Most universities in Texas have printed student newspapers dating back to the 1800’s. With access to the press, students have been given the opportunity to voice their opinions, while also learning the world of journalism along the way. On Friday, Feb. 10 Texas A&M University President Katherine Banks announced the independent school newspaper, The Battalion, would stop all print issues immediately. This announcement was in response to her decision to move the paper entirely digital with the assumption that print is dead. As a country built on the foundation of free speech, the discontinuation of a print publication hinders the ability of college students to have their voices truly heard.
Notwithstanding violating the constitution’s first amendment, The Battalion is completely independent, earning all their money through advertisement revenue and not through funding of the school.
By canceling the print publication, the majority of the revenue earned is lost. Additionally, this contributes to a problem Banks attributed to the students but was caused by the evolution of digital content.
As a publication that has faced financial struggles since the start of the pandemic and has been unable to print in nearly two years, we at the Houstonian understand that fight all too well. But as student journalist we must continue printing when road bumps are thrown at you every single day.
Yes, digital content is very important in society today, however print media has been around for hundreds of years and continues to be a major source of information in rural communities.
Additionally, college newspapers also play an important role in the education of student journalists.
In the newsroom students not only find their passion for covering worldwide events but also in the pursuit of finding the truth and reporting that information
Student journalism is something that continues to be a pivotal part of society. It not only provides a news source for higher education directly from the sources, but also builds the knowledge of those who want to continue into this field.
As someone who started college with no experience in the field of journalism, whether that be in high school or a part-time job, I always tell people that everyone starts from somewhere.
The first thing written by anyone will not be perfect and that is okay.
Journalism is a field in which a person develops a skill more and more over time as they become more used to the motions as well as how to go about their daily business. Student journalism is the perfect place for anyone to start because mostly everyone is in the same boat.
With the loss of student newsrooms, we lose that chance at learning how the pieces of a newspaper are put together and lose out on that experience, unless they decide to find an internship which can be difficult these days.
On top of balancing being a journalist, there are all the other factors of life that students have to juggle between schoolwork, friends, family, relationships and hobbies.
Not only does the student newsroom teach people the skills of being a journalist but also how to manage a personal life while beginning this unpredictable job.
Students can learn that balance early on so that they know what to do once they are finally done with their higher education journey.
The move by the A&M president is one that will not go unnoticed as college publications will continue to fight for their right to publish and print no matter what is thrown their way.