A proposal for a digital newspaper

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.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Worksheet83.81 KB

Language level

Average: 4.4 (17 votes)
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Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 08/12/2021 - 15:00


It's hard to answer because I don't read the newspapers at all but I used to read football magazines for a long time and I liked to read them in a paper version. And not only read but also collect them and reread them sometimes.
But! It was quite a long time ago when Steve Jobs hadn't invented yet his life-changing iPhone and the only alternatives to paper magazines were websites which you can read only with computes. It wasn't too comfy, telling the truth.
I also liked to buy some expensive magazines about nature with interesting articles and good photos. Like National Geographic or Around the World (the oldest Russian magazine, published by Russian Geographic society).
However, these days when we have smartphones, tablets, laptops it's quite handy to read all you want to with them. Of course, it's nice to touch and smell the expensive paper and collect the good-looking magazines on your bookshelves but less paper more trees, and also less litter.
Another good point - you can not only read articles and look at pictures - you can watch interesting videos as well.
As for me, I like watching videos about animals and nature. I'm a big fan of this topic.

Submitted by hmabboud on Tue, 09/11/2021 - 06:21


I definitely prefer newspapers. Who said that it is more eco-friendly to use an online form? Did anyone study the amount of energy needed to keep a server runing, the users' devices that will access this material, and the health issues with regards to the screen time?

Submitted by BMelissa on Sat, 09/10/2021 - 00:49


I'm like most passionate readers that enjoy the nice feel of flipping a piece of paper while putting yourself in a confortable position to get immerse in a text. It is an agreeable experience already been addressed by so many. Despite this, it is also well known that we have a responsability with our planet to offset and reduce at it's minimun the levels of contamination we're producing, of course paper litter is not the most threatening wastage we're making but it's tree felling the important issue that we must continue on aproaching to ensure there's still a functional back up natural system to help us decontaminate our air from gases and minerals mixed within the oxigen people, especially the ones from big polluted cities breath. For that reason, digital newspapers, books, magazines, etc are considered of tremendous help for all concious people trying to contribute positively upon this problematic. With that been said, the inconviniences of people who are more keen on just sticking it to the physical format of a newspaper should also consider that there are ways to improve their experiences in the digital formats. Keeping in mind that many readers despise the tireness they get with a computer, cellphone or tablet by just reducing/adjusting the lighting on their screens it would relax your eyesight and even better would make you focus more in the text to also improve you're reading. There's no scientific prove of it but from a personal experience I can confirm and advise anyone to try so and give me a feedback from it. Also with audiobooks or podcasts people without any vison can experience the news or a text story in a confortable way. With new tools invented to place your gadgets to read in all kinds of ways i belive it feasible to get acostummed to the digital formats and hanging in till we reach the echosystems stability.

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 17/08/2021 - 13:49

surly due to benefits that a online newspaper has, I prefer to read that type.

Submitted by Dibesciak on Thu, 29/04/2021 - 02:34

I really dont mind if newspaper which I am readinng is online or in physical form. Is depend on situation when I want to read something. For example when I lie on my bed before sleep is better for me to read articles on my smartphone. Also,when I am at work is more convenient to read on my mobile ;) On the other hand physical format is better when I am in the places where there is no Wi-fi, for example in the long journey by train. Furthermore, I guess the overwhelming majority of the people can read only paper format newspaper while taking the flight unless they downloaded some online version to a notebook before. Drawback of the paper format is that it costs more money in production and is worse for our enviroment. On the other hand online newspaper require constant access to the internet.
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Submitted by Riza on Fri, 01/01/2021 - 13:40

I used to read newspapers and magazines only on paper during my childhood and university time! However nowadays I could rarely see them. Most of the time I just open the Internet and surf for some information online. The most favourite newspaper for me is New York Times. Although I sometimes miss the time when I was able to read the newspapers by bringing them from mailbox.

Submitted by TadyEriel on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 04:55

I prefer online newspaper, due to its advantages such as portability, cheaper, and links to get more data about certain topics. Apart from, it is feasible to share a piece of information inmediatly. Perhaps a drawback could be the hours that involves be in front of a light screen. Nevertheless, it's up to you. You can always manage a schedule which suits you in order to avoid an overwelming use of cellphone.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 02:00

As I was a child, I subscribed to a journal. I enjoyed flicking it through in my home, and it was a physical paper that I could collect it. Over time, everything in our lives has become changes, and we see now digital newspapers as a result of the development of technology. I like reading online books or news. The overwhelming readers would be preferred to reading online. The benefits of the digital newspaper will offer environmental friendliness and low costs for subscribers. There is no produce litter, such as papers that are left lying in public places. As Drawback, I would say, it could be if it has not been connected to internet then you will be missed the digital information.
That's so true. I'd add. Unfortunatelly, plenty of people doesn't have internet access, therefore they don't have option. Hopefully, it will have improved in the coming years.

Submitted by Miyu on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 05:02

I prefer to read a newspaper on paper. I have two reason. Firstly, it is easy to hold while reading to be made of thin paper. Thanks to the specific paper, it is easy to read and bring anywhere. In addition, to operate terminals are not needed for us comparing with reading newspapers online. Secondly, a paper does not cost much. Although online newspaper has a problem that it needs communication line and devises while reading news, a paper does not need them. On the other hand, there are some problems. One issue of newspaper on paper is it uses too spacious space in the room of our house. We have to dispose of them regularly. Also, the article we can read on paper may be limited for particular articles. However, those issues can be solved by selecting whether the Internet or paper depending on circumstances. Therefore, reading on paper is better than reading online in that papers is possible for bring without selecting places and not being worried about high cost while reading.