The Threefold Announces Move to Digital

The Threefold Advocate, John Brown University’s student-led newspaper, is moving to a fully digital format starting in the Spring 2021 semester.

Since 1937, The Threefold has served the JBU and Siloam Springs communities with award-winning coverage created by student journalists, editors, photographers and designers. Our coverage spans across campus, the nation and the world as we hear perspectives from individuals with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

The print edition has been the heart of our work since our inception, and we have continually sought to better our coverage and reporting in ways that best reaches readers. In 2012, the communication department underwent renovations, creating a new digital newsroom and an online platform for students to gain real-world experience.

During the global coronavirus pandemic, our staff has worked to be flexible, especially when the March 2020 campus closure quickly forced all the university online. Over the summer, we planned and strengthened our digital outlets, including refreshing our social media and updating our website.

However, recognizing the challenges that our field is facing, with many newsrooms closing or limiting their productions, we want to continue to prepare students for the future of journalism. By moving to a fully digital publication, we seek to put more emphasis on formats conducive to quick updates regarding COVID-19, politics, sports and other breaking news. We are excited to continue our partnership with Golden Eagle Productions, broadening our reach with the podcasting network and broadcasts.

Through a survey the Threefold conducted in Aug. 2020, we found that over 80% of our audience gets their news through digital outlets, including websites and social media. Being a primarily digital outlet brings our reporting where students are. It also provides ways for alumni and community members off-campus, including parents and families, to stay connected to JBU, especially as the pandemic requires restrictions on visitors.

While recognizing the inherent issues and divisions of the digital world and the need for increased media literacy, we will continue to face challenges with integrity and a heart for those that we serve. We will continue to share award-winning stories across platforms in order to shine a light on the truth and to love our neighbors well.

We are honored to serve the JBU and Siloam Springs communities as we cover the difficult and inspiring events of 2021 and beyond. Thank you for your continued support of student journalism and for sharing your story with us.

Photo by Katelyn Kingcade/The Threefold Advocate