Student journalists take on fundraising roles

UMSL students read The Current

In this September 2013 file photo, UMSL students, including members of The Current staff, look over a new issue of the student newspaper as it’s being delivered on campus. The Current staff are using UMSL crowdfunding to help make up a shortfall in the newspaper’s budget. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Most students who work for the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ student newspaper, The Current, do so because they want to write articles, edit and gain hands-on experience in journalism. But the newspaper’s current financial situation has many burgeoning reporters and editors stepping into a new role: fundraiser.

Last semester Managing Editor Kat Riddler found herself hanging decorative lights in the newspaper’s office and covering the desks in red and white checkered tablecloths. She and writer LaTwuanna Troupe and a handful of other staff members turned The Current’s headquarters into a makeshift Italian restaurant for the sake of a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. The event brought in $3,000, thanks largely to a business alumnus who worked at the paper in the 1970s.

The newspaper currently seeks $10,000 by the end of a 30-day crowdfunding campaign that began April 3. About $5,900 had been raised as of April 23.

A series of additional fundraising and awareness events earlier this month included Paperboy Week where staff handed out newspapers in The Nosh. And a trivia night is scheduled for May 1 in the Millennium Student Center Century Rooms.

The Current staff members are taking on these efforts while also producing the weekly newspaper, taking classes and, oftentimes, working another job or two. Editor-in-Chief Anna Glushko, for example, works two tutoring jobs in addition to the 40 weekly hours she grinds out at The Current.

“This isn’t a job we do for the money,” said Glushko, who receives a stipend, as do other staff leaders at the paper. “We’re putting in all this overtime working on the paper and working on fundraising so that hopefully, if we raise enough money, the next staff that comes in here in the future will have to worry less about money and can just focus on putting together a great paper.”

According to Current staff, about $40,000 per year is needed to produce 15 print editions of the newspaper per semester and pay staff stipends. The Current generated revenue this year from advertising and a subsidy from the campus. It no longer receives student organization funding. The newspaper hopes to generate enough fundraising dollars to cover that lost funding.

Visit crowdfund.umsl.edu/thecurrent to learn more about The Current’s fundraising efforts.


This story was written by alumnus Ryan Krull, MFA 2014, a student support specialist and adviser to The Current, who also teaches writing courses at UMSL.

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