Letter to the Editor: The Tribune is not a business

I am a 2012 Marquette graduate and a former managing editor on the Marquette Tribune who is writing today to express how disappointed I am with how the Student Media Board and the university as a whole has treated the Tribune and its staff in the wake of a university spending freeze.

Budget cuts happen. I get it. We all get it. That the Tribune is not generating ad revenue at the same levels it used to is a simple fact. But what the Student Media Board seems to have lost sight of is the critical role the Tribune plays in teaching students how to work for a newspaper as a writer, editor, photographer and designer. This newspaper is not a business and it was never meant to be.

The Tribune is a practice ground for aspiring journalists, photographers and designers to develop their skills and prepare for professional jobs and internships. The Tribune is an outlet for all students to express their views and support for specific causes. The Tribune is a showcase of what makes Marquette a vibrant, dynamic campus. The Tribune is a provider of campus-specific news, a role no other news organization could replace or fully replicate.

The Tribune is not a business venture and it does not deserve to be treated as such. It may be that cuts indeed need to be made to the paper’s overall budget, but this should be discussed with the paper’s leadership rather that unilaterally enacted. Moreover, the initial decision to reduce the Tribune to an eight-page paper suggests that very little thought went in to this decision beyond monetary considerations, since it should be self-evident that eight pages is woefully inadequate to do any sort of serious reporting and design work.

If Marquette is serious about prioritizing money above the Tribune’s invaluable role as a teaching environment and campus informer, that’s ultimately their prerogative. But they should be aware that, as an alumna, I will be equally serious about ensuring none of my money is given to the university, and I will encourage my fellow alumni to do the same.

Tori Dykes
2012 alumna, College of Arts & Sciences