Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Berkeley Rep provides $6,150 bailout for high school newspaper

By kbender
Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 5:06 pm in Uncategorized.

Berkeley Repertory Theater will donate $6,150 to the Berkeley High School Jacket newspaper, which had been lacking funds and was threatening to fold next year.

The money was collected from audience members at the theater’s showing of the play “Yellowjackets,” which was  set around the halls of Berkeley High School and written by former school newspaper reporter Itamar Moses, now a 31-year-old New York playwright.

Theater officials will present the money from the Save the Jacket fund on Sunday night after the final performance of the play.

“We’re so proud of our patrons and so glad that we could be of help to local teens,” said Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep. “After each performance of our current show, the audience has been encouraged to help Save The Jacket through old-fashioned civic engagement: by putting donations in a coffee can on their way out of the theatre.”

Because of the infusion of money, the paper will stay afloat at least next year. It takes between $16,000 and $18,000 annually to publish the student-run newspaper, which is printed on Fridays twice a month, said business manager Stephanie Ratcliff, a senior who got involved with managing subscriptions, advertisements and other business matters this year.

The newspaper, which includes news and features about campus life, entertainment, news about local and national affairs, sports, opinion articles and photos, has been around for more than 50 years and is widely read by the student body, Ratcliff said.

It’s not surprising that the Jacket is struggling. More than 6,000 print journalists have lost their jobs in recent months, and newspaper circulation and advertising revenue are declining. Print advertising revenue in 2007 dropped 9.4 percent to $42 billion compared with the year before, according to figures from the Newspaper Association of America. That is the biggest plunge since 1950, the association reported.

For more information, or to help, call Berkeley Rep at 510-647-2900.

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