Student media are more valuable than many other organizations that exist across campus. We are not just a club. We are a service to the campus community, and whether or not students choose to be informed should not result in SGA acting as if we do not deserve money more than other groups do. It is incredibly alarming if our student government continues to cut funding for student media to the point where we could soon have to drastically change how we operate.
Without student media there’s less of a calling to watch news. Due to the fact that student media has a sense of relatability, it’s easier for the people around us to want to hear what we have to say, or what’s going on. We all experience current events, and we experience other life events that can be similar. Due to that, it’s also seen as “more important” to keep up with what’s going on when it’s from student to student, or student to faculty. Student media not only benefits the people involved with it, but it also benefits those around it because it can be local, national or global, and it’s pushed in the direction of uninvolved students correctly. Instead of going to FOX or CNN - which almost nobody who isn’t comm/journalism does - there’s a spot for everybody around to watch or read what’s going on around them. Student media has given everybody the opportunity to be up to date, see the realism and personality of news rather than just “emotionless” information, and has demanded a change for older systems of news to become more relevant and modern. With that said, the risks of losing student media would result in a lack of passion and exposure.
Student media is important because it gives us a platform that allows us to engage with our community. Additionally, it empowers students to use their voices and express their ideas. In order for such organizations to produce high quality work and leave an impact, it must be funded adequately. Lack of funding will lead us into losing the voices of individuals that were only heard on this platform.
Student journalism is just as real as “professional” journalism. Just in this past year alone, Northwestern’s newspaper investigated and brought to light hazing within the football program at the school which led to the termination of the football coach. Stanford’s school newspaper reported on allegations of misconduct which showed the prestigious school’s president’s scholarly work was flawed. Even at Shippensburg University, our newspaper has illuminated issues within the school and local community.
Having an outlet to have your voice heard is important, especially for young people in America where much of the political power lies in individuals over the age of 60. In places referred to as news deserts, student journalism is often the only resource people may have. Journalism is crucial for a well-informed and empowered electorate. Despite this much of rural America experiences this news desert; the area is not covered by local journalism.
The foundation of America’s independence is rooted in freedom of expression, which should not be monetarily, bureaucratically or administratively censored. Beyond this, student media is important for building career-translatable skills. It is also built into the Communication, Journalism and Media program of study at Shippensburg University. Limiting the operation and limiting freedom of expression also limits the education of students at this institution of higher education.