#SaveStudentNewsrooms: Don’t let our Star fade


#SaveStudentNewsrooms: Don’t let our Star fade

Student newsrooms have slowly been dying and, as a result, Melissa Gomez, editor-in-chief of the University of Florida Independent Florida Alligator, created the campaign #SaveStudentNewsrooms as a part of the Wednesday unofficial Support Student Journalism Day.

We, as the Northern Star Editorial Board, have decided to write an editorial in hopes of calling attention to a national issue facing student newspapers. Since our founding, we have faced obstacles related to limited funding, lack of staff, retaliation from administration and criticism of the need for our profession and existence as a publication.

Established in 1899, the Northern Star is here to serve not only NIU students but also the surrounding community by providing news coverage pertaining to the university, DeKalb and the nation.

Over the past four years, though, many more examples could be found before that, we have covered important stories in regards to corruption in the university’s administration including former President Doug Baker and the infamous Coffee Fund scandal of 2012 when NIU employees sold university-owned scrap metal for profit.

Over the past 100 years, the Northern Star has remained an independent entity from the university as a way of being an unbiased voice of the students.

Unfortunately, we can no longer rely on advertising revenue to sustain our operations and recently decided it was in the newspaper’s best interest to become a small fraction of the student general fee by receiving 29 cents per credit hour beginning in the fall 2018 semester.

Because of limited funding, the Northern Star is unable to pay all staffers, but regardless of compensation, many dedicate immeasurable amounts of effort to ensuring we provide the student body and DeKalb community with relevant, accurate and engaging content.

Not only is the Northern Star facing internal struggles, student newsrooms across the country are connected through the issues they face, which is why saving student newspapers has become a cause we encourage our readers to support.

Across the nation, 132 student publications have joined together in the fight to highlight the importance and need for student-run newspapers, according to the Save Student Newsroom website.

Student-run newspapers are unique in the sense of the relationship and voice connecting them to other students on a personal level that non-student newspapers are unable to produce.

Student newspapers give student journalists the opportunity to create a portfolio of published work, real-world experience in the news industry and a network of professional support.

To show support for student newsrooms, visit SaveStudentNewsrooms.com to read all other participants’ editorials or pick up a copy of the paper and, read and share the stories we publish every Monday and Thursday, as well as our daily online content.

The Northern Star intends to remain a prominent medium to ensure student voices are not stifled by those who insist on controlling the narrative. We value student journalism and will persevere through any challenges, financial or social, that come our way.

We hope our contribution to the community is valued, and we encourage those who feel strongly to donate to our cause.