Campus papers fight back

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By Wojtek Dabrowski

Other campus papers are gearing up to join The Eyeopener and The Ryersonian in their fight to keep the daily papers from coming on campus.

The Canadian University Press (CUP), a wire service from university newspapers, has invited 40 student papers to meet at Oakham House on Oct. 17 to discuss how to keep papers, such as The Toronto Star and the National Post, off campuses.

“[Daily newspapers] are dumping free papers into the student market to prop up their falling circulation,” said Tariq Hassan-Gordon, CUP’s president.

Ryerson’s administration has been meeting with the Star about a deal that would see 2,100 free newspapers distributed daily around campus.

“The Star at Ryerson is the lightning rod,” Hassan-Gordon said. “If the Star succeeds, others will follow. This could destroy the student press.”

Peter Robertson, an instructor at The Ryersonian, said if the plan goes through, the Star would add roughly 350,000 newspapers a year to its circulation.

“They’ll engulf our newspapers,” he said.

The Eyeopener, which depends heavily on advertising, also opposes the deal.

“We don’t want them here,” editor-in-chief Philippe Devos said. “We’ve made that clear, time and again.”

If the Star succeeds in coming on campus, he says The Eyeopener would lose readers and advertisers.

Hassan-Gordon said CUP wants to use this meeting to form a policy that will stop non-university papers from invading campuses.

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