Who Will Pay for the Paper?

Allie Grasgreen, Ignatia Webs, Apr 26, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's interesting to observe this trend just beginning in the U.S. because it has been the norm in Canada for many years. The trend is to have students pay, via a levy, for student media (generally the newspaper and radio station). When I was editor of the Gauntlet in the 1980s we received some $10 or $15 per student, which gave us a budget of a couple hundred thousand. Student levies are the norm in Canada. Most of our costs were in printing, but we also had money for equipment, photo processing, typsesetting, and the like. The Gauntlet has had a digital edition for many years now (so, again, it's surprising to read about the U.S. newspapers just beginning to convert). Just one warning to our U.S. counterparts, though - when you have a student levy, you have the foundations for a free student press. Student unions, professors and administrators won't always like what they read. But this, for us, was the point.

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