading the news/enterprise pieces in the forthcoming publication will allow you to determine the criteria better than I have a chance of here. *[Editor’s note: The story mentioned here was not ready for publication when the magazine was submitted to the press. Click here to read that story.]

And back to my point: wow. I’ve needed your words — needed the turn of an opinion of someone who cares about the Spinnaker and its purpose as much as only an editor of the publication can (not excluding those around me now). I’m heartened to hear that your time mulling the matter over turned your favor toward the transition. Spinnaker as a newspaper has a 36-year legacy. People — despite the stigmas sometimes associated with the legitimacy of college media — people like the thing. Many truly value the Spinnaker. It’s scary to mess with something that is already “working.” This wasn’t my decision to make, and in making it, I’ve been wary. But you can’t ignore an intuition backed up by supporting facts. And so — just waiting for a spoiler result or bit of evidence — the favor of going digital first and adding a monthly magazine became undeniable.

The real test is to come, so we’ll see. Hopefully the students take to it.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Spinnaker intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, slurs, defamation, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and will be removed if they do not adhere to these standards. Spinnaker does not allow anonymous comments, and Spinnaker requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All UNF Spinnaker Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest