Changing With the Times

Communications and Public Affairs to launch fully online information service

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The way the community learns about what’s going on at U of G will be changing in April. New features on the University’s website will include “people” stories, photos and, eventually, video news stories, and At Guelph will cease publication after April 7.

“Many of the features that people look for in the newspaper, such as profiles of faculty, staff and students, will be incorporated into this new generation of At Guelph,” says Chuck Cunningham, director of Communications and Public Affairs (C&PA).

He adds that the change is a result of numerous factors, including technological advances, evolving community expectations and behaviours, and staff retirements and budget reductions.

“Over the years, technology has changed the way we deliver information to the University community,” says Cunningham. “People expect to get news and information about the University on a daily basis and often via the web, so we’ve been communicating much of U of G’s news this way in addition to publishing the newspaper.”

As a result, by the time At Guelph is produced every two weeks, many of its stories have already appeared on the University’s website, he says.

“We’ve been evaluating the newspaper’s future for some time now. In the past two years especially, we’ve had a number of suggestions from the U of G community to eliminate the paper as part of our efforts to save money and ‘go green.’”

In addition, At Guelph editor Barbara Chance and publications assistant Linda Graham, two C&PA staff members who are key to the newspaper’s production, are retiring this spring, says Cunningham. “The timing of their retirements accelerated this change.”

Many of the unique features of the newspaper such as research news and feature stories about students, faculty and staff will appear on the new “At Guelph” web page, which will be accessible from the University’s website.

That page will also include photos, announcements such as honours and awards, and other news and information, as well as an events listing.

The events section on the University’s website was updated in January to allow members of the University community to submit their coming events online at www.uoguelph.ca/events/addevent.

The U of G website will eventually include video news releases and stories.
A new email address —cpa@uoguelph.ca — will allow the community to submit story ideas and comments directly to the C&PA editorial team.

“Our aim is to keep our community well-informed in a more timely manner about the important stories and developments affecting this community,” says Cunningham.