Since 1900, the Minnesota Daily has served the University of Minnesota and surrounding areas by publishing news that matters. Today, we stand strong as one of the largest independent student-run publications in the country. However, many college newsrooms across the country are not as fortunate. Some are not independent or financially supported by their campuses or communities.
You have likely never heard about First Amendment issues at numerous college campus papers. The Daily Campus at Southern Methodist University announced its re-affiliation with its university in 2018, making it the most recent newspaper to combine with its journalism school due to lack of funding.
Since then, The Independent Florida Alligator at the University of Florida spearheaded Save Student Newsrooms, an organization that brings attention to the challenges student newsrooms face. The initiative calls on student-run news organizations to publish editorials for the Save Student Newsroom initiative on April 25, stressing the importance of student media and shedding light on the fight to remain independent from universities and colleges.
When student publications lack editorial freedom, they cannot properly inform the communities they serve. Moreover, some student newsrooms are forced to write and report under the watchful eyes of universities and their content must go through review before publication. This is in direct conflict with the role of the press. And, sometimes, student journalists are prohibited from publishing information. This challenges and damages democracy.
Supporting your local student newsroom is simple: read the paper. Be a religious reader of your its work, follow it on social media, send feedback to the publication if you have any. You can also reach out to the newsroom. Find out what they need, hear about the issues they face and determine how they need support. Many student-run newsrooms face challenges due to lack of funding; therefore, donating is always a viable option. Whether financially supporting or simply sharing media, all student journalists can use your support.
We stand by our colleagues at student newsrooms across the country. We also ask that everyone, including students, staff and universities around the country reflect on the importance of student journalism. The work we do is just as valid as the work taking place at well-known organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Star Tribune. Student journalism is real journalism. Help save student newsrooms.