Alongside other student-led collegiate publications across the nation, The Oracle stands with the right to independently publish and supports the movement to #SaveStudentNewsrooms.
The past decade has brought trying times for newspapers both large and small. Finding a way to sustain the practice of print has proven to be a major financial struggle and these issues have trickled down to student media departments and newsrooms.
Earlier this year, Southern Methodist University (SMU) voted to cease independent operations at the newspaper The Daily Campus, forcing university affiliation. This means that the Daily Campus will be subject to censorship on behalf of SMU.
This act inspired The University of Florida’s newspaper The Independent Florida Alligator to create the #SaveStudentNewsrooms movement in an effort to bring awareness to the issues student publications face.
The Independent Florida Alligator has recently cut down its print publications to three times a week. New York University’s Washington Square News has also been forced to cut four pages per publication. These are just two examples of the significant blows student publications have taken.
While The Oracle is independently run and does not currently face issues of censorship on behalf of our university, we are aware of the fact that this is a privilege many student publications do not have. It is vital for student publications to continue having a voice to represent the student body in the most transparent way possible.
Student publications act as any professional news source would when it comes to breaking the news. In 1996, The Oracle broke news of a purported terrorist who threatened to blow up a USF administration building and kill a white female professor. The threats were sent to The Oracle in a typed letter from a student claiming to be “The One, The Leader of The War Purgers,” an alleged terrorist group. The staff broke the news and prompted FBI presence on campus, leading up to the arrest of the student.
Important stories like these, broken by many student publications, prove the integrity of student journalists across the nation.
While print journalism becomes a lesser circulated medium with decreasing advertising revenue in the professional world of journalism, support for student-led publications is needed now more than ever. Keeping student publications well funded and independently run can combat the issues of censorship and budget cuts, and help keep print alive on college campuses.
Student publications are an outlet on college campuses for student voices. We must continue to value these student voices and support student publications. A failure to do so is a failure to justice and transparency everywhere. Visit savestudentnewsrooms.com to find ways to support student newsrooms.