The student magazine Vertex will cease publication. According to the Chair of Umeå Student Union the reason is partly that a physical newspaper does not attract students anymore, partly that advertising revenue has decreased over several years.
“Vertex in both physical and digital form should be a given for all students in Umeå.” So says last year’s financial report from Kårmedia Umeå AB, the company that publishes Vertex.
At the annual general meeting that same autumn, the Umeå Student Union of Science and Technology (NTK) and the Umeå Student Union (US), who own the company together, began plans to discontinue the newspaper.
– It’s financially unsustainable. We’ve had to add money on top of what we allocate to Vertex every year. This suggests that Vertex doesn’t work in its current form. We also see ad revenue falling and we notice students don’t read Vertex, says Hanna Lundqvist Jernberg, Chair of Umeå Student Union.
The NTK and US want to invest in a new form of media that will also include the Umeå Medical and Health Sciences Student Union in management. The idea is for articles to be published digitally and for students to continue to produce the contents.
– We want to collect all the information about what’s happening on campus in a much more extensive and better way. We envision something more like a hub, where anyone can go in and check out what’s happening on campus and in the student unions. There will be lots of critical reporting, entertainment, all of it. We feel that the Vertex paper doesn’t have room for that. We also want the unions to be more involved with the work of the student paper and its format. We also need to find a model where the Umeå Medical and Health Sciences Student Union can take part, and that doesn’t work with the current shape of the company, says Hanna Lundin Jernberg.
Vertex editor in chief, Bertil Janson, says that the shutdown means that a part of student life at Umeå University will disappear, along with a piece of the newspaper publishing history of Umeå.
– I know many readers will miss the paper. It has also been the nursery for lots of ambitious students who have taken their first steps into the media industry by freelancing for Vertex. It was just the other year that the paper was nominated for the finals of the national Publishing Prize contest, so it feels strange that it’s going to close now, he says.
Two issues of Vertex remain, the penultimate, out in May, and the very last, Vertex no. 4:2020, out in September.
Translation: Sara Charlez
Read the article in Swedish here. Read more in Vertex no. 3:2020, which is out on 4 May.
PS: Visit Vertex Facebook and write a comment or just say goodbye to Vertex. The final issue is out on 11 September.