The school UD has for years and years called The Worst University in America is at it again.

The student editorial staff of the University of Georgia’s The Red & Black newspaper walked out Wednesday evening after a non-student was named editorial director with final say on all editorial content.

The Red & Black’s student editor-in-chief, Polina Marinova, along with other top student editors and staff members, walked out after Ed Morales, who had been the paper’s editorial adviser and then became editorial director, was given full editorial control of the newspaper.

“The students have lost control of the paper, and a student newspaper is supposed to be run by students,” Amanda Jones, design editor for The Red & Black, said in a phone interview. “We’re losing power while they are hiring permanent employees that are not students. We are losing control. At this point, every single top staffer walked out.”

In a post on RedandDead, a blog set up by Marinova, she said, “Recently, editors have felt pressure to assign stories they didn’t agree with, take ‘grip and grin’ photos and compromise the design of the paper.”

Morales “had no comment,” and why should he? Why should he talk to the press? Why should he talk to anyone? Have you ever heard of an editorial director, under crisis conditions, who would condescend to talk to anyone about it? No, no, no – grip and grin and bear it, kids! You decided to attend the worst university in America! What did you expect?

Did you expect better than this from a draft memo written by one of the new overseers of the newspaper?

In a draft outlining the “expectations of editorial director at The Red & Black,” a member of The Red & Black’s Board of Directors stated the newspaper needs a balance of good and bad. Under “Bad,” it says, “Content that catches people or organizations doing bad things. I guess this is ‘journalism.’ If in question, have more GOOD than BAD.

You see the capital letters? You didn’t expect capital letters? You accepted Georgia’s offer of admission! I told you not to.

Scroll down for more of the draft memo. Note the combination of haughty condescension and borderline IQ.

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You know what your core problem is? The thing that’s going to keep the place a post-tailgate shithole?

Your president. Michael Adams makes Glenn Poshard look like Simone Weil.

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UD thanks David.

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The more of the draft memo you read, the more obvious the institutional dementia of the University of Georgia becomes. The place has really gone mad.

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8 Responses to ““Morales had no comment.” LOL”

  1. theprofessor Says:

    Soon after our long-running student newspaper published some actual investigative articles that hinted that students were being boned over meal plans, some kinds of financial aid, and other items, Pres. Backslapper decided (or more likely, was told by the trustees, since he was not much of a reader himself) that we could no longer afford a weekly student newspaper. The timing was undoubtedly a pure coincidence. Perhaps Gilligan could have followed the Georgia plan and turned the paper into an outright propaganda organ.

  2. Dave Stone Says:

    When I see a headline that scans as strongly as this one, the itch to write becomes a compulsion:

    Morales had no comment
    And Coach Donnan runs a scheme.
    Our professors whore in drag
    But our school runs like a dream.
    Our apocalyptic tailgates
    put the SEC to shame
    And our fearless leader Adams
    Can still spread our honored name.
    We somehow lost a forklift,
    And we won the Fulmer Cup,
    But no molesters on the payroll, so
    Nowhere to go but up!

  3. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Dave: Brilliant. Love it.

  4. Jack/OH Says:

    FWIW-a local university’s journalism department established a separate unit to provide student-written feature articles to regional for-profit newspapers, for-profit TV and radio stations, and some non-profit outlets. The organizer of this ancillary department is a journalistic true believer with the best intentions. (I know her personally.) Still, there seems to me a world of difference between student journalists working a campus beat for a free student newspaper in which students assume roles as editors, and students working outside the university as unpaid cub reporters and photogs for commercial media unwilling to pay for costly features.

    My point? Theprofessor suggests the administration take-over of the student paper is motivated by the desire to squelch student criticism of the university. Without more information, it’s also possible to speculate the administration may have wanted to make student reporters “available” without compensation at some point to provide content to local commercial media. (BTW-I’m neither journalist, nor professor. I’m a citizen-observer of higher ed, I’m a true believer in learning, and I have big-time insider knowledge of higher ed.)

  5. theprofessor Says:

    Jack/OH, would that your scenario were so! The local newspaper, the Mediocrevilleburgton Bugle, might then have some content other than thinly re-written press releases from the local political machine. Unfortunately, too many of our students have some familiarity with basic English grammar, and they only misspell two words per paragraph, well under the five or six required by the Bugle. The only other local publication of note is a glossy lifestyle magazine reporting on the activities of the weird nickname class (“Margaret ‘Lolita’ Smith-Jones and husband Thomas “Spanky” Jones hosted a reception in honor of Jane ‘Pinky’ Ferguson, the new curator of the Mediocrevilleburgton Museum of Victorian Silverware; also attending were James ‘Buzz’ Newton, Cindy ‘Peaches’ Newton, Ann ‘Blondie’ Bluffton….”). You need a genuine nickname-that-is-not- simply-your-middle-name-because-you-hate-your-first-name even to write about these folks, and practically none of our students qualify.

    In any event, this sort of scheme would have required some cunning and misdirection, never Pres. Backslapper’s strong suit.

  6. david foster Says:

    The local media there is the Athens Banner-Herald, which is so awful that I can’t imagine it recognizes its own awfulness.

  7. Jack/OH Says:

    Thanks, theprofessor and david foster. BTW-I hope UD and some of you commenters do succeed in changing things in the academy, if only to forestall change dictated by unsympathetic outsiders.

    By “unsympathetic outsiders” I mean state legislatures, state and federal investigators, local juries, etc. Citing a “poisonous work environment”, a local judge in a bench trial dismissed an intimidation charge against a longtime university staffer. You can bet local opinion leaders heard that editorial quip from the bench, and are wondering what’s going at our own Podunk Tech.

  8. University Diaries » Polina, Polina. Says:

    [...] walked out by herself (background here), but was followed soon after by the rest of the staff. Non-stop international media coverage of [...]

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