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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 published its last print issue Thursday, as reported by the Hays Daily News, a university news release and the student paper itself, the University Leader.

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.

You don't have to worry about the print edition of Heard on the Hill closing down, because there isn't one. But that doesn't mean we aren't keeping an eye on things, with your help, as long as you keep your KU news tips coming to merickson@ljworld.com.


Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Its a shame that the newspaper gets shut down while nonessential non-academic expenses,. such as sports, remain fully funded.

Currahee 5 years, 4 months ago

Because sports rake in big money maybe?

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

At Fort Hays State I doubt sports are a really big money maker.

riverdrifter 5 years, 4 months ago

The Baker University paper, The Orange, published since like the 1890's has gone to a weekly or even a bi-weekly, I cannot tell. Kids do everything online anymore. Must be a real bummer to be in the pulp business these days. Electrons (or whatever) rule.

Jaime Baggett 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm not surprised. FHSU has a cutting edge internet presence right now. They want in on the internet instead of on paper, money saver!

juma 5 years, 4 months ago

This is exactly what 'Fast Eddie' wants. The paper was the only independent voice against this self-styled dictator. . I mean Chancellor... that has had his way for over 25 years! Yes, that is correct... 25 years. What University can claim such an infamous distinction? Hammond does not want independent views. FHSU has a $15million surplus in cash. He could have easily kept the paper alive. Here is a thought; the official student enrollment is around 10,000 so how could a paper not survive? Answer: there are less than 4,500 student bodies in Hays; the other 5,500 are in China and elsewhere. Lawrence count your blessings.

PhilChiles 5 years, 4 months ago

I still tell people about the time that I picked up a copy of their paper, about four years ago. In a poll of the student body, they found that people preferred McCain over Obama by 85% to 15%. And they call themselves a college town!

juma 5 years, 4 months ago

McCain would consider FHSU to be a very respectable college town. How about the fact that the only campus Nixon could hold a rally back in 1970 was K-State. I was there and the student body loved him. This was while the hippies at KU were demonstrating.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Pfft. Why even brag about that? Nixon was not only a disgrace, but by today's ultra hard right standards he would have been considered leftist. Newsflash: nobody claims him!

But then poor K-State, they're always just elated to have a national-profile visitor. I bet they were totally fawning over GWB even at the height of the Iraq war's mismanagement... http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/jan/19/president_bush_speak_kstate_lecture/?print

Nikonman 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm a subscriber to the print edition and have noticed it is getting thinner over the last few years. Just a thought.

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