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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
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Letter from the Editor: Support the next generation of journalists

Help us continue our work to make The Eagle newsroom more inclusive

If you’re reading this, you know how valuable The Eagle is to the American University community. But if we can’t pay AU’s student journalists for their work, we can’t create a newsroom that reflects the diversity of the campus community.

Every year, we make it a goal to expand the diversity of our newsroom. The reality is, this won’t happen until we can compensate our staff for their work. That’s why we need you. This Giving Tuesday and for the rest of the year, we’re raising money to expand stipends for our staff. Our staff spends their days (and oftentimes nights, too) keeping The Eagle up and running, which is in addition to being full-time students and working additional jobs or internships.

The Eagle Innovation Fund, established in 2018, was founded after staff and alumni from The Eagle came together to create a $50,000 endowment to help support our journalism. Each year, we are allowed to spend the interest from this fund, which supplements our funding from student fees, not replaces it. While the interest we can spend is typically a small amount, growing the fund would help expand our ability to support our staff.

Thanks to the support of donors, our Eagle Innovation Fund has been able to compensate managing editors for the past few semesters with stipends ranging from $100-200 per semester. I hope you’ll consider donating to The Eagle Innovation Fund and help make expanding these stipends a reality. Managing editors work at least 20 hours a week, often more, to keep their sections running. And that doesn’t account for the rest of our staff, from reporters to designers, copy editors and more.

Many AU students may be pushed away from the opportunity to join The Eagle because they cannot afford to work in a job that does not pay. Student journalism shouldn’t just be for those who can afford to work for free. With your help, it doesn’t have to be. Staff at The Eagle work hard to keep the AU community informed. We do it because we love it and believe so strongly in the value of the work we do.

The Eagle has served as an important training ground for young journalists — our alumni work in almost every major newsroom across the country, scattered from coast to coast, thanks to their experiences at The Eagle.

We want people to apply to The Eagle knowing they will be welcomed and valued. We want people to stay at The Eagle, and not be driven away because they cannot afford the hours of unpaid labor it takes to work at a college newspaper.

The Eagle has been covering AU for almost 100 years. With your support, we can make The Eagle a more inclusive place and ensure its success for years to come.

nheller@theeagleonline.com


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