Editorial: Saving the Daily Egyptian

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By WSIL Reporter

WSIL -- Illinois lawmakers may step in to keep SIU's student newspaper alive, and you could foot the bill.  SIU President Randy Dunn discussed the Daily Egyptian in Springfield.  Lawmakers are considering a bill that would offer $70,000 in taxpayer money to the paper.

Opponents say the state should not get involved.  The SIU Board recently denied the DE's request for a student fee to help with funding.
 
News 3's Kevin Hunsperger did an editorial on News 3 This Morning about the situation. His opinion does not reflect the views of WSIL TV.
 
"I agree with State Representative Mike Bost and some of our viewers who say the state shouldn't be funding a university newspaper.
 
I believe this sets a bad precedent for future scenarios.  Will taxpayers be expected to foot the bill for newspapers at the University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois, or Northern Illinois University?
 
This also sets a bad example that's become more and more common of the expectation that the government will bail people out when there's a problem.  There are plenty of intelligent, hard working people on the SIU campus; students, faculty and administrators.
 
I think it's time for all of us to be more proactive and less reactive. We've seen for years that the newspaper business is struggling.  Admittedly, I don't know all the operational procedures on campus, but it seems to me that if the business plan is not working it's time to fix how the business is being done, not  asking tax payers to cover the cost.
     
Possible options would be printing less copies of the DE, finding more advertisers, charging for the newspaper, getting more support from the alumni who worked on the paper, or going from a daily to a weekly paper.
     
I just think it's a bad idea to expect the entire state to pick up part of the tab to keep something going that has been and will likely continue to struggle unless some major changes are enacted."
 
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