Nothing about The Chronicle is guaranteed.
It takes incredible work from student volunteers to put out a newspaper three days a week and publish content every day. Today, student newsrooms across the country are taking part in a day of action to highlight the need for student media and the precarious financial situation student media organizations face.
Founded in 1905, The Chronicle has been a staple of the Duke experience before Duke was even called Duke. In 1993, we cut remaining financial ties with the University and have remained independent ever since. This independence has allowed us to provide readers information about the University that may have been difficult to unearth otherwise. In the past few years, this has included issues with the student conduct process, sexual harassment, discrimination and so much more. Without The Chronicle, these stories would not have been told.
As an institution, Duke employs more than 34,000 people around the world and is the 2nd largest private employer in North Carolina. Approximately 14,000 students are educated here, and our nearly $8 billion endowment is one of the largest in the country. In short, Duke’s reach is expansive and its impact on the lives of people is tangible. A strong, independent press is essential to hold the institution accountable and keep us as a community informed.
We are the only organization on campus that attends every Academic Council meeting, every Arts and Sciences Council meeting, every Duke Student Government meeting and consistently reports on the actions of the Board of Trustees, despite not having access to any portion of its meetings for the past decade. We consistently push the University to be more transparent and more open about its decisions. We hold the University accountable.
In addition, we provide coverage of all 27 varsity sports, various cultural events and student exhibits and performances throughout the year. We record Duke’s history as it is occuring and we don’t take “days off.”
We also provide a platform for students to lend their voices to the campus dialogue through our Opinion section. Student journalism has powerful impacts on the Duke community and beyond. Frequently, our reporting appears in national publications.
Student journalism is at a crossroads. Although journalism nationally is seeing a resurgence in support in the Trump era, this has not been felt equally by local outlets. Down the road, our colleagues at The Daily Tar Heel have faced financial pressures. Recently, former DTH General Manager Betsy O’Donovan wrote that the newspaper has operated on a $200,000 deficit.
The Chronicle is very lucky. Because of strong leadership from students and the advertising staff, we have managed to do well in an era of financial uncertainty.
You may not always agree with our decisions. But know that we take our work incredibly seriously and always seek feedback and ways to improve. We have sought to increase our engagement with the community this year with events including the DSG presidential debate. We have added a tip form on our website to make it easier for you to share information with us. If you want to get involved, let us know!
There’s a lot of journalism to be done on this campus, and we intend to be around to do it. We hope you will support us in that effort. You can do that by reading us online and in print, following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by donating!
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