Late last week, University of Georgia students witnessed a dramatic demonstration of devotion to student journalism.
As the editors walked out of The Red and Black offices on Baxter, protesting a perceived loss of student control over the newspaper, the newly arrived freshmen living next door got a vivid look at what it means to take pride in the independent character of a student-led and student-run publication. Simultaneously, UGA alumni from around the country began expressing their support for the defiant staff of The Red & Black with messages of encouragement and solidarity. These staff and executive members who customarily report the news to the Classic City became a national news story themselves, as coverage of the “Red and Dead” movement appeared in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and other well-known national publications.
While we at The Georgia Political Review and the general public are not privy to all of the details leading up to the staff and editor walkout, it seems clear that the changes being made by the editorial board crossed a line and infringed on student sovereignty. Nonetheless, we on the board of GPR recognize that many of these same changes were proposed in an effort to address real concerns regarding content and quality, concerns that we hope will be addressed more soberly by The Red and Black’s board and student staff as negotiations continue in the coming days and weeks.
The success of The Red and Black is a subject about which we at The Georgia Political Review care deeply. As a fellow student publication, we firmly believe in establishing and maintaining a platform for the promotion of quality student writers and independent student opinions. Thus, we stand with thousands of other members of the Bulldawg Nation in solidarity with the editors at The Red and Black and support their right to editorial independence. However, we hope that these same editors will recognize that last week’s events should spark a critical discussion of quality student journalism as much as it has already highlighted independent student journalism.
– Editorial Board of The Georgia Political Review