NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Daily Targum, plunged into financial crisis after its funding was recently cut, has turned to crowdfunding in hopes of keeping the 150-year-old paper alive.
The student-run independent newspaper launched a GoFundMe campaign today with the goal of raising $100,000.
By 2 p.m., the total pledges stood at $3,225.
Of those who pledged money, most were Daily Targum alumni. Some of them also left comments on the site.
Radhika Marya, news editor at Fortune magazine, wrote: "The Targum is what launched my journalism career. It's a vital resource to the Rutgers community in many ways."
Veteran sports writer Lenn Robbins added: "There is nothing more important - except health care - on a college campus than a daily newspaper. Now more than ever."
Although 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 student fee during a recent campus referendum. Students are asked every three years to reaffirm their support.
At least 25 percent of the student body must support the fee for Rutgers to keep charging students to support the newspaper.
Sandy Giacobbe, the Targum's business manager, said Wednesday the paper is also considering putting a link on its website in hopes that those 4,000 or so students who voted in favor of the referendum could still go ahead and contribute the $11.25 or another amount.
He said last year's operating budget was about $800,000. The biggest expense is the printing and distribution of 10,000 copies each day, Monday through Friday.
Alumni already began to contribute on Wednesday morning, even before the GoFundMe campaign was launched.
On Thursday, staff members at the Montclarion at Montclair State University took to Twitter to offer their support.
"We at The Montclarion wish The Daily Targum the best of luck in acquiring the funding you all deserve. The student voice is essential on a college campus and it cannot be expressed without the medium of student-run news. We offer 100% support in your fight!" according to the tweet.