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I should have looked at my watch for an official time of death. But what I can say is that at approximately 8:45 a.m. Friday morning, Mustang Daily was no more. At the same time, student media at Cal Poly had never been more alive.
The journalism faculty decided this past week to rebrand the student newspaper and media organization as Mustang News. In the days that followed, we have worked to change the name of our Facebook page, Twitter accounts and website, not to mention to redesign logos across the board. I didn’t realize how prevalent the Mustang Daily name was across campus until we were tasked with changing it all — on just a few days notice.
Many were sad to see Mustang Daily go, myself — the veteran of the staff — included. I was just one of many students who had poured thousands of hours into the Mustang Daily name over its 46 years headlining the newspaper, and it felt like it had been swept away in one short sentence. But in reality, it wasn’t.
Every journalist who preceded me had advanced the newspaper to the point at which we found ourselves on Friday, but nothing could stop our new digital economy from wreaking havoc on traditional newspapers. The root of the change comes down to the fact that the printed newspaper is no longer what the name had claimed: daily. Beginning this year, it will come out twice a week — on Mondays and Thursdays — while our website becomes the news hub.
Even more importantly, this year marked the first time Cal Poly’s student-run television station joined a new digital team and the newspaper to form what we call an integrated newsroom.
It made sense that such a transformative change would be accompanied by a new brand.
It marked a long history of name changes to what is now Mustang News — Cal Poly’s newspaper was once the Polygram, the Polytechnic California, El Mustang and Mustang Daily — and I don’t expect this name change to be the last. Maybe in the future, when “Daily” is no longer considered a designation, but an homage to a time past, Mustang Daily will return. But for now, we are Mustang News, and we can’t wait to stop explaining who we are and just start showing you.