The editorial staff of the student-run newspaper at the University of Georgia has walked out in response to the appointment of a non-student to the position of editor-in-chief.
"The newspaper has always been a student-run operation, but recently, we began feeling serious pressure from people who were not students," said outgoing student editor-in-chief Polina Marinova in a statement. "In less than a month, The Red & Black has hired more than 10 permanent staff with veto power over students’ decisions."
Marinova went on to say that a member of the paper's board of directors had asked that the duties of the new editor-in-chief include a balance of good and bad stories. According to Marinova's statement, a "bad" story is one that writes about individuals or organizations who are doing improper things.
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Additionally, all future editions of The Red & Black will need to be approved by the editorial director, a non-student position. In the past, the student journalists had the power to approve or deny stories before publishing, and only after the newspaper was released were the articles subject to scrutiny by non-student advisers.
The most worrying change, according to Marinova, is that all of these modifications were approved without consent of the students. She feels that this creation of a "mistake-free zone" seems counterproductive in an environment where students should be encouraged to learn from any mistakes that they may make.
"The Red & Black has always been the best experience for student journalists. It’s no longer a place where lessons can be learned without 'serious repercussions,'” she concluded. "We don’t believe that is a learning environment."