Alumni try to preserve SMU student newspaper’s independence

DALLAS — It’s no secret that the newspaper business has seen better times, and that’s true at college, too.
Over at Southern Methodist University the Student Media Company, which handles publishing the campus’ newspaper, The Daily Campus, has run out of money to keep the presses printing.

“They said ‘okay let’s find a new home for student media and the newspaper’ and that’s kind of where journalism stepped in and said ‘we’ll take it’,” said Kylie Madry, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Campus.

Yeah, the plan is for the journalism department to take over, but that’s a huge change. See, for its 103 in years in existence the newspaper has always been independent of SMU.

“The university has no editorial control over what we publish. They can’t say at all what we produce,” Madry said. “It’s holding those universities accountable. We wouldn’t have stories like Michigan State if it weren’t for university newspapers.”

That could all potentially change when the Student Media Company officially shuts down, and so some of the paper’s alumni have stepped up, starting a GoFundMe to keep the newspaper running for one more year while they put some changes in place to keep it running long term after that.

“This newspaper has done so much for getting journalists started. We have people all over the nation who have said ‘this is how I got my start’”, said Madry.

Hey free press ain’t cheap, and they still have a ways to go to keep the paper independent, but if they succeed they’ll make sure a lot more journalists get their start in this office and that no one stops the presses.