To say that journalism matters would be an understatement. Journalism is the lifeblood of our democracy. It can be a voice for those who have none. It can be a community watchdog, serving the best interest of its audience.
When I came to The Collegian, it was in a state of flux, seeking to reconcile a limited budget with an ethical responsibility to the public.
As I leave, I would like to be able to say that I have helped this institution recover from its financial woes with a bright future ahead.
As it stands, The Collegian will be able to function as we know it for no longer than the academic year of 2021-2022. Beyond that, the rising costs of wages, benefits and operational expenses, coupled with a stagnant funding model, indicate that our outlet for student-centric news is threatened.
As many of us can attest, the value and practice of journalists and news outlets have come into question in recent years.
But let us consider where our country would be if it were not for those who seek to speak truth to power and illuminate the shadows where corruption stirs.
We would be powerless if we were not armed with the information that allows us to navigate the world around us with capacity and poise.
It is not a question of how this vehicle of information is utilized; it is a question of whether or not we have this resource at all.
This university affords us many opportunities to better ourselves.
It is a hub of intellectual stimulation, thoughtful and respectful discussion, and a diversity of thoughts, ideas and opinions unparalleled in any other realm of our society.
This paper is a training ground for the same journalists who will go on to tell the stories of our communities, of our country, of our neighbors, friends and family.
We must not silence them before they have the chance to be heard.
The Collegian is the only entirely student-run news publication at Fresno State. It is not a public relations firm for the university, nor is it beholden to any administrative or faculty body or individual.
This paper and website continue to be written, produced, designed and distributed by students for the benefit of our campus community.
The Collegian is pivotal in providing essential news that may affect Fresno State students’ academic career. This is not always news that positively portrays the university, but it is not the paper’s job to do so.
That is not to say that The Collegian only pursues that which reflects negatively on Fresno State. There are a number of students, faculty and staff members and administrators who do remarkable things and deserve to be recognized.
The newspaper can be a platform for these individuals who may not otherwise receive their due attention.
For all of these purposes, an independent student publication is an essential part of a healthy, thriving university.
The Collegian will be exploring avenues to increase its funding to not only weather its current financial crisis, but to provide greater and more substantial coverage to better serve our campus community, including a potential referendum initiative that would give students a chance to vote to support their newspaper.
Consider what your university would look like if it did not have a student-run campus newspaper or website. Whether you read The Collegian regularly or if this is the first time you have ever looked at it, it remains an institution of free press dedicated to bringing its readers the truth.
I implore all of you to support your student newspaper and to keep journalism alive.