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A New Beginning: Letters from the editors of the Gauntlet’s first magazine

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me that print media is dying since I started writing for the Gauntlet in 2014, including friends, online detractors and Postmedia executives. It’s often said that entering the journalism industry is like latching yourself to a sinking ship. And it’s hard to argue with the constant stream of headlines. The Globe and Mail, Canada’s paper of record, let go of 40 staff in September 2016. Calgary’s last alt-weekly, FFWD, shut down in 2015, citing declining ad revenue. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. But at the same time, web traffic for media outlets, ourselves included, is way up. Watching the industry shift over the last decade has told us that we need to shift as well.

The Gauntlet has been the U of C’s student publication for 57 years, and that’s not going to change. It hasn’t always been a weekly newspaper. It hasn’t always been online. And I’m sure the next time editors decide to change its format, they’ll assure everyone that the Gauntlet hasn’t always been a magazine. We think that this magazine — the first of many, intended to give both our readers and our staff a taste of what the Gauntlet’s future looks like — is filled to the brim with cool stories. We’ve got the restoration of campus icon “Leon the Frog”, an interview with mayor Naheed Nenshi and a great feature on concussions in youth hockey. And, for our many crossword faithfuls, we’ve got you covered too.

A lot of people were involved in creating this magazine and making this transition as smooth as possible. As the incoming editor-in-chief, I’m inheriting a lot of the hard work put in by staff soon leaving. I’m thankful that Mel gave me such stable ground to stand on and I’m beyond excited to begin this new era of the Gauntlet.

We’ll be coming out with magazines monthly during the fall and winter semesters, with up-to-date content on thegauntlet.ca all year. Stay tuned.

Jason Herring, Gauntlet Editor-in-Chief, 2017–18

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For the first time, allow me to welcome you to the Gauntlet magazine. The Gauntlet has been called many things over the paper’s 57-year existence. Campus news source. Commie rabble-rouser. Holder to account. Garbage rag.

Each one has served a different purpose. This newest name — magazine and website — serves a purpose too. The Gauntlet at its core is a service-based organization, and this switch allows it to better serve our readers and ourselves.

We serve our readers and the University of Calgary by providing them accurate, timely, important and fun content. This magazine will allow us to make sure the publication they pick up from our stands and the articles they click on our website are the best they can be, and that the Gauntlet adds something to their lives.

Similarly, the Gauntlet serves its staff and volunteers. The reality is that not a lot of jobs exist in weekly print newspapers anymore.

But digital media is a growing industry and somehow magazines are weathering the storm too.

This shift to a magazine is the Gauntlet adapting, just the same as it adapted when we launched thegauntlet.ca back in the ‘90s, just the same as it adapted when we ran a referendum for independence in 1979 and just the same as when a new campus newspaper published its first volume on Sept. 23, 1960.

This latest evolution is the result of years of work from many different people. When I came in as Editor-in-Chief, I knew this is what we were working towards, and discussions were already happening with my predecessor Kate Jacobson and her predecessor Riley Hill.

Over the past year, many meetings have been held, many emails sent and many questions asked. The outgoing and incoming editorial boards worked their asses off during exam week to put this first one together for you, the reader. And I’m more than confident Jason and his team will take this change and run with it. They  are the best of people to help write the next chapter of the Gauntlet’s history.

I’m excited to see what the Gauntlet looks like next year. If this magazine is any litmus test, y’all better watch out for something great.

Melanie Woods, Gauntlet Editor-in-Chief, 2016–17

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