Student Papers Stand in Solidarity

According to an article on Editor and Publisher's website, college papers across the nation have published an editorial in solidarity against administrational infringement on campus journalism. According to the article,

More than a dozen college newspapers today carried the same editorial, denouncing the denial of reappointment for the editor of The Daily Trojan, the student-run newspaper at the University of Southern California.

According to the editorial, the editor of The Daily Trojan, Zach Fox's reappointment was blocked by the administration due to questions he posed in regard to the financial aspects and senior editorial structure of the paper. The editorial reads,

Fox was re-elected by the staff of the Daily Trojan behind a vision which called for more financial transparency and a reorganization of the paper's senior editor positions.

But despite his election by the staff, Fox did not receive the requisite approval of USC's Media Board when USC Vice-President opted not to even present him as a candidate to the board, "describing Fox's vision as irreconcilable with the Media Board's outline for the role."

The editorial also reads,

As college journalists, we are deeply troubled by this decision. Practicing journalism with strings attached isn't really practicing journalism at all, and to that end, we seek to preserve the tradition of a functionally--and whenever possible, formally--independent collegiate press. If campus newspapers are to succeed in informing readers and training reporters, they must be more than public relations arms of universities, and they cannot operate under the yoke of administrators' censorship.

This issue can arise in professional media outlets through possible conflicts between advertising and editorial. On the college level, it is the administration of the university itself that can impede upon the paper's freedom of press and its ability to exist as an objective and independent source of news and information.

The editorial continues,

Our society relies on its newspapers to check powerful individuals and institutions. An administration-controlled student paper poses the same threat to an academic community that a state-controlled press would to a nation; oversight limits the press's ability to act as a watchdog and prevent misuse of authority.

The fact that many universities including Yale, Brown, Harvard, University of Texas, Cornell, University of Oregon, University of Illinois, Harvard, Syracuse, Penn, Princeton, University of Michigan, and Stanford have reprinted this editorial in protest of USC administration's infringement upon the management of the student run paper reflects a commitment to journalistic integrity and objectivity among journalism students, and ideal that will hopefully continue unimpeded as they enter the world of professional journalism.

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