Student media is in a financial crisis. If your student newsroom is facing budget cuts, loss of ad revenue, transitioning away from print or you just want to educate yourself, these resources are for you. While some of the resources target either high school or college, the strategies and guidance can be easily translated for any kind of student media.
Financial sustainability for student media is crucial to SPLC’s mission — to support, promote and defend the First Amendment rights of student journalists and their advisers. SPLC has always focused on legal questions and issues of overt or indirect censorship, including unlawful budget cuts, and we will continue to do so. However, the current economic climate forces us to be more proactive about how we can support, promote and defend the very existence and survival of student journalism itself. Securing the short- mid- and long-term financial viability of student media speaks to broader issues of civic engagement and democracy.
If you have additional ideas about how SPLC can help during these tumultuous times, please reach out to SPLC Director of Engagement Diana Mitsu Klos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, as always, if you have any legal questions, please contact SPLC’s free legal hotline.
- Student Media Budget (And Program) Cut Tracker - Thank you for reporting any budget-related or other cuts to your student media program. This information will help the Student Press Law Center and other journalism education groups identify and respond to similar cuts to programs across the country.
- Can my school cut my student publication’s budget because they don’t like the stories we produce? - Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Can my public school cut funds to my student publication because they don’t like the stories we are producing? A: Absolutely not. This is censorship. At a public school, student editors are responsible for determining the content… Continue reading Can my school cut my student publication’s budget because they don’t like the stories we produce?
- Student media finances: Resources and deeper dives - These articles, webinars and more provide specific guidance for those looking to dive even deeper into financial strategies for their student newsrooms.
- Digital tools for student media to invest in - It has never been more important for student media to have a strong digital presence. As you cut back on print, investments must be made to ramp up your online presence — on this page you'll find some ideas for building up your capacity and infrastructure.
- What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut - If your student publication is funded fully or in part by student fees, you should have a plan in place in case of a budget cut. If the cuts come after critical coverage of the university or your student government, you may be able to claim the university or student government violated your First Amendment… Continue reading What to do when your student news outlet’s budget gets cut
- PODCAST: When are student newspaper budget cuts unconstitutional? - Cory Dawson: If you take a close look at any tuition breakdown, you’ll almost always see some money put aside for a student fee, or an activity fee, or a club fee — but they almost always mean pretty much the same thing. This money goes to student government so they can distribute it to… Continue reading PODCAST: When are student newspaper budget cuts unconstitutional?
- Tips for rescuing your student publication’s finances -
Here’s what several advisers, student journalists and journalism organizations recommend to reduce risk of budget cuts and diversify income streams.