WMU student media fee a trendsetter?

Apr 28, 2013

Sidewalk sign urges support for WMU's student media fee
Credit WMUK

Western Michigan University may have been ahead of the curve in the way it supports student media. Earlier this month, university trustees approved a five-dollar fee that all students will pay beginning this fall. Students approved the fee in a referendum late last month. It will raise about $150,000 a year to support the Western Herald, WMU's student newspaper, and the student-run radio station WIDR-FM. Some money will also go to the Young Broadcasters of Tomorrow, a student group that hopes to set up a campus video news service.

Now, other schools around the country are looking at similar fees. The online publication Inside Higher Ed reports that Rutgers University and the University of California-Irvine are considering student media fees. The Rutgers student paper has received support from fees since 1980 but must seek renewals every few years.

Student-run media outlets have been hit by the same forces challenging off campus newspapers and radio stations, especially steep declines in advertising revenue.