In the past couple of weeks, Texas Student Media — the parent organization of the Texan and other entities — held a pledge drive to raise funds for these student publications, including not only us, but the Travesty humor publication, KXRX radio station, Cactus yearbook and Texas Student TV. The pledge drive, which ended Sunday, brought in 158 donations for a total of $10,771 raised. It’s certainly a great start, but — as we have repeatedly noted — more needs to be done to adequately fund student publications on the part of the University administration, as they have always promised.
More importantly, the success of this pledge drive exemplifies just how widespread support for student publications is on campus. The donors were composed of students, alumni and other generous underwriters and consisted of big and small donations alike. This was undoubtedly a stellar illustration of the dedication of the student body, as well the University community at large, to preserve the integrity and quality of incomparable student publications.
From all of us here at the Texan editorial board, we wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of financial support received throughout this pledge drive. Student publications, including the Texan, fill a unique role in not only training the next generation of journalists but being a tireless advocate for the news on campus that other sources won’t cover. Through Texas Student Media, the University community is lucky enough to have a plethora of different options for consuming pertinent news. These include print, radio and television sources, as well as a satirical publication that — as the recent Student Government elected showed — increasingly has repercussions on real policy.
While in the past news organizations shied away from accepting donations for fear of editorial influence, the ever-changing media landscape makes it a necessity for Texas Student Media, which gives away its product for free. This year, thankfully, that has been achieved through the generous gifts of dozens and dozens of people with some stake in this University’ community. And while there is more left to do, we are very grateful for this strong first step.