As California’s education funds continue to get slashed, many college newspapers statewide have been forced to shut down production or employ desperate measures to keep printing.

A number of college publications have had to lay off permanent staff, cut production days, print fewer color editions or cease printing entirely in order to survive the crisis. Overwhelmingly, college papers are siphoning their content away from expensive printed mediums and choosing to expand online or explore alternative funding avenues to continue publishing.

According to David Brill, Chair of the Radio Television & Film Dept. at the College of the Canyons in the Santa Clarita Community College District, the entire industry is up in the air. The student newspaper at College of the Canyons is no longer publishing, but the college is looking for ways to reinvent its media program.

“The whole industry is really changing,” Brill said. “There is always a demand for content; it’s just how that content is going to be delivered that is changing. On-ground newspapers are dinosaurs, and they’re going to go extinct when all the same information can be found online.”

This year, the Student Media program at UC Santa Cruz was subject to a 32 percent cut of its Student Programs Fee. Also this year, California State University in Dominguez Hills had to halt production of its student paper. The administration shuttered the paper in order to save $76,000.

A future plan is in the works at the College in the Canyons for an online publication and an updated journalism program.

To maintain balance within the uncertain world of college journalism, Brill said the College of the Canyons is updating its journalism and broadcasting programs, an approach which many other papers may be taking.

“The perception is that the journalism program is dead, but it’s merging with the broadcast department,” Brill said. “At this point, it’s important for students to gain multimedia skills as well as print skills, so when they go forward in the media field, they’re not just one-trick ponies.”

At UCSB, Daily Nexus Publications Director Jerry Roberts said the paper has also been hard hit by the economic recession and state funding gap, but was fortunate enough to gain crucial funding this year due to the passage of a student lock-in fee in Spring Quarter. This year, the Daily Nexus will resume five-day production after two quarters of Monday through Thursday limitations, Roberts said.

“It’s cool that students voted to keep the lock-in fees — it’s just huge,” Roberts said. “For one thing, it was a vote of confidence in the paper by the students. They want to see the paper do well. For another thing, in terms of dollars and cents, it’s a huge boom for us [financially] — it gives us some breathing room in a time when newspapers are struggling.”

The student lock-in fee had not been updated since 1978 and had not taken into account inflation and the rise in costs of production and labor since then.