Trimming down student newspapers

Monday, September 8, 2008

By Austin Bates

Recently, The Daily Orange and The Daily Californian both announced that they would be cutting a day from their daily prints. Now, this would be pretty eye-opening if this were a national, commercial paper, but these two papers are student run from the University of California and Syracuse University, respectively. So, with falling revenues for all newspapers, big, small, and student run, one can't be too shocked about these "lay-offs".

Still, these are student run papers, and I'm sure the students running these papers were less than happy about this decision. Obviously, a paper printing operation has to have money to print, and if it's not there, then you can't print, but the fact that a school created paper would suffer from the problems that should affect only commercial operations is sad. Afterall, these are papers that are meant to be a sort of practice run for students seeking to enter into professional, commercial journalism, or possibly into a business related career. If the paper had to be cut all together, students would lose out on an invaluable experience that really couldn't be had effectively in any other way.

I would hope such a fate would never befall the Simpsonian, and if there was danger of such a thing, I would suggest the paper be buttressed with public voluntary funds, or other non-commercial means. I would hate to see what's supposed to be a mostly educational experience turn into a nitty-gritty, money grabbing operation just to stay afloat, and personally if it did come to that, I would almost prefer the paper to just be put out of its misery. Working with the Simpsonian, even for just one article so far, I can say the experience really has been unmatched by anything else so far, and is invaluable in learning how to write actual news stories for an actual newspaper. I believe it should be the school's responsibility to ensure such an experience remains intact and available for all future generations of students.


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