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Ontario campus newspapers dealing with funding shortage after changes to tuition fees

A general view of the Ryerson University campus in Toronto, is seen on Thursday, January 17, 2019. The Ontario Government has announced it's changes to student tuition programmes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Editors at campus newspapers across Ontario say government-mandated changes to tuition fees have forced them to look for creative ways to deal with a funding shortage.

The provincial government announced in January that students would be able to opt out of paying for “non-essential” student services, including campus papers.

Sarah Krichel is the editor-in-chief of The Eyeopener at Ryerson University.

She says her paper’s new financial situation mirrors the broader media landscape.

Krichel met last week with her counterparts from a handful of other university papers to compare notes and solidify their united front.

For the first time, they have to advocate for their papers’ usefulness while also reporting, editing and publishing the news.

They’re doing that in a variety of ways.

At Ryerson, editors set up a table during orientation week to tell students about the value of The Eyeopener’s work.

They’ve also launched a social media campaign and are tweeting instructions on how to make sure students are opted in to paying the $5.65 annual fee.