A handful of Boston University students are sending thanks to Bill O’Reilly after the Fox News host donated $10,000 to help save BU’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press.
The Freep, as it is known on campus, was formed in 1970 as a response to the Kent State shootings in Ohio. It is owned and operated entirely by students, many of them studying journalism at BU’s College of Communication. (Full disclosure: I served as the paper’s managing editor in 2005, when I was a senior at BU.) In recent years, the paper has been plagued by financial issues; on Monday, the Freep’s editors announced that if they did not raise $70,000 by December 31, they would be forced to stop publishing the print edition altogether.
O’Reilly, a Boston University alum, pledged $10,000 to the campaign on Tuesday. Along with a $50,000 donation from Massachusetts philanthropist Ernie Boch, Jr. and more than $20,000 in smaller donations, the campaign has ensured The Daily Free Press will survive another semester at BU.
Kyle Plantz, the paper’s editor-in-chief, told the Boston Globe that the check from O’Reilly arrived at the paper’s newsroom yesterday:
Staff at the newspaper received a call Tuesday from O’Reilly, who explained why he was making the donation. “As a former Freep-er, he got his start here and he remembers his time at the Freep,” Plantz said.