Rutgers Daily Targum staff determined to stay in print despite funding loss

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The staff at Rutgers University’s 151-year-old student-run newspaper The Daily Targum says they are determined to stay in print despite a major loss of funding.

“We’re not going to stop. I’m not even in the mood to stop, so you couldn’t even stop me if you tried,” says Daily Targum feature editor Jordan Levy.

Founded in 1869, the newspaper received university funding until 1980, when it became independent. The paper costs each student an $11.25 fee each semester.

Every three years, students in each school at Rutgers' New Brunswick campus vote on whether to continue the per-student fee that's paid annually. The newspaper needs at least 25% of students in each school to support the fee and this year the vote failed in every school.

“We didn’t get enough students to come out and vote and that was a problem for us this year,” says managing editor Priyanka Bansal.

Ad revenue and other sources of funding will keep the paper from shutting down, but the staff says that now comes the challenge of how to make up for that student fee.

“We’re hoping that we can restructure, reshape and bring this around into a better situation,” Bansal says.

But the staff says that they have many costs, including printing, production, staffing and photography.

"It’s unfortunate that people don't always recognize the hard work that goes into it and I feel like a lot of people forget that the fact that it's a true student-run in every sense of the word,” Levy says.

The staff says that they are hoping to improve their presence on campus within the next few years before the next referendum vote.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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