**Update: A draft memo obtained by the ‘Red and Dead’ shows the views and wishes of the Red & Black board of directors.
*Update: from the Red & Black Alumni Facebook page, “Dear Red and Black family members–I am more glad than you know to see you raising questions about what’s going on right now at an organization we all love dearly. As a current member of the volunteer board of directors, I promise you all that the intent of the board is to support and preserve the purpose for which the paper exists: operating a publishing company excusively for literary and educational purposes, including the promotion of educational skills in journalism through the publication and distribution of a collegiate newspaper and other publications in and about the University of Georgia. You all know me, and I hope, still trust me. As long as I’m drawing a breath, I will work to preserve our purpose for being. I have spoken with Bill Krueger to begin the process of bringing him into the conversation, and will also be in touch with our representative director who is onsite working with Harry and the staff on this initiative. Right now, I have not heard from Harry, and do not know where he is on this. Please continue to follow, and weigh in as this unfolds. We are not the enemy; the enemy is indifference. Love to all–CR”
By Jason Flynn
Student editors and other staff members at the Red & Black student newspaper resigned after a series of changes were made to the management and direction of the paper.
Soon after leaving, the group began spreading the word about their move and their reasoning via Twitter and Red and Dead, a quickly established website.
“The newspaper has always been a student-run operation,” former editor-in-chief Polina Marinova said on the website, “but recently, we began feeling serious pressure from people who were not students.”
Marinova goes on to say that the Red & Black hired ten permanent professionals that would have authority over which articles would and would not be published. In addition, Ed Morales, formerly the editorial advisor, would be the editorial director responsible for approving, or not, all content published, a power which was previously held by the student editors.
Tiffany Stevens, formerly the variety editor, and Adina Solomon, formerly the news editor, said in in emails to their former staffs that the paper had seen a number of changes in recent months, and that each felt those changes would stifle the integrity of the editors and writers.
Solomon said in her email that they would no longer be able to publish “‘negative’” stories, and that the majority of articles would have to focus on freshman or the panhellenic community.
“We have not been obligated to print things we disagree with or to run stories that we feel have been written in an unethical manner. We have not been obligated to pander to powerful groups on campus or to neglect reporting important facts because it may be upsetting to some parties on campus,” Stevens said in her own email, “We are now obligated to do both of these things, and more if we stay.”
As of Wednesday night the group gained fast support from students, alumni, teachers and press organizations, but their future and the future of the paper is still far from clear.
What do you think of the editors actions? about the actions of the Red & Black?
Stay tuned in for updates.