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Newspaper Death Throes, Student Edition

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Piotr Rasputin, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    The Indiana Hoosiers are in the NCAA Tournament. The Indiana Daily Student has had three reporters (two beat jockeys and a columnist) cover the team all year, but could only afford to send two people (including, inexplicably, a photog).

    An alum started a donation page to cover the costs. Many alums donated. Then these things happened:

    https://www.wepay.com/donations/send-the-ids-to-portland

    http://idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=86081

    I used to think the stduent paper had to be some kind of paragon of virtue, when I was on the student paper. Now, I think a student paper's mission is different, and allows for spontaneous fundraising to help give students an opportunity they may never have again in their careers.
     
  2. Magic In The Night

    Magic In The Night Active Member

    This is completely ridiculous. When I was in school there and we were in the national championship, we sent a reporter, a columnist and a photographer. And we had plenty of money to do it. Are they not selling ads on that paper anymore?
     
  3. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Not as many as when you were there, I'm guessing. About 10 years ago at my current stop we sent about 15 people clear across the country to cover the local team in the Super Bowl. If they went now, I'm guessing we'd send 3 or 4. These are the times we work in.
     
  4. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Good for Zach Ammerman. Taking donations for coverage is unethical, and frankly, kind of pathetic. If the budget says you sent two, you send two and you make it work. College kids aren't owed this experience, they're owed the experience of what it's going to be like in the real world.

    If IU had been Louisville, they could have sent them all, but them's the breaks. I had intended on covering IU in the tournament, but I'm not going to Portland either partly for budgetary (and deadline, thanks for that 9:30 tipoff CBS) reasons.

    I think playing on the idea that these poor college students can't go cover the game to solicit made it even worse. It's pandering.
     
  5. lcjjdnh

    lcjjdnh Active Member

    What is unethical about accepting donations?
     
  6. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Because what happens when some alum of the field hockey team sends $2K to send a writer to a game at UCLA? You can't sell coverage. And while that's not what THIS is, it is what it will be. It's a slippery slope. "Well we can't take your money, but we could take theirs?"
     
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of the former Nats beat writer who started an excellent blog and solicited donations for his trip to spring training.
     
  8. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Keyword being "former"
     
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Sorry, why is that the key word?

    I probably phrased that poorly. He's still a professional journalist covering the Nationals.
     
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Refresh my memory. If he is no longer affiliated with the newspaper, then he does not have to conform to its ethics policies. It is still unethical to take such donations, but if he is running his own blog or freelancing, then that's between him and his conscience.
     
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    He was doing his own blog. It wasn't under the auspices of a professional corporation, or a newspaper.
     
  12. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    So journalism ethics only apply to people who work for corporations or print on dead trees?
     
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