The Crain’s story about Roger Ebert trying to help the struggling Daily Illini — the independent University of Illinois paper owes $250,000 to its printer — was posted on several blogs and was picked up by the Associated Press on Thursday afternoon. Today I asked Daily Illini editor Jill Disis if the publicity helped the fund-raising campaign. She emails:
We’ve raised over $6,000 since the story broke, not including contributions made since when Roger Ebert originally sent the letter in late January. There have been a few surprises; one donation of $1,000 came from an Urbana resident who doesn’t have an affiliation with us, but just wanted to make sure we were ok. It’s been wonderful seeing some of the support we’ve gained in the last 24 hours.
Today my editorial board and I wrote a front page editorial discussing our financial situation and asking for help.
Our company is also trying to collect signatures for a petition to collect money through a student fee. We currently do not take money from the University. We’re asking others to donate through our umbrella company’s website, illinimedia.com.