Same stories, dynamic new platform

Same great stories, dynamic new platform
Print edition of UBC Reports nears an end

Next month, UBC’s Public Affairs office will publish its final regular monthly edition of UBC Reports in print.

While we plan a special print edition again in May for our popular congregation edition profiling graduating students, work is underway to launch a dynamic new online news portal that we hope will become a fast, reliable source of UBC news.

This print publication has been telling meaningful stories about students, faculty and staff since 1955. At the time, President Norman Mackenzie wrote that the publication was meant to meet an important communication need for the UBC community.

“One of the most difficult problems in an institution as large and as widely dispersed as the University of British Columbia,” he wrote in the inaugural edition, “is that of bringing to the attention of its members the interesting events that occur in its many Faculties and Departments. . . UBC Reports is an attempt to do this.”

Almost sixty years later, the University is larger than ever, offering a wealth of people and developments to feature. In a brave new world of instant digital communication, we in UBC Public Affairs have become increasingly aware of the limitations of a print format that comes out once a month, has only a set number of pages, and has limited reach.

Journalists long ago made the transition to our electronic, online edition of UBC Reports. And we care about their habits­—because we want them to tell our stories to a broader audience. By rough count, in the past year about 60 per cent of our UBC Reports features have been reported on, in one way or another, by mainstream media. This is a credit to how compelling the work of our extraordinary teaching and learning community really is.

The digital world offers new opportunities, allowing for more stories every  week, new multimedia ways to tell them, more reader interaction and global reach.  The time has come to boldly go into that digital future.

Even so, it is with mixed emotions that we, and perhaps some of our readers as well, prepare to say goodbye to our regular print edition of UBC Reports. In our March edition, we will celebrate the rich heritage of UBC Reports in print. And rest assured that UBC Reports will continue to be available to you as a regular e-mail summary of our latest and greatest news stories.

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