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A proposal for a digital newspaper

Learn how to write a proposal.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

There are plans to stop production of your university newspaper. You feel that the newspaper should be saved. You decide to write a proposal to the university suggesting a digital version of the paper.

A proposal for a digital version of the university newspaper


This proposal intends to outline how a digital version of the university newspaper, The Scallion, could function and aims to show that an online paper is viable for the future of the newspaper. It draws on the views of 3,000 students surveyed in May.


The Scallion is printed weekly and distributed free in faculty buildings, with a readership of approximately 10,000 students. It is written and produced entirely by students. The survey shows that the newspaper is highly valued by university students and staff for entertainment, cultural enrichment and work experience.

Current problems

The cost of printing newspapers is significant. Furthermore, some students do not have easy access to the paper, since the only way to obtain a copy is to physically go to university. An additional environmental issue is that a large number of copies end up as litter on campus.

Proposed solution

It is proposed that the newspaper could shift to an online format. An overwhelming majority (95 per cent) of survey respondents were 'keen' or 'very keen' on this.

The key benefits would be:

  • Lower costs. Electronic publication is much cheaper than printing, and the website would require minimal maintenance. Although there are considerable initial costs of developing a website, these would be offset over time.
  • Improved accessibility. Students unable to collect a copy and those with visual impairments would be able to read the paper online.
  • Eco-friendliness. A website would reduce paper usage and produce no litter.
  • Digital media experience. For student journalists, gaining experience in running a web-based news site would be invaluable for any job which involves digital communication.


One issue is information management. The site would have to comply with data protection and privacy laws. Advice should be sought from the IT department.

Another drawback may be personal preference. Twenty-five per cent of survey respondents liked having a physical paper to flick through in a café. However, as this is a minority view, I would suggest that the benefits of the online paper outweigh the inconvenience on this issue.


The results of the consultation suggest that moving the paper online is the best option given that it would reduce costs, be more environmentally-friendly and reach a larger audience. A change to a digital format is therefore recommended to maintain the benefits of the newspaper while addressing its current difficulties.



  1. Start by reading the question carefully. Brainstorm all your thoughts about the proposal first. Then choose your best ideas and plan your paragraphs.
  2. Use subheadings to make the structure clear. Start by stating the aim of the proposal (Introduction) and giving information about the context (Background).
  3. Next, move on to the Current problems and your Proposed solution. You can also mention the Drawbacks and how to address them before you finish (Conclusion).
  4. You should use an impersonal, formal tone for your proposal. Passive verb forms (e.g. It is proposed that … , Advice should be sought …) are a useful way to avoid I think or You should.
  5. The final section should include an overall recommendation based on your previous points.



Language level

Advanced: C1


For me it's not about preference but much more about time management.
I hardly remember when I read newspaper last time. It's because I have my phone with me all the time and since I have already subscribed so many online Media, I get the notification and go through when I am free. Although I read newspaper on Sundays. I really love to read my favorite comics.


Ram Madhsiya

for so long time I didn’t prefer the physical newspaper as I found the pages are big and not easy to handle with the thing that makes it difficult to find themes that I prefer.The opposite in online newspaper where we find the easiness of accessibility, attractiveness and easy to follow.

I would very much prefer to read the newspaper online instead of on paper but only when I am in a hurry to do so. Like, I have to search for a word or a date mentioned in some article I read in the newspaper that morning which I want to tell my friend with whom I am speaking over a phone. To do so, I will quickly grab my laptop and search put the heading of that article online. Also , even if the heading I wrote in the search box isn't correct, doesn't even it won't affect the result as long as it has the correct keyword mentioned in the article's heading.
Although, online newspaper has quite a few merits including the one I mentioned above and that it is eco-friendly as there is no ink or paper involved, I would still prefer reading it the traditional way, on a paper because I don't think that my morning tea will be complete without the rustling sound of a paper and the joy I feel when I sit and read it peacefully and play my sudoku or crossword after reading a few articles.

I prefer an online newspaper to a paper one.
Let's outline some benefits of the online newspaper: accessibility from anywhere and anytime, an enormous amount of information, highly updated news and no wasted physical paper. In addition, the news is kept on databases so you can use google or a kind of online searching machine to look for and research easily. Online is a trend for all kind of data, not just only for newspaper.
However, things always have 2 sides and the online newspapers have drawbacks also. 2 small issues are the quality of the news and the rising reliance of readers on the digital equipment. Too many tabloids are actively or passively posted because it takes less time and effort to make them on websites than on the paper newspaper, that the readers should choose carefully which websites to browse or they will waste a lot of time for nothing or even negative effects. The reliance on digital equipment is mentioned everywhere now when people use a lot of time on internet, and online newspapers is a part of the internet.
In overall, the overwhelming majority of benefits outweigh the backwards.