The Daily Targum needs your help to preserve Rutgers tradition
Opinions Column: On The Frontlines
Rutgers—New Brunswick is being faced with the possibility of becoming the only Big Ten school without a student newspaper within the coming year. But before brushing this off, let’s take a minute to reflect on why the Targum is needed on campus.
Targum is the reason why Rutgers changed its colors from orange to scarlet. Targum covered the first intercollegiate football game ever, in which the Rutgers Queensmen beat the Princeton Tigers, 6-4. And now the paper is under the threat of extinction not even two years after Rutgers entered the Big Ten Conference. Targum serves a major role as the only consistent record of Rutgers history that the University has in its possession. For his book, “Rutgers since 1945,” University historian Paul Clemens consulted Alexander Library’s Targum archive as reference. Maintaining the second-oldest college newspaper in the United States and preserving its legacy can be daunting. Dedicating a large portion of your college life to creating a daily newspaper will always be a challenge, but luckily our new editorial board — who’s first official day on the job was last night — is up for the challenge.
However, the newspaper may not exist in coming years due to a vote that some seniors may remember, called "referendum." Every three years, the Targum is required to poll the entire student body with a simple “yes or no” question to keep the Targum fee on the term bill so our news stories remain independent of content control efforts. If Targum does not pass, we will lose a large chunk of our funding.
We produce a Rutgers newspaper for the entire student body both in print and online every day that classes are in session during the spring and fall. We’re the only student organization at Rutgers, aside from NJPIRG, that gives you the option to not fund our operations — you just have to submit a refund request by the second Friday of every semester. If you vote “yes” to keep the Targum fee on the term bill, you can still choose to not fund us if that’s what you want to do. But we need you to vote “yes” so we can continue doing our job and continue improving our coverage of Rutgers news in the way that you want us to, while remaining unbiased and ethical. Our 16-person editorial board and our team of more than 50 writers, photographers and designers are capable and talented enough to become better than we’ve ever been throughout our 147-year existence. And we plan on doing so through upcoming attractions such as more extensive news and sports coverage, a redesigned website, new video series and a mobile app — but money talks louder than our keyboards do. The Daily Targum cannot improve if there is no more Targum. But we have faith that the student voice can speak louder than money if enough Rutgers students vote “yes” between April 4 and April 15.
In addition to balancing personal lives and full-time course loads, Targum editors work full-time, from 4 p.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday, just to create a daily print and online newspaper that caters specifically to you — a Rutgers student. We try as hard as possible to cover a range of topics that reflect the diversity of our student body, but it’s important to note that it’s unlikely we’ll find out about some events while we spend all morning and afternoon in class, and all evening and night in our Neilson Street office. The Targum was the first to provide news to the Rutgers community, and we need your help so we can continue doing our jobs.
Now that our previous editorial board passed on the torch, I invite you to take advantage of your student newspaper and tell us how we can do our jobs better. Give us stories ideas by submitting a news tip on our website, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me in-person at our office — any feedback, positive or negative, will help us grow as a publication. If you don’t like what we cover, we want to hear what you have to say and put those suggestions into practice.
Your voice counts, your vote counts. You are a part of the Targum’s history and future in the same way that our editors are — the only difference is that we’re the ones writing stories and designing pages. With that being said, on behalf of the Targum’s 148th editorial board, thank you for keeping the Rutgers student voice alive since 1869 — we’re looking forward to working with you.
Dan Corey is a Rutgers Business School sophomore majoring in marketing and journalism and media studies. He is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum.
YOUR VOICE | The Daily Targum welcomes submissions from all readers. Due to space limitations in our print newspaper, letters to the editor must not exceed 500 words. Guest columns and commentaries must be between 700 and 850 words. All authors must include their name, phone number, class year and college affiliation or department to be considered for publication. Please submit via email to email@example.com by 4 p.m. to be considered for the following day’s publication. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.