The Manatee Messenger goes digital


Jayla Flores

Fourth grade scholar Travis Flowers accesses the Tampa Bay Times online to conduct research for a story.

JAYLA FLORES, Fifth grade staff writer

Melrose Elementary’s school paper, the Manatee Messenger, is going digital in 2021! 

One reason is that Tampa Bay Time is closing its printing center and will now outsource its printing to the Lakeland Ledger printing plant in Lakeland. “The Tampa Bay Times has been printing our papers for free and with them no longer being able to do that for us, it’s just too expensive for us to print physical papers,” explained Melrose journalism teacher Alyssa Coburn. “Going digital is more cost-effective.”

“It also aligns with the direction that news is going.” 

Newspapers across the nation have been cutting back on printing and focusing on posting news online. “Paper news is no longer the norm and by us going digital we’re keeping up with the times,” explained Coburn. “I think digital news is the future of news and that’s what our students need to be learning,” said Coburn. 

The transition to digital news will also allow readers more access to multimedia like videos and podcasts which will be uploaded to the site. “I’m hoping people will be excited,” said Coburn. 

“I’m excited for people to see my work,” explained fourth-grade scholar Ma’kiyah Stone. “It might help me with my future and going to college.” 

While the Tampa Bay Times may not be printing the Manatee Messenger, the newspaper has maintained their partnership with Melrose and continue to support Journeys in Journalism. 

Scholars and their families can now find the Manatee Messenger on