The V.O.I.C.E. Initiative

V.O.I.C.E. — what exactly is it, you ask? To put it simply, it’s a student fee referendum that will save The Daily Californian from having to cut additional days of print. The Daily Cal’s high degree of independence, which allows it to be hard-hitting in its reporting of the administration and ASUC, has left it prone to plummeting profits in the journalism industry. V.O.I.C.E. will help fill a little less than half of the Daily Cal’s ongoing deficit, with other innovative revenue initiatives slated to make up the remainder

Voting YES on V.O.I.C.E. invests only $2 of your money in a student newspaper that, in the last year alone, has:

  • Been awarded the Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada for 2010
  • Restructured its sales department to reinvest in students, boosting local sales revenue by 42 percent in February and 24 percent in March compared to last year
  • Been cited by the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Oakland Tribune, Bay Citizen, the Nation, KQED, MSNBC, California Watch, ABC, and, yes, the Colbert Report (three times)
  • Redesigned its website, boosting pageviews to record heights and nearly tripling online advertisement revenue from $13,300 to $38,900 between the 2010-11 and the 2011-12 fiscal years thus far
  • Boosted its Facebook likes and Twitter followers to more than almost any other student newspaper in the nation. We have 6,000 Facebook likes, up from 3,000 last April and higher than any student newspaper in the nation except the Daily Tar Heel. We have 7,800 Twitter followers, more than the Stanford Daily’s 2,200 and the Daily Bruin’s 6,200
  • Won 1st place Best Use of Social Media by the California College Media Association for 2010, and is slated to win two Best Use of Social Media awards for 2011
  • Redesigned its donation website, revamped its fundraising effort and hired students to take charge of our fundraising effort, in order to consistently reach Daily Cal alumni willing to donate
  • Enhanced its revenue monitoring processes to closely keep track of monthly progress, helping us make our revenue goals for every month, September through March
  • Created the “Puzzles” and “Retrospective” issues in December 2011, boosting our December profits from a loss of $22,000 to a loss of only $9,500
  • Created an in-depth multimedia project looking into the DREAM Act, which was praised by a New York Times multimedia editor and won four college media awards
  • Been used as a testing lab for SoundCloud and other new and innovative social media programs

Voting no on V.O.I.C.E. forces the Daily Cal to make debilitating cuts that would not only decrease our service to readers and the community, but significantly compromises our ability to keep our momentum and build upon the improvements we have made. Imagine downsizing an award-winning newspaper at a time of significant budget cuts and tuition increases.