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Outside the box

The Cavalier Daily announces a fundraising campaign to bolster the paper’s physical presence on Grounds

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In the last year, The Cavalier Daily has tried to think “outside the box”, as the adage has it. We switched to a digital-first platform in August 2013, launched a daily e-newsletter and a mobile application, and cut printing to twice a week.

Now, one of our next challenges is to think our way back inside the box — our distribution boxes, that is.

We currently have 24 outdoor distribution boxes located at various points around the University and Charlottesville. Our new newsmagazine format — a 14-inch tabloid — fits imperfectly in these boxes. In addition, many of our distribution boxes are damaged, heavily worn, or placed sporadically in locations that don’t make sense for our readers.

Tuesday, The Cavalier Daily kicks off a five-week campaign to raise money for new distribution boxes. We hope to raise $8,000 to purchase 75 distribution boxes to place around Grounds and Charlottesville. Friends of the paper can visit www.igg.me/at/cavalierdaily between Jan. 21 and Feb. 28 to contribute.

New distribution boxes will help The Cavalier Daily better serve its readers and will make the twice-a-week print edition more easily accessible to the University and Charlottesville communities. Our project will triple the number of outdoor locations where readers can find papers.

The boxes will be navy blue and will feature Cavalier Daily logos. They’ll be an ideal complement to our print edition and help make us more visible on Grounds. No more searching for a paper, wondering where to pick one up.

We have a print circulation of 10,000, and print remains a core part of how readers experience the paper. Although we’ve enjoyed serving our readers through the various digital initiatives we’ve launched in the last year, we recognize that for many readers print remains the most intellectually and aesthetically stimulating way of engaging with our articles, photos and graphics.

Assisting with The Cavalier Daily’s efforts to purchase distribution boxes is thus a powerful way to support, in practice, the persisting value of print journalism.

But it’s more than that. It’s also a way to support a publication that has been, for 124 years and counting, a voice for students at the University of Virginia.

We’ll offer generous rewards for donors. We’ll list your name on one of the boxes and we’ll give you a shout-out in the pages of The Cavalier Daily, to name just two. The biggest reward, however, will be the blue boxes dotting Grounds, with our latest issue stacked inside.

Our decision to turn to readers, University community members and University alumni for support came after months of deliberation among Cavalier Daily editors and staffers. The Cavalier Daily is financially and editorially independent from the University. This freedom allows The Cavalier Daily to report aggressively on sensitive issues related to University governance and policy. But it also leaves the paper vulnerable to many of the challenges facing print media today.

We are constantly grateful to our readers for supporting us, reading us, disagreeing with us and prodding us to cover various questions and developments.

To support The Cavalier Daily’s efforts to engage with readers in print, and to learn more about the fundraising campaign, please visit www.igg.me/at/cavalierdaily and visit our campaign on Facebook. We appreciate contributions of any size.


Published January 21, 2014 in FP test, Opinion

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