April 24, 2018
“Student newsrooms are laboratories for journalism and communication majors… It’s up to this country’s institutions of higher education to prepare tomorrow’s journalists, and that can’t be done without committing funds and resources to help them thrive.”
Rebecca Baker, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said this in response to the #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement. And we agree.
On April 25, The Scribe will join 83 other student newsrooms from around the country to advocate for the funding and continued autonomy of student-operated news outlets that serve campus community.
April 25 is Support Student Journalism Day. It was organized by the journalists behind University of Florida Gainesville’s The Independent Florida Alligator, who also organized #SaveStudentNewsrooms.
The movement comes in reaction to The Daily Campus’ decision to re-affiliate with their university, Southern Methodist, as it faces a lack of funding.
The call to action will see many collegiate newsrooms publishing editorials and testimonials from current staff members and alumni. The movement is designed to
bring attention to the decline of the student newsroom, whether it be through defunding and revocation of autonomy by university administration.
The Scribe has been lucky in recent months, with the passing of the Media Fee and increased support from readership and administration. However, other student publications are not as fortunate.
Due to the decline of print advertising and low circulation with the advent of digital media, student newspapers are struggling just like other local and national news outlets.
Many are suffering due to insufficient funding to support their small staffs and printing costs. Schools without journalism programs, like UCCS, need independent student media to teach media literacy and important skills for those wanting to pursue
journalism as a career.
At The Alligator, the student newspaper of University of Florida, had to take a 7 percent pay cut, and their 40-member staff has stayed stagnant. The Independent
Collegian had to start a fundraising campaign to keep their paper in print due to dwindling funds.
Student-run newspapers provide their readership with a unique student perspective on issues pertaining to their university that no other outlet could hope to have.
The importance of protecting the integrity and independence of student publications is vital to the student body. Having a news outlet that focuses especially on university life and its leadership helps keep university administration and student officials in check, all while giving students a public forum to discuss important issues.
To see the other student-run publications rallying behind Support Student Journalism
day, see savestudentnewsrooms.com, and the social media posts of student journalists nationwide with the Twitter hashtag #SaveStudentNewsrooms.
Below are personal testimonials as to the importance of The Scribe and student journalism as a whole.
Rachel Librach, Culture Editor
“The Scribe has connected me to my campus in ways I never expected. I have had opportunities to sit down and talk with some truly extraordinary people, from accomplished students to deans of colleges. Many times I felt like I was at the forefront of new and exciting projects in and around UCCS. I can never thank my friends and colleagues at The Scribe enough for supporting and encouraging me to come out of my
freshmen shell and develop my editorial skills, which I believe will be invaluable moving forward in my career.”
Olivia Langley, Culture Reporter
“The Scribe Newspaper has given me the opportunity to engage with so many different types of people here on campus. It’s helped open a window, turning the unknown into the joyfully familiar.”
Isaiah Cordova, Managing Editor
“Being able to work at The Scribe has made me able to feel more connected to the campus community and has allowed me to go to events that I wouldn’t have been able to before, as well as helping me to find my passion for journalism. It is vitally important to preserve that same opportunity for future students at any university in the U.S. and the world, without the threat of defunding or a hostile campus administration like so many student publications have faced.”
Hannah Harvey, Editor-in-Chief
“The Scribe has changed my life during my years at UCCS. Every semester I have attended school here, I have worked at The Scribe. The opportunity to view this campus through a critical lense has provided me the opportunity to be involved in ways I did not think possible. Journalism, especially at campus newspapers, which are truly the voice of the students, are vital to maintaining democracy, free speech and holding those in power accountable. We can speak truth to power and truly make an impact. We’re able to teach our readers and staff members the importance of ethical, unbiased reporting and media literacy. And that’s powerful.”
Audrey Jensen, Editor-in-Chief (2016 – 17)
“The Scribe helped me understand why it’s important to be involved at UCCS and turned me into an informed citizen — someone who cares about what’s going on at UCCS and in Colorado Springs and why. I went from being someone who didn’t care about anything but my classes to someone who wanted everyone to know as much as we did about our school.”