Saturday, October 21

Editorial: Ad on front page due to financial distress

In what we all hope will not be a recurring situation, the Daily Bruin senior staff has begrudgingly agreed to run an advertisement as the front page of today’s paper. We see it as a regrettable but relatively unavoidable consequence of the recent financial trends devastating our sources of revenue and our industry.

Many of us volunteered to forfeit our pay in order to ensure that the ad would not run, but because some of our staff members could not afford to use their paychecks to make a statement, we have been forced to go along quietly.

The reality of our financial situation is grim, and the fact of the matter is that we would have been forced to cut thousands of dollars from an ever-tightening budget if we had not run this advertisement.

We were forced to make a decision we find distasteful at best ““ and dishonest and unethical at worst ““ because of the ever-present and unrelenting reality of the economy and the downturn of the journalism industry.

Much of our staff, the members of this board especially, are invested in the Daily Bruin and the practice of journalism on a personal level, and nothing pains us more than to see the cover and name of our beloved publication sullied for the sake of survival.

We weighed every possible alternative and appealed to every relevent authority for a solution, but our efforts were ultimately fruitless.

Our hope is that our readers will not dismiss us as the sell-outs we feel like.

We can offer every reassurance that the quality of our reporting and content will not be at all impacted by these fluctuations in our financial situation and that this type of advertising will not become any sort of regularity for the Daily Bruin.

The complicated and weighty dilemma is indicative of the sacrifices and decisions being made in the journalism industry as decade- and centuries-old news organizations have begun to fold in the last few months.

In an effort to avoid such an outcome for the Daily Bruin, our staff has signed on to a student fee referendum with a number of other student organizations in the same situation.

We’re making every effort to put this referendum on the ballot later in the quarter, and if it passes it will help us weather this financial storm.

We will be approaching the undergraduate student government in the coming weeks with the referendum and will be asking for its approval so that the student body can vote on it.

If passed, the proposal would supplement a minority portion of the Bruin’s annual operating budget, helping to compensate for our rapidly declining advertising sales.

We are deeply saddened and frustrated to have had to come to this point to save our paper, and we hope that our readers and our community can understand why it has been necessary for us to go this far.

We thank you for bearing with us during this dark time for the journalism industry, thank you for your dedicated readership and thank you in advance for supporting the referendum that could help us out of this quagmire.

Unsigned editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily Bruin Editorial Board.

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