Save Student Media

$16,060 of $125,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 11 days
For 103 years, SMU students have published an independent newspaper. That tradition will die within weeks if we do not step forward to save it.

The short story is that the Student Media Company, which publishes the Daily Campus newspaper and the Rotunda Yearbook, has run out of operating funds. All of you in the news industry know parts of the longer story—the decline of traditional ad revenue, disappointing revenue from online ad sales, and a general decline in readership. There are other factors specific to the Student Media Company, such as the loss of student activity fees once collected by the university, and a period of competition with a university-funded online publication.

That online competition morphed in recent years to a joint “collaboration.”  Now, the university, through the journalism department, has negotiated to take over the online smudailycampus.com. No plans exist at the moment to continue the Rotunda yearbook. Student Media’s KPNI radio station had already ceased broadcasting. 

We, the Friends of Student Media, believe fervently in the value of an independent student press. Most of us are alumni of the Daily Campus or Rotunda, and we each have stories to tell of the university’s efforts to quash coverage it did not like or to exercise prior restraint. We refuse to sit by idly and allow the Student Media Company to fold, taking with it a century-long tradition of independent student reporting. Our goal is to raise $125,000 to cover Student Media’s operating costs for the next school year. During that time, we will work with the Student Media Board to restructure the company with development and business plans that will give the Company true independence and a sustainable future.

If you believe, like we do, that college students do some of their best learning through zealous investigation, regardless of their major… If you believe, like we do, that an independent press serves a vital role in a private university community not subject to open-records or other transparency requirements applicable to public institutions… If you believe, like we do, that journalism should remain free from spin and the control of a university-funded news lab… then, #PonyUp. 

If you donated $100 and got two friends to do so, we could save the paper in a matter of days. Please give Student Media the funds it needs to restructure itself for future success.  https://friendsofstudentmedia.com
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Earlier today, we met with Student Media Company board members to begin a formal conversation about what it will take to continue an independent student media at SMU.

The board seemed open to our efforts. In return, we now have full access to SMC financials so we can finalize a sustainable business plan. We are fully committed to making this happen.

We plan to meet with SMC board members early next week to continue the conversation.

Here’s the takeaway: The board seemed receptive to our ideas and impressed by the financial support and passion you all have given in a short time. We hope to have an even larger show of support by next week.

Here is how you can help: Please share this page and tell people about why it’s important to continue an independent student media at SMU.
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We are putting together a master list of all alums who stand behind this effort. Can you please add your name to this list? We will present it to the board today. Thank you!
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Thank you to everyone who is supporting this cause! We are meeting tomorrow with the Student Media Company board and hope that will give us a clearer path forward. We will share more here after the meeting.
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$16,060 of $125,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 11 days
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