For the purpose of transparency and accountability to the public, The Flat Hat would like to disclose its sources of funding.
As a registered student media organization with the College of William and Mary, The Flat Hat receives the majority of its funding through Media Council, the funding and supervisory body for all media organizations on campus. Media Council is an independent entity on campus, composed of representatives from campus media organizations and overseen by Student Leadership Development. Media Council derives its funds through a contract negotiated with Student Assembly, which is reinstated every three years. For 2021-22, The Flat Hat received $15,205 from Media Council in the form of line-item requests that are monitored by Media Council and the College. The majority of this money goes to printing the physical newspaper, which is distributed throughout campus.
The Flat Hat reserves the right to run advertisements in print and through our website and social media pages. Advertisements are clearly labeled and tend to comprise less than $1,000 in revenue per year. We do not publish sponsored posts. The money from advertisements will either be taken out of our Media Council budget or will go into an off-campus account for discretionary spending. In the past, this money has been used to fund staff events, pay fees for journalism awards and purchase small items not allotted for in our annual budget.
The Flat Hat also receives donations from alumni and campus community members. This money can be donated directly to our off-campus account via PayPal, or through a College-controlled account through University Advancement called the Flat Hat Fund. Money from the fund can only be used for “journalism-related projects and programming.” In the past, we have used Flat Hat Fund money to bring in speakers and send our staff to journalism conferences.
Our staff is composed of unpaid student volunteers, and none of our staff members receive compensation for their work on the paper. All editorial decisions made by the Flat Hat are done so independently from our funding sources including, but not limited to, Media Council, Student Leadership Development and the College of William and Mary. The Flat Hat retains sole editorial control over the content we publish.