Editorial: Fight to save student newsrooms


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

The Iowa State Daily newsroom.

Editorial Board

Student journalists aren’t real journalists, right?


Student news organizations at the high school and college level are necessary wheelhouses for successful communities. These organizations not only serve to keep communities informed, but they provide platforms for community members to engage in civil discourse and create training grounds for staff members. 

It’s no secret that there has been a decline in the number of professional journalists, with layoffs plaguing the industry. For that reason alone, student newsrooms are important to continue providing news as the professional workforce declines. In addition, student newsrooms give students a space to try out solutions that may solve industry-wide problems as they enter the industry. 

The Iowa State Daily is participating in the nationwide campaign to Save Student Newsrooms because the work that we — and our colleagues — do is very important. 

The First Amendment and the free press protect our rights to pursue stories in the best interest of the people, rather than the best interest of the government. At the Daily, the freedom of press has allowed us to report on how much the university spends on lawsuits, write front-page editorials raising the issue of lagging state funding for higher education and create a series about how proposed housing laws would impact students. 

But the truth is, the privileges provided by the free press are only beneficial if news organizations can stick around. All news organizations need your support, your continuous feedback and your continuous engagement. Student newsrooms are no different. 

Our independence from the university allows us to cover news without oversight from Iowa State. Imagine if this independence ceased to exist. The university administration would have the chance to deny any story that didn’t paint them in a positive light. This is an issue student newsrooms across the country are facing. 

But that independence comes with a caveat. Independence means we need the support of our audience and advertisers to continue to meet the financial costs necessary to keep our organization alive.

Recognize the importance of independent student journalism — and fight for it — before it’s too late.