The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) shoots over Philadelphia 76ers guard Kelly Oubre Jr., rear, in red, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York on Sunday, March 10, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)
Column | Former Villanova fanatic watches “Nova Knicks” take down Sixers in NBA Playoffs
By Aidan Kasner, Sports Editor • May 23, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

Satire | A better use for editorial space

Satire+%7C+A+better+use+for+editorial+space
Olga Tseytlin | Staff Illustrator

To the editor-in-chief of The Pitt News,

I have a proposition — that The Pitt News enacts a long-term plan to gradually phase out editorial material in favor of advertising material. 

While this may sound like a ridiculous proposal, close examination of the current state of journalism and online media sincerely backs my suggestion. Quite frankly, it is nearly impossible for a newspaper to survive in this economy, but a strategic plan can save the long and admirable legacy of your century-old newspaper. 

Truthfully, ads are the future. Most websites already employ them, as does yours. But I believe that ads still have untapped quality. 

The best ads are informative, educational and interesting. They are fun to look at. They employ artistic techniques, use sophisticated color schemes and, really, are works of art. They inform you about your options as a consumer — they tell you their company values and why that company deserves your support. Local businesses can use ads to raise awareness in their community. Many of your ads, as I’ve noticed, are paid for by the University or University-affiliated organizations, and they contain important information for students on getting involved on the campus. As you can see, ads contain many types of important information. Readers deserve access to this. 

As the editor-in-chief of The Pitt News, you have the opportunity to accomplish these great things and help your community. While I am already impressed by how The Pitt News has taken advantage of ad opportunities, with many ads featured both on the website and in the print edition, I believe it would be to The Pitt News’ advantage to take your advertisement goals even further and replace editorial material with these helpful advertisements. 

While I can understand why you would object to producing less editorial material, it’s important to keep things in perspective. 

Firstly, let’s not pretend that news produced by young college students is the most valuable news in the world. We must take The Pitt News’ material with a grain of salt, knowing that the students who wrote it have limited world views and often, therefore, less valuable opinions. There is bias even in deciding what stories should be produced. Consumers should know this — that The Pitt News’ material is frankly just not as trustworthy as material produced by older people — but it’s not reasonable to expect that every consumer does know this. While The Pitt News has accomplished many good things during its long tenure, do not forget that The Pitt News has always had the capacity to cause harm, too — and surely it has, with all the spreading students’ painfully juvenile opinions it has done in its lifetime. 

Additionally, there are many online apps, such as TikTok, Instagram and X, formally known as Twitter, from which many people now prefer to source their news. And why wouldn’t they? These apps create short-form content that is much more entertaining and easier to consume than long blocks of text with clunky language. Plus, the people posting on these apps do not have to jump through hoops that many journalists do when it comes to newspapers, like the challenges of finding and interviewing multiple sources, appeasing editors’ whims about what changes the story needs or whether it should be produced at all. There is a more direct source-to-consumer relationship on these apps, making for faster news and more honesty from the journalists, making many newspapers’ jobs obsolete.

In all honesty, the market is moving in this direction anyway. Whether or not The Pitt News joins the trend is up to you, but in a few years, all newspapers will be prioritizing ad space over editorial space. 

Imagine it with me now — The Pitt News site, laden with colorful squares informing you about where you can get your dinner in town, what movies you can see at a local theater and what kind of benefits are offered to you as a student at this university. The Pitt News print edition, with page after page of pictures of pizza shops, local storage services and university stock photos of students acquiring their student benefits.

A newspapers’ purpose has always been to help its community, and this is how The Pitt News can do this. There is power in embracing ads — don’t let The Pitt News get left behind. 

From a caring and concerned citizen. 

Anna is hoping for hate mail. You can reach her at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Anna Ehlers, Staff Writer