On April 20, Melissa Gomez, the editor-in-chief of the Independent Florida Alligator, emailed us and many other student-run publications to organize a day of action — to educate the public on the necessity of student-run newspapers. We’ve decided to join their cause.

The Campus Times has been around since 1873. Since then, we have stood as an avenue for members of the UR community to talk about what really matters to them and to learn about things they might never have considered before. We inform, entertain, and hold accountable.  

In the past, we’ve pressured SA executives into action, called out embellished resumes of SA presidential applicants, endorsed other publications, pointed out transparency problems in our student legislature, and more. Contributors have tackled a variety of informative topics — tackling Trump’s confusing relationship with Russia, defending the emergent field of evolutionary psychology, and critiquing film scores.

The past year on campus has been a clear demonstration of why student publications are necessary.

As the Jaeger incident engulfed UR this past fall, the Campus Times provided constant coverage of developments and explored comprehensive angles.

Along with covering events like the protests and town halls, we talked to faculty here and across the country, examined the experience of students afraid to disagree with activists, and live-streamed meetings, letting alumni and national spectators keep up with the situation. We also served as a platform for many voices — some revelatory, some enraged, some shocked, some fearful, and some considerate.

And in circumstances like those of this past fall — where UR power players stood to lose so much — independent media outlets are crucial. This isn’t to say that the school’s communications team is corrupt, but to highlight the need for conflict-free media.

A campus without a student-run news source must rely on what its administration deems newsworthy. The leaves room for unflattering details to be buried and for students with experiences that don’t immediately boost the school’s reputation to go unheard.

Pointing out the above articles is not an effort to promote the Campus Times. Rather, the point is to illustrate the importance of independent student journalism in general. The CT, funded by SA, is not fully independent and likely won’t be for the foreseeable future. But we are privileged in that we’re not restricted in our coverage by an advisor. Our staff functions independently. And we don’t get paid, so you know we really do care.

Our hope is that the UR community will remember the importance of such a student publication, continue to support us, and contribute for years to come.

Tagged: Journalism

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