Here’s why we started a new email newsletter, The Stump

Mikaela Rodenbaugh

The Free Speech Stump is a mainstay in the plaza and it serves as a place for people to hang out and speak their mind. Collegian File Photo.

This week, The Rocky Mountain Collegian debuted an email newsletter called The Stump, named after our much beloved Free Speech Stump on campus installed by Collegian employees in 1964. It’s an email newsletter hand-curated and designed by me, our digital production manager. The decision was one that we felt was needed to make so that we could continue to innovate and inform the Colorado State University campus community.

It’s a community we love and one that we try to serve every single day at The Collegian.

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Recently, news websites have been hit hard by some changes to social media algorithms like Facebook’s. What that has meant for us is that our social media followers see less and less of our posts on their feeds.

For those of you who may not take journalism classes or know much about the industry, you might not know that recently, news websites have been hit hard by some changes to social media algorithms like Facebook’s. What that algorithm change has meant for us is that our readership has gone down as our social media followers see less and less of our posts on their feeds.

It’s a battle that many papers are struggling to win – and it’s meant that journalists have had to get creative about getting their content out there to the good people they serve, people like you.

At the same time, there’s been a shift in the industry, and more papers are realizing they need to get serious about subscription model journalism. As a result, many newspapers now offer newsletters like The Stump.

The Stump email
Yesterday’s edition of The Stump.

But writing and designing those newsletters is no easy task. It takes me an average of 2 hours per day.  And while I may be the one who launched, designed and now curates the newsletters, the truth is, I didn’t do it alone.

I had help, from Colorado Public Radio digital innovation editor Dan Schneider – who so graciously offered me his feedback and time during a busy work week to let me ask him a ton of questions about his own process after he had just launched another awesome email newsletter, The Lookout, from CPR news.

I had former Collegian editor in chief, Andres Carrera, reach out with his feedback on our old newsletter, The Daily Digest, pushing me to see the need for a new kind of newsletter and helping me to connect with another member of the extended Collegian family.

I had lots of support from our professional level staff like Leslie Cory, Pete Waack, and Doug Hay at Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, who all put their full confidence in me throughout the process.

And I continue to receive kind words and useful feedback from teachers, family members and people I have worked with who have been following along.

Most of all, I was blessed because I was given the room to experiment and start new projects like The Stump from our current editor in chief, Haley Candelario.

Building an online newsletter takes a lot of work, but we’re proud to offer The Stump to our community to make sure everyone we reach with these emails has a chance to feel connected to our campus and the happenings of life in Fort Collins.

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If you want to be a part of that, please join The Stump at collegian.com/subscribe or view our most recent newsletter here for more information. 

Digital production manager Mikaela Rodenbaugh can be reached via email at mrodenbaugh@collegian.com or on Twitter @mikarodenbaugh.