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UNC and Duke newspapers stoke historic basketball rivalry to raise money for college media

For the fourth year in a row, the newspapers of Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill will leverage their legendary college basketball rivalry to strengthen funding for award-winning student journalism.

For the 2022 Rivalry Challenge, the Duke Chronicle and The Daily Tar Heel will produce print and online special editions to provide extended coverage for the Feb. 5, 2022, match-up between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils. The papers will also issue an online fundraising challenge to each school’s fans to see who can raise the most money to support their outstanding student-journalism programs.

Previous years’ challenges have raised more than $75,000, fueled by spirited social media banter. While nonprofit fundraising often depends on the love that supporters feel for an organization, the Rivalry Challenge is also successful because of the deep competition and good-natured animosity between the schools that sit just nine miles apart. Though the DTH’s fans gave the most money in 2019 and 2020, the Chronicle bested them in 2021. This year, the Chronicle will aim to even the score, while the DTH will fight to reclaim the title.

The challenge not only calls attention to a nationally recognized basketball rivalry, but also to the student news organizations that provide a professional level of sports journalism for an audience that extends well beyond their school or state.

The challenge asks those readers to imagine what sports fandom would be like without this kind of coverage to help us celebrate it and understand it, says Chronicle General Manager Chrissy Beck.

“What happens to us, as fans and invested readers, when these headlines are gone? College athletics in general, particularly in the UNC-Duke rivalry, are a joyful, exciting part of so many lives,” says Beck. “Funding student media is challenging, and this event has become a powerful way to help us sustain what we do for our students and readers while celebrating the school sprint that is important to so many of us.”

Rivalry Challenge IV kicks off Jan. 21, 2022, and ends just before tipoff of the men’s basketball game on Feb. 5, 2022. The special edition comes out on both campuses on Friday, Feb. 4.

Those who donate at least $25 to their respective schools will receive a copy of the special edition in the mail. Fans of both teams can track challenge progress and read all the Rivalry stories at and