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Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Aggie endorses UC print newspapers

HANNAH LEE / AGGIE
HANNAH LEE / AGGIE

Invest in student journalism

The California Aggie successfully ran the Print The Aggie initiative during Winter Quarter to get the campus newspaper, which was last in print in 2014, back into the hands of UC Davis students. If you voted yes on this initiative, the Editorial Board would like to extend our warmest thanks.

Print journalism is vital on college campuses because it creates an easy and accessible way for college students to read about topics that directly affect them. This past year alone, The Aggie has broken news about spray-painted Eggheads, the #BlackUnderAttack movement and #FireKatehi protests.

Student journalism also helps to keep universities accountable. The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s student newspaper, has reported on important topics such as sexual harassment accusations against an astronomy professor and proposed plans to close the College of Chemistry.

Again, these are issues that are relevant to students, and the Editorial Board believes that print journalism allows more students to be informed about issues that matter. The UC Berkeley student body also recently passed the Ink Initiative, a measure much like Print The Aggie.

In the coming weeks, students at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara will vote on similar fee measures that would allow their newspapers to continue printing and growing their online presence. Money raised from the UCLA referendum would also go toward funding the UCLA radio station, seven other community newsmagazines and BruinWalk.com, a professor review website.

The Editorial Board wholeheartedly endorses these initiatives. Having spent countless hours in Lower Freeborn editing and writing ourselves, we recognize the hard work that student journalists put into their newspapers and we believe that students deserve fair compensation. If passed, these initiatives would help to fund student writers as well as allow for more staff development and training, programs that are especially vital for young journalists.

Sadly, print journalism is struggling around the country. Newspapers everywhere are consolidating, cutting staff and increasingly moving content online. College papers have adapted to changing journalism trends by slashing their budgets. The Daily Bruin states that since the 2008 recession, it has made extreme sacrifices to keep Student Media afloat. This includes aggressively renegotiating printing costs, cutting non-student support staff positions and reducing pay for student employees.     

But there comes a point when you simply can’t cut funds anymore while maintaining the same quality of reporting. All across the University of California, our student newspapers have reached this point and the Editorial Board believes that it’s time to invest in print journalism, not just for the benefit of student journalists, but for the benefit of students across the UC system.

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