Tuesday, January 29

"newspapers should have no friends." — joseph pulitzer

And the administrations of state-funded universities should have no control over their campus newspapers. At least, that is what the administration at Colorado State University is proving in its very unsophisticated understanding of freedom of the press.

Yesterday, Blanche Hughes, CSU's vice president of Student Affairs, sent a memo to the campus community, parroting what we've heard repeatedly over the past week, but offering some new information as well. The following excerpts have been taken from that email (bolds mine):

... Parents, businesses, government officials,
and students frequently approach President Penley
and other CSU officials with new ideas, and we have
an obligation to weigh their merits and downsides.
In this case, the suggestion that we expect
to come forward relates to the campus newspaper,
and it will receive the same consideration, respect,
and scrutiny we would give any other such proposal,
particularly one put forward by an organization

with which CSU has a long working relationship. ...

President Penley has now directed me,
as Vice President of Student Affairs, to appoint
a committee
that would review the Coloradoan’s proposal
and any others that come forward on this same issue,
provide recommendations, and determine how
or whether to move forward with any recommendations
for change. ... We won’t accept any proposals
that don’t ensure that The Collegian remain
a student-run newspaper, produced by
student journalists and editors. ...

President Penley is also firmly committed to ensuring
that students with an interest will have considerable
voice in any decisions that might be made in response
to proposals that come forward.


Brian Depew said...

You all should put forth a competing proposal to the university. You can use your proposal to highlight everything wrong with corporate control of a college newspaper and propose the perfect college newspaper structure --- under your proposal the paper will operate independently, you will provide support and training in investigative reporting, etc. Then you can write a feature about it.

vanessa said...

You're onto something here, Brian, so stay tuned. Also, I'll be discussing this issue with others on KRFC's Imagine Action program (hosted by a former Collegian editor) on Tuesday the 19th. I believe the show starts at 7pm, but double check the station's schedule to be sure. The show opens up to callers, too, if you have anything to share/add.