The Daily Egyptian: by students, for students

By Sarah Gardner

When you hear the word journalist what do you think of? My guess is that you don’t picture a 20-something college student.

When you pick up the Daily Egyptian and read a story, the person whose byline appears at the top is someone attending SIU, taking classes and experiencing life just as you are. For readers who are faculty or community members, we are like your children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. We are not the hardened and jaded journalists you see depicted on television and in the movies. We are young, we are learning and we are working in journalism because we believe in the importance of informing the public.

Many of you are aware of the $9 per semester student fee the Daily Egyptian now receives to supplement our advertising revenue. I want to assure you that everyone here understands this means we should give you a product worth paying for.


When divided over the school days in an academic year, that $18 amounts to about eight cents per issue. It is a small price to pay for the existence of a news source. And far less than you would pay for a daily subscription to the New York Times, or even the Southern Illinoisan.

Until now we have never received any money from the university. We did not take the decision lightly to ask for a student fee. That said, the fee in no way means we can be censored. We are not under anyone’s thumb. We alone are responsible for what we publish.

From the end of spring semester to now, our outlook has changed. This is partly due to the shift from print to digital focus throughout the news industry. The other part is an organizational goal to become truly “digital first.”

We know many people only read the news if it pops up in your Twitter timeline. So follow us on Twitter @dailyegyptian. We know you really aren’t going to race to one of the racks every morning and pick up the print edition to read first thing in the morning. So visit us online at If you like having apps on your phone to occupy yourself in free time, download ours from the app store.

We will bring you breaking news via Twitter and our website first. We post our stories on our Facebook page, as well as other information or things to know about. We also have an Instagram account.

We cannot be Buzzfeed. We cannot be the Huffington Post. We will not feature photo galleries of celebrities with the worst outfits of the week. We will not publish top- 10 lists of “Llamas More Photogenic Than You.” That is not why we exist, and that is not the type of content we can give you.

What we can give you is the best and most important information about this university. No one has the ability to cover the university and this community better than its students.


We are a news organization by students, of students and for students. We want to hear from you. Connect with us on social media. If you have stories we should be telling, let us know. I want to publish letters to the editor, but I can’t publish them if I don’t receive them. Let me know what you think about our school, our community or our nation. The Daily Egyptian should be a venue for your ideas.

The changes we make at the Daily Egyptian this semester may not be drastic or apparent to you. But when you notice more social media posts, better photos, more opinions from this campus and more stories that you can relate to, know all of these are deliberate. Change is not accomplished easily, but these are changes worth making. For the sake of the employees and for the sake of this community.

Sarah Gardner can be reached at [email protected]@SarahGardnerDE or 536-3311 ext. 252