Dear DTH Alumni and friends,
It’s one of those beautiful April days in Chapel Hill, when anything seems possible. So, on #savestudentnewsrooms day, I’m asking you all to help The Daily Tar Heel save itself.
It’s been another tough year for the financial models that support student journalism, nationwide.
The ad revenue that supports many publications continues to shrink, leading to more belt-tightening and tough choices at independent publications. At the same time, many university-supported publications have faced subtle and not-so-subtle censorship in the form of budget cuts, advisers removed from their jobs, newsrooms losing their space, print editions eliminated, stolen newspapers.
If there ever was a time student newsrooms needed saving, it’s now.
But it’s not time to panic or to make decisions from fear. It’s time to invest, to plant the seeds for a DTH that builds on its excellent legacy to become a model for sustainable student journalism.
Here at the DTH, our need to transform is urgent, and we are investing time and energy in a plan to get us there:
- Be an indispensable, trusted guide to UNC and the community.
- Create sustainable revenue streams from institutions, readers, alumni and friends.
- Grow digital and creative services revenue
- Move to audience-centric practices across our organization.
As we say goodbye to the class of 2019, I’m struck by how much progress this group of students has made to transform the DTH in the face of difficult finances. They have experimented with story formats and delivery systems and ways to build relationships with readers. They have held powerful people and institutions accountable. They have created incredible momentum for the next leaders to ride.
On #savestudentnewsrooms day of action, in addition to telling your DTH story on social media, you can donate at startthepresses.org. Consider making a recurring monthly donation that will allow us to plan and help us through difficult cash-flow times like the summer and December. You can also continue the tremendous outpouring of support, training and advice that we’ve received in recent months. We are so grateful.
Erica Beshears Perel