Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
The student editorial staff of the University of Georgia’s acclaimed student-run newspaper, the Red & Black, walked out on Wednesday in protest of increased oversight by the weekly’s board of directors, including putting a faculty adviser in charge of editorial content.
Editor-in-chief Polina Marinova led the walk-out the night before the semester’s second edition was set to be published, taking the other key staff members with her. The protest follows weeks of friction between the prominent university publication’s student staff and the board of directors.
Since 1980, the Red & Black has been independent from UGA, received no direct university support, and was financed primarily by ad sales, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Student journalists drive the newspaper’s content. But, Marinova claims, the board has hired more than 10 permanent non-student staff members with veto power over student content.
"For years, students have had final approval of the paper followed by a critique by the adviser only after articles were published," Marinova wrote in her letter of resignation. "However, from now on, that will not be the case." She claimed that under the board's new guidelines, student journalists have been pressured to do things like report "good" rather than "bad" news, and take "grip and grin" photos.
Poynter reports that the former Red & Black student staff have taken to the Internet to reach out to UGA alums for support through a blog and Facebook page. Twitter suspended their account for unknown reasons.