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Fort Hays State student newspaper prints last issue; Daily Kansan editor says things going smoothly there
Fort Hays State University finds itself without a student newspaper today for the first time in more than a century.
The paper has run out of money, editor-in-chief Molly Walter says. Advertising has declined, the editor told the Hays Daily News, and the paper's funding from the Fort Hays student government was cut by $12,500 for this school year.
KU's student government threatened to cut its funding for the student paper, the University Daily Kansan, back in 2010. The Kansan cut its Friday print edition last semester, moving to four days per week.
Hannah Wise, the Kansan's current editor, told me when I checked in that things are going smoothly there right now, though. She said the Monday-through-Thursday model is working well, and there are no plans to cut down on publication days further.The Kansan staff is especially focusing on the paper's website and social-media efforts, though.
The Fort Hays release on the end of the University Leader says the university's president, Ed Hammond, declined a request to "bail out" the paper with funding that would keep it alive, and the university would work to plan a new multimedia news operation for students by the fall semester.
The University Leader's own story said "a few staff members" will keep publishing stories online.
I checked with the president of the Kansas Collegiate Media group for college publications, Mike Swan of Butler County Community College, and he said he wasn't aware of another Kansas college or university that had shut down its student paper in recent years.
He said the paper's demise would be a shame, as a student newspaper is a valuable watchdog for a university.
"Who else cares about Fort Hays State more than the student paper?" Swan said.
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