Red and Alive

The Red & Dead debacle came to an end yesterday when the student journalists, staff, and board members released a joint statement claiming to “look forward to the editors and their staff resuming production of one of the nation’s top student news organizations.”
The controversy erupted August 15, when Polina Marinova, editor in chief, and other student editors were given a memo written by board member Ed Stamper.
The memo listed “the expectations of editorial director at the Red and Black,” the new position which Ed Morales, editorial adviser, was promoted to. The memo listed several standards that brought into question the power of the new editorial director, specifically the power of prior review.
The student editors walked out in protest, hours before deadline, and started their own news organization Red & Dead. Marinova posted a letter explaining that the students “began feeling serious pressure from people who were not students” and that the Red & Black has hired non-student staff members with “veto power over students’ decisions.”
In 36 hours, through the power of social media, the story had been picked up by several national news organizations, including the New York Times.
The day after, Harry Montevideo, publisher of the Red & Black, released a statement explaining the situation as a “miscommunication,” and inviting people to their “open house and discussion” the following afternoon.
To say that meeting was a circus might be an understatement to any one who was a witness to the Red & Dead’s live twitter feed on August 17.
Following that meeting, the Red & Dead made a statement:

We spoke off the record and presented our concerns about prior review, lack of student input and the removal of Ed Stamper from the board of The Red & Black.

Also, that afternoon, Ed Stamper made a statement of public apology over the memo and announced his resignation.
The rest of the student’s demands went unanswered until Monday, when the former editor in chief and managing editor were both required to reapply for their job in front of the board.
Later that evening, the Red & Dead posted their last statement about the reinstatement of their positions, and the guarantee of no prior review.
“We want to be clear that students have editorial control over the contents of our publications with no prior review.”

Links to other articles about this story:
Student Press Law Center
11 Alive
Huffington Post

Posted on August 21, 2012 in Misc Schick

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