The Silhouette: A New Look for McMaster's Student Newspaper
August 7, 2014 at 10:31 am
The Silhouette is one of the staples of McMaster University. In Publication since 1930, the student-run newspaper is a long-standing tradition designed to present topical information to Mac students, ranging from events on campus and updates on the SRA and MSU to social commentary on current world issues. However, just because The Sil is rooted in tradition doesn't mean it's the same paper it was 84 years ago, and to that end it is constantly changing to better serve and represent the needs of students.
Last year, The Sil introduced a revamped website, designed to be more accessible, mobile-friendly, better highlight web and video specific content, and allow for news to be released as it happened. These changes were made with students in mind, focusing on features and a layout that was engaging and streamlined. This year, the current Executive Editor Andrew Terefenko and his team, have continued this process with the paper itself, officially switching The Sil from broadsheet to tabloid. While the switch may appear purely visual, in reality it reflects a change in tone in The Sil itself and a refocused direction. The Sil was one of the last University newspapers in Canada to still use the broadsheet format, which is traditionally more text heavy. The new tabloid style can only fit 65% of the content previously allowed, however this allows the editorial staff to curate each issue, hand-picking the best content for print and posting more web-exclusive content online. Additionally, the new format comes with a glossy front and back, staples down the spine to hold it all together, and a layout more conducive to feature spreads and photography - all of which can be used to better showcase student talent and design. "Although the redesign was partially to help cut costs, internally we wanted to do the service more justice" said Terefenko. "I was convinced that we needed to make the switch one day while watching a student fumble with a broadsheet while on the bus. The tabloid format better fits our demographic."
All of this does not mean The Sil will stop being a venue for serious journalism, or a forum to discuss important campus issues. The current focus of The Sil is to appeal to the broader student body, ensuring that content is enjoyable, and targeted to what is important to students in their academic and social settings while at McMaster.
For an example of what this entails, and now the new format will appear throughout the year, you can check out the online edition of The Sil's August issue below:
If you have any questions about The Sil, or are looking for ways to get involved, fell free to contact Andrew Terefenko, the Executive Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org