The Rearguard receives support

Portland State’s very own Rearguard has been selected to be the newest addition to Campus Progress, a nonprofit youth outreach branch of the Center for American Progress.

Portland State’s very own Rearguard has been selected to be the newest addition to Campus Progress, a nonprofit youth outreach branch of the Center for American Progress. The Rearguard will receive journalism training and a $2,000 grant that will go towards increasing the quality, visual appeal, and distribution of the publication.

Campus Progress was founded in 2005 and provides funding, training and editorial supervision to about 50 progressive student publications on college campuses across the U.S.

“The grant is only for marketing and distribution, we actually have a contract with Campus Progress,” said Isaac Mayo, editor-in-chief of The Rearguard. “We plan on buying T-shirts, sweatshirts, anything to get our name out…we’re really focusing on branding and getting known.”

Receiving the grant is a weight off his shoulders, explained Mayo.

“With our previous budget we had to cut papers for operating money, we did have some revenue generation through ad sales too, but in this economy it is hard to find people willing to buy ads.”

In its progressive spirit, The Rearguard had a longstanding policy of not allowing advertising in their newspapers. They now allow some advertising.

“Our advertisers for the most part share the same vision as us,” Mayo said. “They are local and share our same philosophy. Not corporate. So, no McDonald’s or Nike or any big corporations like that.”

Campus Progress runs several outreach campaigns, where staffers search through campus publications Web sites looking for candidates that fit the ideology of their organization, explained David Spett, publications associate for Campus Progress. The Rearguard was a part of one of these searches, and was contacted via e-mail by Campus Progress.

In addition to the grant, Campus Progress is there to help its sponsored publications anytime they get stuck in a rut. Advisors can be accessed by phone everyday and training sessions are available yearly to the editor and co-editor, explained Spett.

The Rearguard also plans on expanding their print capabilities as well as their Web site, explained Mayo. Campus Progress focuses mainly on the expansion of student publication websites. It was through The Rearguard’s savvy Web site that they were discovered and approached by Campus Progress.

“We don’t believe print media is dying,” Spett said. “But we embrace new media, and every publication we support is required to have a Web site. The Rearguard fits into our mission of progressive news on campus.”

According to the Campus Progress Web site, “Campus Progress is working to see that the next generation of progressive leaders is better trained, better informed, more diverse, and more united than any generation before.”

The Web site also says they are dedicated to “helping to create a powerful progressive movement by connecting young people across the divides of region, background, and issue interests, and working to keep them connected over time.”

Campus Progress and The Rearguard are again on the same page.

“I would really like to provide experience to younger people, we have a fairly old staff, we are all in our 30s and late 20s,” Mayo said. “And since we don’t have a journalism program at Portland State, we tend to get a lot of people that want to write, but not journalistically. With a younger crowd it will be easier for them to learn and grow with us.

“Student publications are training for the real world, it’s a place where students can get publication experience and skills,” explained Mayo.

“We’re here to provide an environment where people can really flourish. Student publications are a place to provide specific news outlets, a place where students can get their voices heard, and a place for learning,” Mayo said.

“Campus Progress is always looking for new organizations that can use a funding boost,” said Spett, adding that Campus Progress tries to work “as efficiently and effectively as possible while embracing new media.”