Despite Pasadena City College’s student run paper, the Courier, being the longest running publication, students and the Pasadena community hardly know of it and it has no official budget.
The Courier was originally a printed addition made possible by Visual Arts and Media Studies division and the advertisement space it sold was used to invest in the newsroom. Investing in the newsroom included, but was not limited to, having an ad manager, participating in Journalism Association of Community College (JACC) competitions and more.
While the Courier used to be all over campus, the decision to go from print to completely digital was more last minute, starting in the Spring of 2016. Lacking an ad manager and needing to respond to the new demands of fast paced news, paired with print publications going largely off the radar, led to Courier focusing its efforts on digital excellence. When the last published copy of the Courier went out, there was no mention of where students, staff or whoever interested could find the Courier since the decision to be online only came after the last printed edition of the Fall 2016 edition.
The Courier being largely unknown to the student body and Pasadena is due in part by the medium change and in part by PCC’s lack of fully supporting the paper and journalism program.
It should also be noted that even PCC’s main social media and website rarely, if ever, shares the Courier’s articles or pictures.
“I can’t speak on the new president because I’m not on the Courier staff while she is president but I will say that when Dr. Vurdien was here he stopped in to the newsroom once or twice but we never got the sense that the college really supported student run media,” former Editor in Chief Amber Lipsey said. “The whole time I’ve been here, the Courier has never had a budget. A lot of money we had came from ads or help from Dean Futtner.”
PCC has managed to create budgets for many things that are going on campus. They’ve managed to redo a whole football field for a team that hasn’t proven to be good through the past few years. They also managed to create a budget for the school to put pun posters inside the restroom stalls to promote students to register for the summer semester.
With Dean Futtner retiring from being dean after this spring semester, there is no guarantee the new dean will follow Futtner’s lead and keep providing monetary resources from student services for things like JACC, website changes and many more. Having no budget means less time and exposure resources for the Courier to become more well known amongst students. A budget can greatly help inform more of PCC of our existence and what is happening on the PCC campus.
“We’ve been reliant on student service funds to pay for some really large expenses which has been fine because they have given them to us but they can always not give those funds to us,” said Journalism professor Nathan McIntire. “As long as I have been here there has not been a set budget for the journalism department. So when we’re looking at our competitors – you know Citrus College, Santa Barbara or El Camino, some of the schools that do really well in competitions – they’re spending a tremendous amount of money. They get a lot of money from the school.”
The Courier always win many awards when they go to JACC, so for it to not have a set budget is something that needs more awareness.
“I think being that the Courier is an award winning publication and that the Courier has been around for 102 years, I definitely think that the school, the board of trustees and the administration could step up a bit more to really put their support behind the Courier,” said Lipsey. “I think that the staff here has done the best that they can under very tight financial circumstances and they’ve done a good job, but you can always improve and having funding would give them the opportunity to do that.”
The lack of funding has had consequences on the Courier because students on campus don’t even know there is a student publication on campus. The whole point of having a student publication on campus is for the news to be spread out to the students. With Associated Student’s PR person not releasing information for campus in months, the Courier and PCC’s site are the only sources for news on campus.
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