The Red and Dead Revolution

Posted on August 16, 2012


The phrase “student-run” shouldn’t leave much room for interpretation to the average person.

But apparently, the Board of the Red and Black newspaper at the University of Georgia Athens have found another way to interpret it.

You see, the Red and Black, is amazing, as far as college newspapers go. I know, because I’ve toured the building, ate pizza on it’s terrace, and relaxed in the company of fellow student-journalists including the Red and Black’s newly former editor-in-chief, Polina Marinova. This college student newspaper rivals the city’s publication, and it has been completely independent of the University since the 1980’s.

Why does this matter? It matters because despite those accolades, the Board of the R&B seem to think the paper and it’s content need more supervision– and they’ve appointed non-student decision makers. Yes, new hires that will make design, content, and advertising decisions despite the 30+ year tradition at the R&B of being independent and student-run.

So what did those students do? They walked out. Resigned. Quit. And started The Red and Dead, the staff formerly known as the Red and Black.

This is a major story in the world of journalism– not just college. The former staffers of the R&B are covering their own big news on a blog site that was kindly bought for them by the Student Press Law Center, with more journalistic integrity than the Board is apparently interested in for the Red and Black.

Read these documents and laugh first, be appalled later. How can a group of people call the quality of a paper lacking when its drafted memo is full of unprofessional speech and offensive references? I guess more bad than good is just “journalism?” When in doubt always publish more good than bad?

How about when in doubt always publish the truth? That’s what the Red and Dead is doing. And that’s what I’m doing. Study up on this issue. Soon it’ll hit you that the Board is more interested in selling papers and pleasing stakeholders than it is giving its students a real education.

I only wish that a walk-out at my school would be as effective. Please wait 24-hours before contacting assault victims? No, you can’t have public records because we’re a private school? The least we can do is support Polina and the Red and Dead. Follow @redanddead815 on Twitter. Or at least follow me. I’ve retreated literally everything.

Posted in: My thoughts