Many journalists, including this one, came up through Canadian University Press. A national cooperative for university and college student newspapers, CUP is known for throwing rocking (and educational) conferences and publishing a kick-ass (at least when I edited it back in the day) news wire.
Unfortunately, CUP is in a financial crisis and in danger of shutting down. On February 21, J-Source reported that CUP is facing a budget deficit and, therefore, laying off its 12 part-time staff, effective March 1. (As well, several large papers, including the Ubyssey and McGill Daily are no longer with CUP.)
In a letter to CUP members, president Erin Hudson wrote:
Looking forward, the Board and I are taking long overdue steps to stabilize CUP’s finances and we are taking every action possible to change CUP’s circumstance.
To that end, one of our initial steps is to launch a fundraising campaign on Tuesday. Our goal is to raise enough funds to stabilize and reinstate staff positions next year. For the campaign to succeed — and for CUP to continue to exist full stop — we will need your help promoting the campaign to any alumni, faculty, journalistic and/or philanthropic networks you may have. Remember, as members you own CUP and share the responsibility of making this campaign a success. I hope we can count on you.
Here's part of the fundraising pitch:
If we don’t meet our fundraising target, CUP will not have an option of transforming according to priorities of its members — it will be stripped down to bare bones and, in the process, lose its strength and ability to act.
CUP is the organization to call when you’re in trouble, in crisis or in need of resources. It’s the organization with a national network that can be activated in a matter of hours. Students from coast-to-coast will lose that link if CUP is unable to stabilize.
It's dark times for CUP. But here's hoping, for the sake of future journalists, it'll pull through with help from donors.