Who We Are
The Columbia Daily Spectator has served as the pulse of Columbia University and its surrounding communities since 1877. As one of the world’s pre-eminent college newspapers, we provide breaking coverage of campus and city news, high-caliber investigative journalism, thought-provoking editorial commentary, and a window into New York City culture. We've also been published by a student-run nonprofit corporation, the Spectator Publishing Company, since 1962, giving us complete financial and editorial independence from the University. We're proud of the critical roles that Spectator serves in the community: We keep Columbia accountable, offer unparalleled opportunities to students, and produce a top-notch publication that generations of Columbians have enjoyed.
Why We Need You
The 21st century has brought unprecedented changes to the traditional media industry, including a significant and ongoing decline in the demand for print advertising. These changes present a serious challenge to Spectator's viability as a financially independent newspaper . We've worked hard to thrive despite these circumstances, substantially improving our online product and its associated monetization strategies while launching innovative advertising platforms, including a sponsored event series. However, these new revenue streams cannot, on their own, support a robust print edition, fuel investments in forward-looking technology and infrastructure, and cover the costs of producing high-caliber journalism. We need your help to fill that gap so that we can continue to produce a high-quality, editorially independent product.
Where We're Going
Your donation will support the Innovation Fund, a broad-based campaign launched in September 2013 that will give us the tools to address the seismic shifts in the media landscape. To accomplish that, the Fund hones in on three areas:
Technology. We want to furnish our multimedia team with resilient GoPro cameras that will allow us to report from the thick of the action at rallies, sporting events, and other breaking news scenes. Our writers, designers, and editors should have access to advanced collaborative software, like NewsEngin, so that we can produce content faster, cleaner, and in real time. And that's just the beginning. You can see exactly what we need on our technology wishlist here.
Operations: New technology is only valuable if it can be deployed within the context of healthy, regular, and high-quality reporting and printing. Our operations budget supports the production of special issues and other in-depth journalism projects, in addition to our routine printing costs.
Finally, we need to shore up our endowment as a source for future investments and as a capital cushion for the future challenges inherent in our dynamic industry space. A combination of targeted investment, sustained operations, and savings for the future should position Spectator on the right course to meet modern media trends.