The Legacy magazine gets pulled


Photo by Kat Owens

The meeting included publication staff and faculty members of the Arts, Media and Communications program Friday afternoon on Lindenwood’s campus.


The April edition of the Legacy print magazine will be its last. 

Dr. Joseph Alsobrook, dean of the School of Arts, Media and Communications told the student staff Friday afternoon that the magazine will no longer be printed. 

Alsobrook justified the cut based on a review of the journalism department from 2016 when Jill Van Wyke from Drake University — which currently produces five magazines — visited the campus.

“Ideally, the organization of your campus media would mirror the direction your curriculum is taking toward multi-platform converged publication,” Van Wyke’s review said.

Alsobrook cited the move of the journalism lab to a new, converged space in McCluer Hall this fall as the reason for the timing of the decision.

But some staff members questioned the loss of the print option, pointing out that is a part of multi-platform reporting. Others wondered about the validity of a two-year-old study.

Commentary made by Drake University’s Jill Van Wyke during her 2016 assessment of the school’s journalism department.

“The reviews that Van Wyke made were reviews of the journalism program before it had the magazine and before Lindenlink had a strong online presence,” said Lindsey Fiala, online editor. “So, using these reviews to justify not printing the magazine makes no sense.”

Alsobrook also mentioned the cost of printing as a concern. The 32-page magazine cost approximately $2,000 to print 2,000 copies. Last school year, the magazine had five issues and brought in more than $3,000 in ad revenue. The cost of the magazine is paid for by the university and not a student fee.

The cover stories in the magazines included then editor-in-chief Essi Auguste Virtanen’s story about breaking the silence about mental health issues in college, reporter Ashley Higginbotham’s stories about campuses struggling to combat sexual assaults and the story of Lindenwood’s only homicide on campus, and online editor Lindsey Fiala and Kayla Drake’s in-depth investigative story about student’s opinions on a wet campus.

The staff collectively took home 16 awards at the Missouri College Media Association conference, which was hosted on campus in April. Many of them were for the work done in the magazine, including recognition for the mental health and sexual assault stories. Ten additional awards came from Mark of Excellence through the Society of Professional Journalists, including being named a finalist for Best News Magazine in a seven-state region.

The Legacy magazine was established in October 2017 after making the switch from a weekly newspaper. When the magazine began, assistant professor Susan Weich, faculty adviser for the publications, said the change had added another element to the learning experience for students.

 “The demands of our old weekly publication had been causing student journalists to hold their stories for print instead of breaking them online,” Weich said. “With a new format, students will be doing deadline-driven writing for the website and taking a more in-depth approach for the magazine.”

Lindenwood has a long history of student publications, dating back to 1898, with a few gaps, most notably when Dennis Spellmann was president and ended the student newspaper, which had printed stories critical of him. The newspaper resumed under President James Evans.

Alsobrook concluded the meeting by leaving the door open for future discussion regarding another print option for the Legacy/Lindenlink, but he said the decision to stop printing the Legacy was final.