NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The future of The Daily Targum is unclear after the student body failed to pass a referendum funding the independent student-run newspaper that has been serving the Rutgers community since 1869.
The newspaper is student-written and student-managed and covers the news and events throughout the school. The paper's reporters and photographers cover everything from the university's administration to its student organizations and sports teams.
Since gaining its independence from the university in 1980, the paper has published five days a week during the fall and spring semesters. In recent years, it has a developed Dailytargum.com.
While The Daily Targum generates revenue through ads and support from alumni, it is mainly funded by students whose tuition included a refundable $11.25 fee.
Not enough students voted to continue the $11.25 student fee during a recent campus referendum. Students are asked every three years to reaffirm their support.
At least 25 percent fo the students must support the fee for Rutgers to keep charging students to support the newspaper.
According to a statement issued by members of the Daily Targum on social media, "We do not know what the future holds, but the Targum Publishing Company's Board of Trustees and staff will be working to address this funding crisis. The Daily Targum thanks the students, faculty, staff and administrators who supported referendum this year and will continue to serve the Rutgers community."
Here is the timeline of the Targum, courtesy of Wikipedia.
1866: Then Rutgers President William H. Campbell lectures to Rutgers men on the original text of the Old Testament, including Aramaic language paraphrases of the Hebrew Scriptures, called Targums. The word "Targum" means interpretation in Aramaic and is used as a slang word when referring to crib sheets, among various Aramaic terms that become part of the campus vernacular. This is the inspiration for the name of the forthcoming periodical.
1867: The Targum first appears as a four-page publication, the forerunner of the Scarlet Letter Yearbook.
1869: On Jan. 29 the Targum begins publishing as a monthly newspaper and literary magazine. It includes campus news, poetry, humor and essays on literature, science, philosophy, religion and travel. This same year Rutgers hosts the first intercollegiate football game with Princeton University, which Rutgers wins (and the Targum dutifully reports), 6-4.
1880: The Targum begins printing once every three weeks.
1891: The Targum becomes a weekly publication.
1919: The format changes from an 81⁄2" by 11" format to an 11" by 17" tabloid size.
1927: The first annual spoof issue of the Targum, the Mugrat (Targum spelled backwards) is printed. The issue reports that a Rutgers professor has been held in the county jail, charged with cruelty to animals.
1954: The Targum is printed four times a week.
1956: The newspaper becomes a daily publication, printing five days a week.
1969: Letterpress printing off-campus abandoned in favor of photo-offset print shop run by students on campus.
1970: Targum staff threatens strike if editors appoint new editorial board without staff input. Staff election of editors established through Targum caucus. Tony Mauro elected editor-in-chief over prior editors' choice.
1978: The Targum staff strikes after demands for honoraria are not met.
1980: The Targum Publishing Company files its papers of incorporation on July 1, 1980, following a year of negotiations with the University and an arduously fought battle to pass the student vote for funding. Students now fund the Targum directly through a refundable fee on their term bills.
1983: Typewriters are discarded as the first computers enter the Targum's newsroom.
1996: The Targum goes online.
1998: In January of this year, the Targum begins using full color on the front and back pages on a daily basis.
2002: The productions staff leaves film behind as the newspaper begins fully electronic publication.
2004: The "Happy Hour" comic strip begins appearing in the paper on November 30, originally created by Jim Kohl.
2006: The first issue of The Newark Targum is launched on February 15, 2006.
2008: The first video is posted on the Daily Targum website. Source: Celebrating 25 Years of Independence, by Theresa Poulson. pgs. 6-7. May 2005. 2009: Regular videos and audio slideshows begin to be posted on the Targum website.
2011: The Daily Targum increases circulation to 18,000 papers Monday through Thursday, and 15,500 on Friday. The Targum website also switches to Town News CMS web hosting, launches a Tumblr account (in addition to its Facebook and Twitter pages), and gets set to launch a mobile app for iPhones and Androids.
2013: The Daily Targum began livestreaming, beginning with the March 12 Strategic Planning Town Hall with University President Robert L. Barchi — the first on the New Brunswick campus.