Editorial: Palatinate faces an uncertain financial future

By and

Palatinate has much to be proud of as we enter the new year. A record 1,000,000 online article views in 2020, a redesigned website, an updated social media strategy, and we continued to print 36 pages every fortnight in spite of the withdrawal of our print funding by the Students’ Union. This is down to the strength and efforts of our student editors, contributors, illustrators and photographers.

However, as we enter our 74th year as a print newspaper, we have been told that these problems may continue in the future.

We have argued and will continue to argue in favour of print journalism. It offers indispensable skills to aspiring student journalists, builds community between students, staff and the local community, and cements a Durham identity. Palatinate is an asset to the SU: we hold it and the University to account. It is a great shame that the SU, as the organisation in charge of student opportunities, cannot see that the desire for print remains. As we are aware of those who have come before us, we feel a responsibility to the many student journalists who will follow us at Palatinate.

The strength of the response and generosity shown to our September appeal made clear what we contribute to the Durham student experience, and how much Palatinate continues to mean to our alumni.

It is a great shame that the SU, as the organisation in charge of student opportunities, cannot see why the desire for print remains

In light of these developments, we have taken decisive action to secure Palatinate’s future.

This term, with our new advertising and finance teams, we will increase the amount of advertising on our website and in print, hopefully to the point where our costs are covered in full. If you are interested in advertising with us, or sponsoring an entire edition, please email advertising@palatinate.org.uk for a brochure of options and prices.

Soon, we will launch the first ever Palatinate alumni association, establishing firm bonds between those at the newspaper now, those who came before us, and those who will follow in our footsteps in the many years to come.

To celebrate our 74th year of print, members of our editorial board are each running, walking, cycling or otherwise moving 83.5km between today and our 835th print edition

What’s more, to celebrate our 74th year of print, members of our editorial board are each running, walking, cycling or otherwise moving 83.5km between today and our 835th print edition, which will come out on 21st January ahead of the planned return of most Durham students on the weekend of the 24th.

If you are able, we would be grateful for any support you can offer #Challenge835, and the paper’s continued existence more broadly, by donating – however much or little, whether on a one-off or recurring basis – to our Friends of Palatinate appeal on the University’s alumni website.

Our desire for print has never changed. What has changed is that our future is now in our own hands.

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Clarification:

In an editorial, published 1 January 2020, we stated that Palatinate would receive no funding from DSU until at least 2023/24 (Editorial, 1 January). The editorial was based on a development meeting with DSU staff. 

Although we published the editorial in good faith, we had received no formal notice of the decision before publishing it.

This article asked people to donate funds to Palatinate. We have been asked to clarify that no final decision has been made for the next two academic years and the budget for 2021/22 is yet to be confirmed. 

We are happy to make this clear and apologise for the misunderstanding. We have also amended the article and headline to reflect this clarification.

https://www.dunelm.org.uk/donations/palatinate

2 thoughts on “Editorial: Palatinate faces an uncertain financial future

  • I would happily pay a hefty yearly subscription to have the print edition delivered to me by post, as I usually have to grab a copy on my infrequent trips to Durham, now curtailed by Covid! I first contributed to the organ as part of a campaign to end a perceived ‘anti Hatfield’ bias back in the 1980s but enjoyed being involved so much I carried on doing so at my next University.

    Reply
    • Hello Andy, great to hear from you. Please contact us at editor@palatinate.org.uk with your contact details, as a mail service is something we are looking to introduce as part of our soon-to-be established alumni association. We will be in touch when we can offer you that. Best, Tim.

      Reply

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