By Ashleigh Mills Spectrum News, Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Budget cuts at the University of Louisville don’t deliver good news to the student newspaper, The Louisville Cardinal. The university says a “budget crunch” means a 5% rollback of funding to all departments, but $20,000 was stricken from the independent student paper. It means closure could be coming, unless the social media #savethecardinal campaign to solicit donations can work to keep the journalism alive.
Young writers call it a crisis. Editor-in-Chief, Maggie Vancampen, feels she would lose a piece of herself with the potential closure. Vancampen is a senior majoring in English and Communications, who writes news and features.
“I definitely have put some heart and soul into every piece that I have written,” Vancampen says.
Vancampen has been writing for The Louisville Cardinal for about one year. It’s the only program where students can practice journalism, since the university doesn’t offer journalism classes. Thus, Vancampen fears closure would mean a loss of opportunity for students, and could also silence their voice and point of view.
Vancampen feels journalism is important now, more than ever. “I think in the face of the ‘fake news’ era, people are more interested in wanting ‘proper news’ or ‘correct news’ if anything,” she adds.
The newspaper is asking for donations now, since about 40% of their budget that the university funded through its president’s office has been cut. Without donations, it’s unclear when the paper would be forced to shutdown. It could be at the end of the year, or next, according to the Board of Directors Chairman Ed Green. Green says they’re operating on some reserve funds, for now.
“There wasn’t a sort of dollar-for-dollar cut, where the state cut funding to UofL and they cut funding to us. What [UofL] did was they took a hard look at all the things they funded and unfortunately we were one of the things that they thought they could cut and didn’t have to fund,” says Green.
Green became a journalist himself because of this newspaper, when he attended the university and wrote for the student paper.
“I think anybody who’s followed what’s been going at UofL over the last few years would agree that there needs to be a journalism organization following it on a day to day basis,” Greene says.
Spokesperson for the president’s office, John Karman, said “we support the Cardinal and its mission and are hopeful it can get the funding it needs from other sources.”