UCONN’s Daily Campus in ‘Dire Straits’ Financially; Editor Writes SOS Letter to Students

Amid an ever-gloomier financial outlook, The Daily Campus at the University of Connecticut is apparently in serious danger of folding without an immediate increase in student fees support.

In an open letter of sorts to UCONN students published on Huffington Post, the paper’s editor-in-chief Melanie Deziel outlines the crippling budget woes befalling the Campus and the many cutbacks staff have made in recent years to keep operations in the black.  The piece’s headline: “SOS: Save Our Student Newspaper.

As Deziel writes, “The Daily Campus runs on a combination of student fees and advertising revenue. While our fees have remained constant since 1999, the failing economy led to a sharp decline in ad revenue that, with inflation, has left us in dire straits. . . . We’ve cut more than $100,000 in expenditures since 2005 by cutting wages, travel, equipment purchases, professional development and more. We no longer pay to submit our pieces for awards, we don’t attend conferences and we’re working on a playlist to replace the DJ for the year-end banquet. We do it because it’s not about us. It’s about our paper.”

The paper is asking UCONN students to support a $3-per-student-per-semester fees increase.  According to Deziel, part of the goal is ensuring the Daily Campus does not turn into the Weekly Campus or cease publishing in print at all.

A screenshot displaying most of yesterday's special front page of The Daily Campus.

As she notes at the close of the letter, “Most of the current staff will graduate before the paper goes under.  We’ll take our clips and our experience to graduate schools and publications across the country. But for most of us, our time at the Daily Campus wasn’t just a means to that end. Our pride won’t fade after we graduate. It will always be our paper, it will always be important and we refuse to let it die.”

Deziel’s SOS post directly resonates with the recent letter written by movie critic Roger Ebert on behalf of The Daily Illini at the University of Illinois.  In his letter, Ebert, a former editor-in-chief of the student paper, wrote, “It is possible the Daily Illini could cease publication. . . . Many, including myself, would say that they owe their careers at least in part to their experience at Illini Media.  It’s now time to give back.”

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  1. […] footsteps of professional news organizations and falling by the wayside. From North Dakota to UCONN to student papers in the United Kingdom, revenue shortfalls and budget cuts are the new norm in […]

  2. […] was wrapping up a story on the financial woes of The Daily Campus at UCONN, and the paper’s attempt to add needed funding through a slight rise in student fees.  (In a campus-wide vote, students rejected the […]

  3. […] UCONN’s Daily Campus in ‘Dire Straits’ Financially; Editor Writes SOS Letter to Students […]