The Salt Lake Community College Globe newspaper may be all ads next year. The Student Fee’s Committee has proposed to cut the Globe’s budget in half ($20,000 deficit) because the newspaper is not meeting the Committee’s or the student body’s expectations.
“One of the goals at the student fee board this year,” said Deneece Huftalin Vice President for Student Services who chaired the meeting, “was to keep fees at the same level or if possible decrease them.”
One student who sat on the allocation board was Nicholas Ferre, a student senator who also sits on the Globe Media Council. “It was a very hard decision,” said Ferre, “what was brought to my attention by the student body was that the Globe was lacking in certain areas, and that they really needed to focus on…who their target audience was.”
Ferre listed these areas pointing out, “The overuse of advertisements, that advertisements far out-powered articles,” “the articles that were used were typically wire publications [publications from an outside source.]” and that the diversity of campus related articles should increase, “the one strength that we could identify is they really focused on sports.”
Ani Arakelian, the Editor-in-Chief for the Globe, does not agree however with any of these points, “It makes no sense for them to say we have too much advertising and then to cut our funding,” said Arakelian, “we have to make up that lost funding in ad revenue.”
Arakelian also pointed out the fact that The Globe has not had one wire publication this semester, “and last semester we had less then 10,” said Arakelian. She went on to list all of the campus related articles that haven’t been about sports.
However, on the diversity front, Ferre feels that students are not being informed about the right kind of campus related events.
“[Globe writers] are really missing a lot of huge stories that affect the students,” said Ferre, “they really have not made an effort this year to become entrenched in where these decisions are being made.”
The explanation given to Ferre by Arakelian why this wasn’t the case, is that there is the lack in staff writers and not many of these staff writers want to jump behind what Ferre calls, “hard news and governmental affairs stories.”
There is also some concern as to whether some of the committee members made an informed decision when they cast their vote. “I really don’t read the Globe,” confessed Liu Vakapuna, Student Body President and committee member.
According to Huftalin, part of the rational behind the Globe’s budget cut was the student fees board felt like they weren’t sure what the readership DATA was. How many people actually read the Globe.
The Globe advisor, Julie Gay who gave the presentation to the board, said she was not asked to bring that information to the meeting.
“We didn’t ask in advance,” said Huftalin, “I think there was some level of assumption that if [the Globe wants their current budget], give us as much DATA as we need.”
However nobody voting was aware of what the potential consequences were. “I don’t remember that anyone said, ‘if we were to reduce your amount what would happen?'”said Huflalin.
The reduction in funds could possibly kill the printed version of the paper. “The student fee board was never to say we don’t want a paper on campus,” assured Huftalin, “I think that the outcome has been that now there is some revenue challenges for the Globe.”
The main solution that is being suggested by the committee members is to print fewer papers. “We think that the student body would support having fewer papers printed and still having access to the news and the stories and all of that via an online setting,” said Huftalin.
This solution however has many holes.
First, printing less does not necessarily cost less. “Everybody keeps saying just print less papers but I don’t think they understand that the amount that we’re printing is already small and if we try to print [less]…it would cost more,” said Tom Hurtado, the advertising director for the University Media sales group.”
Changing the number of papers printed costs more for two reasons, it means the paper would have to use a different more expensive printer, and they have to charge less for ads. This forces the Globe to sell more ads to make up for lost money, which means there is no room for articles in a printed-paper. This would force the paper online.
Another problem is not all of the student body would read the online paper.
Art major Jessica Brady said with a printed-paper in her hand, “I doubt I would ever read it online, I don’t see the benefit of online news.”
“I’m never on the school website,” said first year, Matt Jimenez.
While some students think an online setting would be better for their busy schedule they are not aware of the existence of the current online paper, “I’m always rushing between classes and ever have the time [to read the printed paper],” said art major Gregory Sanderson, “if it were online…[I] would be more inclined to read it.”
An online paper also affects journalism students who use the paper as a stepping stool into their desired profession.
“It would be similar to teach someone to cut someone’s hair but saying we can’t touch hair,” compared Gay, “it eliminates the vehicle to display our craft.”
The board of trustees then the board of regents must now approve the proposal before anything is official. So next year there may be papers full of ads, or empty racks.
The Globe staff requests students to send letters to the editor at email@example.com
The Globe has many academic classes that contribute to it.
-COMM 1130Reporting for Mass Media
-COMM 1610Journalism I: Reporting and Writing
-COMM 1620Journalism II: Editing
-COMM 1630Journalism III: Layout Design
-COMM 2200Beginning Video Production
-COMM 2310Intermediate Video Production (News)
-COMM 2500Elemt/Issues-Digital Media