Former student editor: Print editions aren't fundamental to college newspapers' existence
University of Virginia graduate Matthew Cameron wrote a thesis suggesting ways university newspapers can survive and thrive, Dan Reimold writes. Student journalists who are paid "shouldn’t expect the same compensation they did in the past," Reimold says, nor should they fight a migration away from print.
Cameron was editor-in-chief at U.Va.'s Cavalier Daily, where “We found that people were becoming less interested in the print paper,” Cameron told Reimold.
“Then when we looked at our pick-up rates [the amount of copies grabbed from newsstands around campus], the numbers we found confirmed the papers weren’t being picked up as much as they used to.”
Cameron -- who studied operations at The Red & Black, the Columbia Missourian and the Daily Texan for his report -- also suggests papers survey their audience regularly and restructure as 501(c)(3) organizations to lessen opportunities for "presidents or boards of regents meddling in the newspaper’s affairs."
In a related story, Georgia State University student David Schick filed suit Monday against the University System of Georgia's board of regents, with whom he's been tussling over access to records since he was editor of Georgia Perimeter College's newspaper last May.
The university group "initially demanded Mr. Schick pay $2,963.39 to receive the records," a press release on Schick's site says, "a cost which Mr. Schick was able to debunk by presenting the sworn affidavit of a data- management expert." Elsewhere in the release, Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte says: "This is the 21st century, and emails are searchable and retrievable within a matter of seconds, not months.”
Related: Louisiana State University’s student newspaper honored, defeated | ASU student newspaper to reduce print frequency | Newspaper boxes will soon be welcome outside University of Texas journalism school