The Sunflower

Pflugradt: How The Sunflower and others are already feeling the effects of budget cuts

Thanks to a rubber stamp by Wichita State President John Bardo, The Sunflower will receive $80,000 in student fee allocations, thus shrinking The Sunflower’s budget to a new low.

Those unfamiliar with The Sunflower’s budget continue to propose ideas for how to cut spending. If we reduced print, if we asked for donations, if we didn’t do this or we didn’t do that, we’d be better off.

But that’s not the issue.

In reality, printing costs are marginal to the overall budget. The largest fraction is student salaries.

All staff positions are student positions — and all positions are paid. Nobody is getting rich. The students at The Sunflower are underpaid and overworked, but they’re all proud to be a piece of the puzzle because working for The Sunflower is more than just a paycheck; it’s the clips, the professional experience, and the camaraderie.

But because of the budget cuts, fewer students will get the opportunity to work for The Sunflower. The overworked and underpaid will be forced to take on higher workloads in order to preserve the quality of the publication. The challenges will increase.

In a recent issue of The Sunflower, a typo made it to print; and critics jumped on the opportunity.

While we admit fault, the reality is that we’re already feeling the effects of the budget cuts. Responsibilities are piling on those who are already bearing large burdens.

This week, The Denver Post published a front-page visitors guide to Denver’s own Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. The faux paus? In the dominant photo under the headline “COORS FIELD”, The Denver Post somehow placed not a picture of Coors Field, but Citizens Bank, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. This issue made its way through print and to a circulation audience of more than 600,000.

Honest mistake? Sure. Funny? Absolutely.

But really, the mistake is just one of the effects of The Denver Post cutting jobs from more than half their sports section — and more than half their staff total. Had that page passed by more eyes, the mistake probably wouldn’t have made it to print.

The Denver Post published a front-page editorial referencing the layoffs and taking a stance on their New York-based hedge-fund ownership.

The Sunflower, like other newsrooms, are full of tired, overworked students with eyes glazed over. Audiences and the news staffs are holding theirselves to higher standards.

Offer any fix you want to solve The Sunflower’s budget crisis. We’re already cutting corners. Just realize in the most sincere way that dollars are people — and that’s why these cuts hurt the most.

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