For context, The Nevada Sagebrush is joining #SaveStudentNewsrooms, a nationwide movement to highlight the challenges student publications face, taking place Thursday, April 25. While the Sagebrush is fortunate to be an independent student newspaper free from the retaliatory acts publications at other schools face, it is not exempt from the effects of the declining print business and has downsized the past few years due to budgetary constraints.
In the last three years, the Sagebrush budget has declined by 30 percent, and will likely continue that trend unless a viable solution is found. The Sagebrush is funded solely by advertising revenue. Less money means a smaller staff unable to cover everything happening at the university, a lack of submissions to student journalism awards and the inability for students to travel to journalism conferences to network with professionals and learn best reporting practices.
The Sagebrush is a place for students to practice the skills learned in journalism classes and apply them. Our paper holds a legacy at the university and is a respected publication for students to publish bylines, photos and other forms of media. In doing so, students are set up for success, and often our staff has access to high-profile internships which not only improve their media literacy, but also assists in employment after graduation. The Sagebrush has long been a training ground for some of the best journalists in the country, and hopes to remain that way.
The Nevada Sagebrush has been around for 125 years, and this is how you can help it stay around for 125+ more.
1. Donate to the Nevada Sagebrush
The Nevada Sagebrush takes donations year-round to fill the gaps in our budget. Donations can be made through the university’s donation page: unr.edu/giving. Under “university-wide initiatives” then “ASUN clubs”, a donation form can be found. Follow the link or visit nevadasagebrush.com to find out how you can donate to the paper.
If you’re like Reynolds School of Journalism professor Patrick File, you can set a monthly recurring amount as a subscription to the Sagebrush.
“It can be pretty easy to “subscribe” to your favorite student news org by setting up a monthly directed donation. For example, I pay $10 monthly for my @NevadaSagebrush subscription. A bargain!”
Any and all donations are welcome, and the Sagebrush thanks all of our readers and supporters. Without you, there would not be a paper.
2. Advertise with the Sagebrush
If you own a local business or are hosting an event and want to reach university students, advertising with the Sagebrush is the best way to do that. Visit our website and view our online media kit to determine what advertising solution is the best fit for you. Thank you to our advertisers for supporting student media and student journalists.
The Sagebrush is fortunate to only have budgetary issues when student publications are dealing with budgetary restraints on top of administration deterring or punishing the publication for its reporting.
Earlier this school year at the University of North Alabama, the Flor-Ala student newspaper’s adviser was unceremoniously fired from his position after the paper published a story about the university’s vice president. Despite the condemnation from national First Amendment watchdog groups, UNA denied the firing had to do with the article and has not taken action to reinstate the former advisor to his position.
At the University of California, Los Angeles, an editor-in-chief was appointed to the Daily Bruin against the current staff’s recommendation without explanation as to why their decision was overturned.
“This decision sets a dangerous precedent for the independence of the students’ newspaper,” said a letter published by the Daily Bruin to its readers. “The Communications Board is in part appointed by students who sit on the Undergraduate Students Association Council, and this decision raises serious questions regarding the judgment of the board.”
At Colorado State University, all of the Rocky Mountain Collegian newspapers were stolen off the stands in response to their cover story about the student body president’s potential misreporting of financial documents. Although a report was filed with university police, the papers were not returned.
These are just a few of the horror stories that have happened just in the last school year at different universities. Every day there is a new story at another publication where universities and administration attempt to harm honest and well-reported student stories. We are honored to stand with other student media publications across the country, on April 25 and everyday, to #SaveStudentNewsrooms. If we are facing adversity, we are doing something right.
The Editorial Board can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.