The Ranger announced in a Tuesday news story that it will close down at the end of the semester, following the retirement of key faculty members. The article noted that low enrollment in journalism classes and budget cuts also burdened the publication.
Last year, the Associated Collegiate Press recognized The Ranger as one of the 100 best collegiate publications in the nation. During its long history, the paper also offered a conduit for students of color to jump into careers as professional journalists, SAAHJ tweeted.
"While there are other journalism programs in the city, losing The Ranger at SAC is a huge loss because it has long provided a pathway for students of color and those with little financial means to enter the industry," the organization said, noting that its president, the Express-News' Laura Garcia, is a one-time Ranger staffer.
"In the coming days and weeks, SAAHJ's board will discuss how to support efforts to save The Ranger," the group added.
In addition to enrollment declines, The Ranger story notes that the State of Texas stopped reimbursing the campus for "unique needs classes" such as advanced photography. What's more, the publication has been unable to increase stipends to pay editors.
Due to budget constraints, The Ranger became a digital-only publication in 2019.
“As the college has anticipated the coming retirement of journalism faculty members Marianne Odom, Irene Abrego and Dr. Edmund Lo, we have begun planning for the publication’s future," Vela said.
“We are exploring many avenues that will make sense for the SAC community and keep student journalism thriving on our campus. The intention is to have it remain a vital component of the total learning experience at SAC.”
In concluding its series of tweets, SAAHJ asked the school to come up with a solution that allows The Ranger to continue publishing.
"We urge Alamo Colleges District administrators to hear the pleas from current and former students and to develop a plan for the newspaper's future."
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