Red and Black and White-Hot All Over

The top editors of The Red and Black, the independent student newspaper at the University of Georgia, walked off their jobs this week.

They say new rules wrest editorial control from them and give it to professional staff.

While the story has been covered everywhere from The New York Times to Fox News, the only journalists on the scene are those involved in the dispute. So as SPJ’s national representative for the region, I’m sending someone to investigate.

Katherine Tippins is a new SPJ member and a former student media coordinator at Macon State College. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature – and she worked at The Red and Black as an editorial assistant, writer, and copy editor.

Tippins will take a break from pursuing her Ph.D in communication at Georgia State University and drive to Athens this morning, where she’ll try to speak with the students, the staff, and the board.

She’ll also approach University of Georgia journalism faculty. While the paper has been independent of the school since 1980, I’ve asked Tippins to get their perspective. If they’ll offer one.

Whether anyone talks to Tippins is another matter. But given the heat of the controversy, it’s worth trying to shed some light on it. I’ll update this blog as soon as I get updates from Katherine Tippins.
 

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