Harry Montevideo, publisher of The Red and Black, which calls itself an “independent student newspaper serving the University of Georgia community,” issued this video statement on yesterday’s mass resignation of the student staff:
Here’s the full transcript of his statement, which can also be seen at The Red and Black website here:
For a communications company, we clearly have been at the center of a great deal of miscommunication during the past 24 hours. We regret this failure of clarity with our core constituency, the student journalists. We want to set the record straight on several matters.
The Red & Black is still and will remain an independent student media organization. It has been in the past and will continue to be supported by a dedicated group of professionals.
In an effort to provide a better product for our readers of print and digital news and to provide better training for our student journalists, The Red & Black recently decided to add additional professionals to both the editorial and business staff, half of whom are part time.
The Red & Black does not plan to have these professionals assume the role of our student Editor in Chief. The editorial director is a counselor, teacher, mentor, coordinator and manager. The editorial director is charged with helping students make smart content decisions prior to publication, particularly on stories, which involve issues of libel or standards of quality and ethics. It is not, nor has it ever been the intention of the board to censor student content.
We expect our students to collaborate with our professional staff to establish and maintain standards for quality, develop plans for content and create quality journalism products, which engage our audience.
The Red & Black champions the best interest of student journalists. Core to our mission is providing the best possible training and experience, which mirrors the real world. We are optimistic about our future and the board has made a significant investment in additional teachers for our student journalists, multimedia staff, and graphic design team. We have also established a Marketing/PR group to expand the experience we offer students and have added to our advertising staff.
The changes reflect our board’s optimism and the recognition that we must maintain pace in a rapidly changing world of news delivery beyond our traditional print format. The board is a volunteer group comprised of former The Red & Black staff and other journalists and business leaders, who have a passion for its heritage and wish to see it remain strong and independent for decades to come.
According to the Suwanee Patch, the Board of Directors of the Red and Black Publishing Company, a 501 c 3 non-profit corporation, had a meeting in Athens to discuss the situation.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.