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Editorial

Student Voice makes strides to reach digital audience

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April 9, 2015

The spring 2015 semester has been a difficult one for student media, in particular the Student Voice, with the recent cuts to funding, but our spirits are high and we are dedicated to publishing a quality newspaper for not only the UW-River Falls community but the city of River Falls.

There has been a lot of talk regarding the possibility of creating an app for the Voice, and while we certainly would love to feature an app for our digital readers it’s not financially possible going forward.

We realize the day may come that the Voice will no longer print a physical copy of the newspaper, but we feel that day is far off in the distant future. However, because of emerging technology and the increasing popularity of online news, the Voice has recently created a new gadget for the website (uwrfvoice.com).

As of this week, anyone who accesses the Voice’s website with a mobile operating system, such as iOS, will be prompted with the possibility of adding a Voice icon to your smartphone’s homepage. This new feature acts like an app, and the Voice already has responsive web design (RWD).

RWD provides an optimal viewing experience: easy reading and navigation with a minimum amount of resizing, panning and scrolling. The Voice’s website was one of the first to be created in the UW System, and has significantly grown in the past five plus years.

For those who don’t know, the Voice’s content is now online two days before the print edition hits shelves for the first time since the website’s creation. In this digital-first world, the Voice has adapted to the needs of the community.

The Voice has also become extremely active on Twitter as we near 4,300 tweets and 500 followers. People, now more than ever, are seemingly glued to digital devices and it’s important to appeal to the needs of the UWRF population.

Twitter has also given us a chance to share important events and highlight outstanding students’ achievements. We at the Voice relish any opportunity to make further connections with our fellow students to keep them up-to-date on important campus events, and Twitter has allowed us to do this.

The times are changing, especially at UW System schools, and next semester the university will see a new crop of students, the loss of countless faculty and staff, a new Student Senate, and a new Voice staff, so it’s important now more than ever to stay informed on the UWRF campus.

We encourage everyone to take a peak at the Voice’s updated, responsive website, and to follow us on Twitter. We still believe in the key role a student newspaper plays in heavily student-populated democracy.