It’s not all bad news for newspapers.
The Daily Nebraskan, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s student newspaper, received a pleasant notification this week.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett gave the paper, which often is called the DN, more than $100,000 in stock.
The donation from the Berkshire Hathaway CEO, of Omaha, was part of a huge Buffett stock giveaway — valued at $3.4 billion — announced this week.
“It’s part of our campaign to raise funds for the Daily Nebraskan,” said DN general manager Dan Shattil. That campaign started early this year, Shattil said, and has raised more than $200,000. That includes the Buffett contribution, which was valued at $100,608 as of Monday.
Shattil said the money will fund an endowment so the DN’s senior editors will be paid reliably.
The Daily Nebraskan now is an online newspaper that adds stories throughout the day, seven days a week. Shattil said the updates aren’t nearly as frequent during the summer. The DN also publishes a monthly magazine in print.
Shattil said the DN makes money through online advertisements, an electronic billboard in the City Campus Nebraska Union, and other ways.
DN alumni and friends decided to start the campaign after the student government last year threatened to reduce its student fee money. That didn’t happen.
But Shattil said it was a warning that in a difficult time for the newspaper industry, a loss of funds would be hard to deal with.
Buffett graduated from UNL (then simply the University of Nebraska) and didn’t work for the student newspaper. But his parents, Howard and Leila, did. Buffett said Wednesday evening in an email that he has read the DN newspapers produced in 1924, the year his father was editor.
“They are gems,” he said of those editions. “I’ve read them all. My mother was a reporter, and that’s how they met.”
Shattil, the longtime general manager of the DN, continued to promote the fundraiser Wednesday. The goal is to raise $1 million.
“We are accepting donations of any size from anybody,” he said.
More than 100 people have donated, he said. Buffett’s is the biggest contribution.
World-Herald staff writer Steve Jordon contributed to this report.