By Kate O’Dell, Jeff Kazmierski, Opinion Editor, Copy Editor
In the grand tradition of politics, if you don’t get what you want through the democratic process, use control of funds to get the same result.
The Gateway vote ended in victory. Students showed their support for our publication, and they were right in their decision.
Despite the support for the Gateway from the student population, there are some in positions of authority who apparently disagree with their decision. The Gateway is now in the wake of budget cuts that have effectively undermined the results of a free and open election, and could put its future as a newspaper in jeopardy.
There is no better way to undermine the votes of the people than to make financial cuts to an organization despite the support of those paying for it.
As an up and coming university, it is essential we continue to provide a quality student newspaper. If it is the quality in question, then we should address that problem directly. Cutting funds doesn’t make for a good start when trying to reinvent and improve a critical piece of our growing university.
Print journalism is going through some evolutionary changes. No longer is the Omaha World-Herald strictly delivered to our front porch. It is available at the tip of our fingertips on our smart phones. The articles now come accompanied with a video. It’s no different for the Gateway. The job descriptions are expanding for news staff. Not only do we write the stories, we take the pictures, take the videos, post to our websites, manage our comments and take on a role not only as a writer, but as a constant representative of the paper we champion.
The cuts were made without our input. The decision is that writers shouldn’t be paid at all. The purpose of a student newspaper is to enable students to develop their skills and become better writers. Writers, like anyone else, deserve to be paid for their work. So why is it when we are in need of more skill sets, more time dedication and more involvement from the student population, we are slated to cut the already modest compensation we provide our writers?
It’s simple economics, really – if you don’t pay people for their work, they won’t work for you. Some cuts may be necessary, but these are short sighted.
We should be hammering out how to continue to pay our writers for their work and press to keep the content of our paper at a high standard. We have been told by outsiders that we don’t get that choice, and we are expected to deal with the repercussions on our own. Oh, and also improve our quality. This is the reality we have found ourselves in at the end of this semester.
Newspapers aren’t dying, they are changing. We won’t be left behind during these changes. We will make the cuts and adapt. But believe it when we say we won’t go away easily. We are the voice of the students. Those that choose to speak up won’t be silenced, even if their votes are.