Home Opinion Say Yes to Free Press: The Importance of Campus Media

Say Yes to Free Press: The Importance of Campus Media

by Rebecca Serviss

In the world of modern technology, many millennials think of journalists as the talking heads on TV, the nicely dressed people interviewing celebrities on the red carpet and players on the field, the brave visual storytellers who travel across the globe capturing compelling pieces or just the voice on your radio in the morning.

With this technology in the palm of their hands, it is very rare to see millennials pick up a print copy of The New York Times, The Washington Post or even their own campus newspaper.

As a result of the decreasing interest in print, many college newspapers are at risk of budget cuts. Most recently, The Daily Targum at Rutgers University is facing this fear.

Earlier this week, northjersey.com reported that for the first time in history, not enough students voted to fund the 150-year-old newspaper. Out of the over 23,000 eligible voters, only a quarter of them participated, causing the vote to fail all eight of Rutgers’ schools from the New Brunswick campus.

For a school as big and diverse as Rutgers, it is heartbreaking to see such a large percentage of students not care enough about campus media to even participate in the vote.

This proves we are a part of a generation that has no interest in what’s going on around our college campuses or having their voices heard by administrators when unfair issues arise. One of the jobs of a journalist is to give voices to the voiceless, but what if the voiceless want to remain voiceless?

Now more than ever, the world needs a new generation of reporters to step forward and help regain the trust that many people lost in the past few years. Not only us as news reporters, but our generation also needs to become more aware that media organizations are a crucial part of society.

As an editor at The Montclarion, my colleagues and I recognize and understand the fact that print journalism is declining at a rapid pace. A majority of college students classify our organizations as just newspapers, but we are striving to become much more than the news you read.

While we all wish to stay true to our print roots, we are trying new ways to catch eyeballs and expand our reporting to not only on paper but online, in video and through social media.

Without the support of students on our campuses, it is hard to achieve these multimedia goals. While funding plays a major role in allowing us to continue to produce high-quality reporting material, it is our audience that matters the most.

We thank everyone who continues to support the work we do and hope to continue as we enter the workforce. All of us are saddened by the news from our counterparts at Rutgers, but it is a reminder that this is a growing issue not just for us as college students, but as journalists as a whole.

In the journalism world, every news organization is usually competing with one another, but it is times like this when we as student journalists come together in unity to fight for a common passion: free press on college campuses.

All of us at The Montclarion fully support the amazing and journalistically talented students at The Daily Targum. We hope that others will join the fight to keep print journalism alive on college campuses whilst continuing to evolve with the digital age.

Click here to read an editorial with more information about campus media from The Montclarion.


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