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Jacob Lauing is a journalism junior and editor-in-chief of Mustang News.
I cringe when people call us a newspaper.
Sure, we offer a printed product twice a week, and newspaper writing is a skill at the core of any modern reporter, but the days of print-first journalism are long gone.
Mustang News is no longer a one-headed beast.
If you’re a relatively new reader, I’ll offer a quick history lesson. We were called Mustang Daily for as long as any recent Cal Poly student can remember. The production reflected the name, with our content hitting newsstands every morning on school days. Mustangdaily.net, however, was an afterthought.
Then, on a late September morning last year, a mere 15 minutes before the start of staff boot camp and days before the school year commenced, the journalism faculty dropped a bomb: Mustang Daily was dead. From that moment forward, we were known as Mustang News, an organization that would house the print, broadcast and public relations operations (traditionally separate entities) all under one roof. The newspaper moved to a two-day-per-week print schedule, allowing us to adopt a digital-first mentality and shift our focus to MustangNews.net.
With the name change came a clean slate and a chance to reinvent ourselves.
It breathed new life into our staff, a contagious creative spark that led to all kinds of innovative ideas. From parallax scrolling features to interactive quizzes, we tackled new projects that definitely characterized the type of year it was, along with our new, multifaceted identity.
It became clear that we weren’t just a newspaper, and that’s the brand I want to build moving forward.
Mustang News is a blank canvas.
It’s a platform to produce engaging content of all varieties, and this year, we’ll continue to push the boundaries that previously confined us to tabloid news spreads.
Don’t expect us to only churn out run-of-the-mill print news stories every day — we’ve become so much more than that. We’re not a newspaper. We’re not a broadcast news station. We’re not BuzzFeed.
We’re Mustang News.
We’re defined by the product you see right here, and that’s MustangNews.net, the perfect culmination of everything we create and a mirror image of the digital-first trends going on in the journalism industry.
What’s next for us?
We’ve got plenty more tricks up our sleeves this year, including a few big projects that will further dilute any preconceived expectations you have for Mustang News.
I recently came across a quote from Mike Markkula, Apple Inc.’s angel investor, former board member and brief CEO. He offered Steve Jobs some wise words during the aftermath of Apple’s collapse in the mid-1990s.
“Lasting companies know how to reinvent themselves,” Markkula told Jobs. “You’ve got to be like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis.”
A year ago, Mustang News was given that rebirth, and step by step, we’ve caterpillared our way to a revamped, re-established and reinvigorated brand.
Now, it’s time to spread our wings and fly.