Independence Day: Changing the Role of The Charger Bulletin

Angela Eklund

Why do the majority of college newspapers base their budget on advertisement while The Charger Bulletin still relies on the University of New Haven for our funding?

The Charger Bulletin has been printing since 1938. Have you seen the inside of it? Advertisement is not a big priority for this college newspaper, but open any other publication from colleges across the nation and you will find both national and local advertisements plastered across every page. Since the Office of Student Activities funds the newspaper, there is little demand for advertisements from the staff, let alone a large advertising staff that could handle such demands.

The week after spring break, five staff members from The Charger Bulletin were whisked away to Los Angeles for the College Newspaper Business and Advertising Manager (CNBAM) Conference. During the event, they were involved in workshops designed to build business skills and advertising strategies required for competitive publications. Attendees shared information and techniques amongst professionals in the advertisement industry.

This meeting was an eye-opener for most of the attending Charger Bulletin staff. If the newspaper was more financially independent, it could provide experience for undergraduates with business or advertising majors while creating a revenue source outside of UNH. Independence would connect the university to the Greater New Haven area, provide great public relations experience for the newspaper staff, and publicize campus matters to the community. A greater reader base for UNH would increase revenue further, while the money being used to fund the newspaper from Student Activities could be utilized for new goals. This could include higher distribution, a transition from weekly to daily publication, and scholarships for the staff. It could even mean a larger office to support a larger staff.

The grass is greener on the other side, as CNBAM showed to The Charger Bulletin staff. Money may not buy happiness but where there is money; there is a possibility for success. The money we receive comes out of the university’s pocket, which in turn gets capital from paying undergraduates. Why not make an effort to earn our budget instead of opening our wallets?

College newspapers are often criticized for representing the view of the university instead of its students. This is exactly why students from other schools strive for a variety of sponsors. In general, more sponsors means less bias based on the university, making it a more reliable source of news, whether UNH currently holds any influence over The Charger Bulletin or not.

It is time that The Charger Bulletin strives for a more professional outlook for publication and administration.

Independence is a new direction for The Charger Bulletin, and it’s one that I look forward to. As an attendee of the CNBAM conference in Los Angeles, I look forward to Independence Day.