An Editor’s Note:

A glimpse into the finances of The Spectator

Landry is a senior journalism major and Editor in Chief of The Spectator. She can be reached at [email protected] or @MarthaLandryy.

Story by Martha Landry, Editor in Chief

On Feb. 28, members of The Spectator staff walked away from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association convention in Waukesha with five awards.

In the midsize campus newspaper category, the paper placed: third in general web excellence, second in photography for a submission by Photo Editor Elizabeth Jackson, third in general reporting by previous Multimedia Editor Haley Zblewski, third for sports reporting taken home by Managing Editor Nick Erickson and finally it received third for best editorial.

As the Editor in Chief of The Spectator, I could not be more proud of my staff for continuing the award-winning tradition of the paper. We work hard every week to bring the students, staff and faculty quality, unbiased and ethical campus and community news.

On that note, I am writing this editorial to shine light on the financial situation of The Spectator. Like most organizations on campus, The Spectator is allocated segregated fees, which are controlled by the Student Senate of UW-Eau Claire. The first point that I want to make is that media outlets on this campus receive and depend on funding from the government body they are support to report on, which is an ethical situation.

On a yearly basis we apply for  segregated fees that Senate votes and approves. For the 2013-2014 school year, The Spectator was allocated $17,990. (As stated in Managing Editor Nick Erickson’s Op/Ed, The Spectator is partially funding by segregated fees, which comes from students’ pockets. You help pay for the paper, so take advantage and give us a consistent read.)

Currently we are operating at a $55,778 budget for the 2013-2014 school year. In the next year, the paper will be operating at the same budget. These costs must cover printing, staff salary, maintenance, as well as other small costs. Our advertising staff works to make up the difference between our allocation and budget.

TV10, the student broadcasting organization receives funding from the Residence Halls funds because they are housed in the Towers basement.

WUEC, the student radio station, NOTA, the Flip Side and Student Radio Initiative all receive funding from Senate.

The Spectator follows similar guidelines that the Society of Professional Journalists follows. The principles it abides by come from the code of ethics that newspapers around the country follow: seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable.

I write this as an assurance to our readers that The Spectator acts in an ethical, transparent manner for every article and every issue — just as many other news organizations, including NPR and the BBC, that receive government funding. In addition, The Spectator does not and will not allow editorial content to be influenced by Senate or administrative influence.

Also, we act in a way where we know Senate and the university administration would not attempt to steer editorial content.

The Spectator has been a vital part of the university since 1923. We appreciate the continued support from the campus Eau Claire community and look forward to what the future brings to the news industry.