Campus News

Staff protest at independent student newspaper makes national headlines

Student journalists at The Red & Black made headlines earlier this month when they quit en mass to protest new editorial control of the newspaper.

News of the walk out was covered nationally by news outlets and journalism watchdog websites.

The day after the walk out, the former Red & Black student staffers launched as a alternative news source. According to the website, those who quit were concerned that 1) editorial content would be reviewed by a paid, nonstudent staff member before going to press. Traditionally, an editorial adviser has critiqued student work only after it went was printed; 2) there is no student representation on The Red & Black’s board of directors; and 3) the students do not have access to the bylaws of the company, which is run as a nonprofit organization.

Students also argued against a memo by Red & Black board member Ed Stamper that contained statements about “good” and “bad” journalism. He has resigned from the newspaper’s board of directors.
The Red & Black board said all along the students’ concerns arose from miscommunication.

Following an Aug. 17 open house at The Red & Black offices on Baxter Street, the board of directors indicated the students would retain editorial control of the newspaper and website. On Aug. 20, student editor-in-chief Polina Marinova and managing editor Julia Carpenter, who had led the walk out, reapplied and were reinstated to their positions at the The Red & Black. That same day, board member Charles Russell resigned.

 An independent newspaper since 1980, The Red & Black has no direct ties to UGA. Decisions about the publication go through its board of directors.