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SPJ collaborates with Flytedesk to save college newspapers from financial collapse


Irwin Gratz, SPJ Foundation President, (207) 874-6570, igratz@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists has launched a unique project to keep college newspapers from going broke.

It’s called Paper Money, and it offers college newspapers free advertising help – through virtual and personal visits from nationally recognized advertising experts. Deadline to apply is June 25.

“SPJ has always been about supporting a free and ethical press,” says SPJ Foundation President Irwin Gratz. “For many of us that began at college publications where we learned our craft. So, the financial challenges faced by publications threaten a vital training ground for journalists. We’ve also seen too many cities become news deserts. We don’t want that to happen to colleges.”

Last year, SPJ’s board of directors supported the first-ever Save Student Newsrooms Day, and at its annual convention in Baltimore, SPJ’s delegates passed a resolution calling for “the financial stability of student-run news organizations, because a healthy campus community requires editorially independent news coverage as a foundational civic necessity.”

As a result, SPJ has partnered with Flytedesk, one of the nation’s largest college advertising agencies. Together, SPJ and Flytedesk are funding up to 10 site visits for the 2019-20 school year. College newspapers can apply for a virtual consultation, followed by onsite training, from a professional advertising expert.

But will it work? It already has.

Paper Money was launched last year as a beta test. Funded by a grant from SPJ Region 3, two student newspapers – The Daily at the University of Washington and The Alestle at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville – received personalized training. Both reported notable revenue gains.

Learn more about Paper Money here.

The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation is a public foundation dedicated to ensuring that those who carry on the tradition of a free press are prepared for the challenge. The SPJ Foundation supports educational and professional needs of journalists and journalism students. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Give to the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation.

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