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University of Akron student newspaper suspends publication; staff shortage cited

Beacon Journal staff report

The University of Akron student newspaper has suspended publication this semester.

Roger Mezger, a retired journalist at the Akron Beacon Journal and Plain Dealer who is serving in an advisory role, said in a statement that the Buchtelite is “facing the challenge of how to be relevant in a digital age.”

Staffing suffered this month when a core of students who have been active in the past could not continue in their Buchtelite jobs because of internships, heavy class loads and other similar issues.

While the paper is on hiatus, Mezger said he would be working with the Division of Student Affairs, the School of Communication, student organizations and others to develop a plan going forward. A newly formed Media Advisory Committee of faculty, staff and students has been launched to reinvent the newspaper.

Most of the twice-a-week newspaper’s costs have been covered by ad sales. The university provides the space and pays the salary for the adviser, which is currently a vacant position. Mezger is an independent contractor who is being paid about $6,000 this semester. The independent student newspaper, which dates back to 1889, had been publishing two times a week and marks its 125th anniversary this year.


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