The offensive, McGill University’s only French-language newspaper, is in jeopardy. According to a publication shared on social networks, “it may have to close after 45 years of its existence”.
“Whether you are with McGill or not, you can help us by voting and sharing this message,” posted on Twitter Rafael Miro, a journalism student who has long contributed to this weekly.
Published in print and online format, The offensive is largely funded by students who pay a $6 per semester membership fee to the Daily Publications Society (SPD), a non-profit organization that brings together the English-language student newspaper McGill Daily and its French counterpart, The offensive.
Since November 14th and until Friday, the members of the student body have had to decide in an online referendum whether they want to continue to participate in the financing.
“Most students are not even aware of the vote,” writes Rafael Miro. “So far the forecasts are not very good for us. »
If the answer is yes, the scholarship will be extended for the next five years. Otherwise the newspaper will have to shut down.
The Instagram-spreading post had garnered more than 2,600 likes by the end of the day on Wednesday.
“People wanted to see The offensive is closing its doors, only on the pretext that it is not necessary to have a French-language newspaper at McGill, Mr. Miro continues. In the last few weeks, our kiosks have even been vandalized several times (without knowing by whom). We’re disturbing, it’s proof that we’re doing our job! »
McGill recalls that 20% of his students are French speakers.
With the advent of social networks The offensive says its ad revenue has been “divided by 20” over the past 10 years.
Funds raised by the Daily Publications Corporation were used to print Le Délit and the McGill Daily, to pay the salaries of staff who worked in advertising, and in addition to providing “modest” financial support to contributing editors.
This is not the first time The offensive must fight for his survival. Every five years, the members of the student council have to decide on their funding in a referendum.
“There is an online disinformation campaign to get people to vote no,” laments the newspaper’s editor-in-chief The offensive, Gabrielle Genest. “There are people who say it’s not worth it, they don’t find our newspapers relevant. For example, others denounce the $6 fee, which incidentally hasn’t been increased since 2008.”
The future of McGill DailyMcGill’s oldest independent student newspaper, founded 111 years ago, is also at stake because this publication is so heavily student-funded.
A “no” to the referendum would mean the end of the two publications, the editors of the McGill Daily on his website: “It would deprive the McGill community of important sources of information, discourse, inquiry and creativity. »
Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Genest adds that the two newspapers are mobilizing and working together to encourage students to vote ‘yes’. “It’s our joint referendum,” she said.