Letter to the Editor—Jenn Wegerer-Bertematti


I was editor of The Sunflower when it celebrated its centennial in 1996. My team and I spent weeks researching the newspaper’s history and its coverage of the university over those 100 years. Many things changed from 1896 to 1996, but The Sunflower was always a consistent voice for students and the greater WSU community. Twenty-two years later I fear The Sunflower faces what may be the greatest threat to its future.

I urge student government representatives to quit playing politics with student fee allocations. Slashing the budget of The Sunflower by half is doing a serious disservice to the very students you are supposed to represent.

Each and every student benefits from The Sunflower’s coverage of the WSU community. An independent student publication has the freedom to ask the tough questions, give a voice to the minority, and spark conversation and debate. This doesn’t always please the powers-that-be, but it’s crucial for a healthy democracy.

The type of independent, investigative journalism your peers at The Sunflower are producing takes resources. For decades SGA understood the value of that service (even when coverage of student government or the administration wasn’t very favorable) and voted to fund The Sunflower at reasonable levels.

Consider also your fellow students who depend on The Sunflower for invaluable experience in the journalism field. I was employed by The New York Times shortly after graduating not because of the classes on my transcript but because I had the opportunity to put that coursework into real practice at The Sunflower. Demonstrated experience is a must for graduating seniors looking for employment in the competitive media space — perhaps even more so today than when I graduated in 1996.

Student government: Don’t diminish the critical voice WSU students have had in The Sunflower for 122 years. Speak up for your peers. Vote to fully fund your independent, student-run, Sunflower.

To submit a Letter to the Editor, please visit thesunflower.com/letter