If you were planning on rushing to campus tomorrow to pick up your Wednesday coffee and a copy of the Brunswickan, let me save you the trip.
Unfortunately, as a result of the labour dispute between the university and the AUNBT, the Brunswickan has been forced to cease printing operations indefinitely. We will continue publishing exclusively online.
As many of you are undoubtedly aware, this is the first faculty strike in UNB’s history, and we’ve never dealt with a strike either. And like the labour dispute, ceasing our printing operations is because of one thing: money.
The Brunswickan operates on a not-for-profit basis and therefore our budget is based around breaking even every year. We have a great stream of advertising which feeds a chunk into our budget, but it’s only one cog in the gears of how we operate. A large portion of our budget includes your student fee, but because of tuition not being paid, the university is unable to provide us with the student levy upon which we rely to operate.
Let me be clear, I’m not blaming this on you one bit. Your student newspaper is part of your university experience. And the heart of your university experience is your education. Why would you pay for classes which aren’t being taught? You wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t. But when the heart stops, the rest of the body dies. It’s just the way it is.
This isn’t your fault. The total blame lies with those at the negotiation table, who for months couldn’t shake hands on a deal.
I’ve referenced the movie The Score in my last column and there’s another movie quote which applies well to this situation: “A deal is only good if it leaves both parties feeling like they’ve given up something.”
Personally, I’d like to see them add in a clause where the profs pay a media fee just like you guys because they read the Brunswickan too. But imagine. Asking for more money.
As I mentioned before, we do sell ads – such as the trademark Social Club banner on the cover – but it’s not enough to cover the cost to print. With the student levy, we can cover all costs because it makes up for what we lack in ad revenue. But given the uncertainty of the negotiations, and how long they could potentially last, we made an executive and editorial decision not to print hard copies of the paper because we’d lose less money than we would by going online only. It’s a lose-lose.
But by going exclusively online, we can continue to bring you up-to-the-minute strike coverage – which has been nothing short of stellar reporting and a huge win for student media – as well as everything you’ve come to expect from us.
Our focus is, and has always been, to enhance your experience at UNB with informative and entertaining news from around campus. We will continue to do so without the luxury of a hard-copy newspaper. We will continue to dig into the labour dispute, and continue to be first at breaking stories and updates as they happen. We will hold off as long as we can and find every means necessary to keep operating, but the longer this strike drags on, the worse off we all are as a UNB community.
This labour dispute has rippled to every corner of this campus, and at the core of it all is your education. While the Brunswickan will remain impartial to any one side in this dispute, as to continue to provide fair, balanced and unbiased coverage of the strike and lockout, we can only hope for a resolution where both sides walk away from the table without having received every one of their demands. There’s no scenario where any one side truly comes out ahead, but at the end of the day it’s the students who suffer.
Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones said it best: you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you might find, you get what you need.