Independent Student Press: Fighting for freedom of the press on campus 1
Independent Student Press: Fighting for freedom of the press on campus 1
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2015.08.31 17:11
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The front page of High Quality Zzirasi, independent press of Sungkyunkwan University students, discussing about lack of communication between students and the tuition deliberation committee. Photo provided by High Quality Zzirasi.
Freedom of the press has always been defended as the basis of public interest jornaliam. It gives constitutional or legal protections to those who desire to communicate through the media for public interest. The same principle of freedom is behind the establishment of  university press involved in communicatng with students on matters of their college life. Unfortunately, the school newspapers are often facing interferences from school authorities who may find their acts of communication controversial or subversive As the official press receives support from the university, reporters have no choice but to skip topics that are controversial if the school asks them not to write it. Thus, students have been taking the matters into their own hands by creating independent student press that is managed entirely by themselves. The independent presses raise voices against matters that have been banned from the official press, and this movement has been spreading among various schools. Ewha Voice observed how reporters of the independent press manage and run the newspaper along with development of the online sector.


Self funding, a start of obtaining editorial freedom
Unlike the official school press that get funded by schools, independent press have to fund themselves to secure budget for interviews, managing websites, and even printing newspapers.
Although the absence of sponsors may lead to financial difficulties, independent press or media outlets chose to be economically independent, since receiving assistance from the school or other organizations may hinder them from expressing opinions that could be unfavorable of the sponsors. Therefore, independent presses have come up with different ways to meet their expenses.
The methods range from collecting donations from professors and students, to starting social funding projects. It is also common to fill the budget with student reporters’ personal money when there is no external help.
For instance, the Chung-Ang University independent press, Jammanggyeong, which means periscope in Korean, has put up their bank account number at the bottom of their website so that students can always make financial donations to their newspaper. Kookmin Journal, the Kook-Min University independent press, also collects donations.
“Most of our budget comes from student donations,” said Choi Jong-tae, the Chief Editor of Kookmin Journal. “Sometimes we enter in city projects or various contests related to student newspapers and receive money as part of the prize. Currently, we have enough money to continue our printing.”
Founded in 2012, High Quality Zzirasi,   an independent press for Sungkyunkwan University, maintains its independence in finance with 90 percent of the expense covered by its own reporters.
Lately, social funding project for the expense needed for the fall semester was successfully accomplished, the fund even exceeding the amount expected in the first place.
In its declaration of foundation, High Quality Zzirasi intends to overcome the limit of existing student press which is constantly being interfered by the school. Without the school’s interference, High Quality Zzirasi strives to uncover issues that are questioned by students.

*Reporters: Lee Jae-lim, Lee Yoon-soo, Lim Ye-ju, Jang Min-jeong

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