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.


Worksheet83.81 KB

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Profile picture for user joytriplejoy

Submitted by joytriplejoy on Mon, 03/07/2023 - 15:06


I prefer to read a newspaper online. When I read an article on my phone or on my laptop, I can tap/click on words that I do not know the meaning of. The definition of the word and the example sentences appear instantaneously. If I were to read a newspaper in print and encounter unfamiliar vocabulary, I would need to use the search engine on my electronic device. I find this process inconvenient and inefficient. When these interruptions become too frequent, I gradually lose track of what I am reading. The content becomes difficult to digest, and I get discouraged by my inability to digest what I am reading.

Submitted by rebecca_bl on Thu, 19/01/2023 - 16:58


For my perspective, I’m neutral to the idea of changing print newspaper into the online format one. I can’t agree more that digital newspaper will cost less money and help students have access to online paper way easier. Moreover, this kind of newspaper especially improves young people’s reading experience. It is interesting and appealing to look at an online newspaper with colorful words, images and even some may have videos or gifs. Also, digital version can be designed with further articles or blogs after every single text to give you more sources of reading. However, besides the drawbacks that the writer discussed, one more disadvantage of online reading is causing bad effects on your health and visual ability due to screentime and electronic wave. In contrast, the paper version do no harm to your health. Another issue is it depends on personal preference. Some people, especially millennials and the elderly, favor traditional newspaper over the digital one. Print newspaper gives you the feelings of calmness and relaxation while flipping through the pages with a cup of drink, which brings people tranquility of mind and keeps the old vibe of lifestyle. As the writer mentioned about littering problems caused by newspaper, I think the matter is people’s poor awareness of protecting the environment. We should raise their conciousness and organize educational campaigns about the environment so that they perform well behavior. As a teenager, I’m interested in being close to technology but sometimes I still try reading on newspaper and I find its own attraction to do the traditional way.

Submitted by Johnhwang on Thu, 03/11/2022 - 14:11


It is no doubt that the majority of people are currently getting information from online sources than conventional newspapers. Needless to say benefits of online media over traditional one in detail, our focus on online newspapers should be aimed at how to maintain the source reliability from a lot of rumors and wrongful intents.

Submitted by latha.- on Thu, 29/09/2022 - 14:30


In spite of the shortcomings, print newspaper is my preferred format. Holding the Sunday newspaper and scanning the articles is one of my favorite feelings. Even though not immediately accessible and free, it is permanent and complete. Articles are easily deleted from the online paper, and some articles are left out of the online version. I enjoy visiting the store to purchase a newspaper and spending time turning the pages browsing through it.

Submitted by meknini on Mon, 01/08/2022 - 04:59


I agreed with the issues brought up in the above proposal as there are more advantages to online publications than not. The environmental issues mentioned are those that hit me hard whenever I'm thinking of procuring a print thus I've not purchased any for quite sometime. The number of trees cut and the overfilling landfills cross my mind whenever I see any form of papers. Apart from that, online publications are more a blessing as the news are updated throughout the day. Thus, I am always in the loop. In addition, it's at our finger tip as we always have some kind of gadgets handy. All in all, it's obvious that online publications are my definite choice.

Submitted by Rita25 on Thu, 16/06/2022 - 03:08


I prefer reading in a digital newspaper because it's convenient, I can read anytime and anywhere I want, and it keeps me updated to current news.

Submitted by gurcamozgur on Wed, 20/04/2022 - 09:37


I prefer both because reading from a printed newspaper is traditionally a good pastime activity, while the digital version of a newspaper is both interactive and offers increased accessibility.

Profile picture for user Hennadii

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.