ODE board, newsroom issue joint statement

March 24, 2009

The Oregon Daily Emerald Publishing Co., Inc’s board of directors and newsroom staff are moving forward with confidence on completion of mediation with regard to concerns about editorial independence and the publisher-editor relationship.

The board and the newsroom agree that the Emerald’s status as an independent student news organization is paramount and cannot be compromised.

Full statement here


Staff goes into mediation

March 11, 2009

Tonight, there will be a mediated discussion between the Board of Directors and representatives of the staff (Chase, Grasgreen, Greif, D’Andrea, Woolington) in which they will discuss the resolution to our remaining conditions.

The results will be confidential because the negotiation is part of an ongoing process. But, even if the result is utterly repugnant to us, it won’t result in a second strike because there are other negotiation sessions to come and more hope on the horizon. But, when a resolution comes, we will let you know.

Register Guard issues editorial in support, Watson resigns from ODE board

March 8, 2009

Today, we find a wonderful editorial in the Register Guard. If that doesn’t make a statement, I don’t know what does.

A two-day strike by the news staff of the Oregon Daily Emerald leaves the impression that whatever form journalism may take in the future, the craft will be in good hands. The student journalists at the University of Oregon put a lot on the line to defend the independence of their newspaper. In doing so they defended the integrity of an important journalistic institution.

In light of the R-G editorial, however, Mark Watson, former ODE board chair and employee at the Knight Library, has resigned from the board of directors. He writes in an e-mail: “For our local newspaper to take up the cause of the editors (and get it wrong) is too much, and I need to respond.”  Realizing he can’t voice the “real truth (as I see it),” as a member of the board, he feels he needs to step down.

It’s sad to see him go, because Watson is truly a wonderful man, who I feel, has the best of intentions. I always thought that he had the best interest of the newspaper in mind. Considering the students are at the heart of that newspaper, it seems strange that he doesn’t understand where we are coming from or what we are fighting for. It also seems strange that he doesn’t see the merit after we recieve the support of so many people and papers.

I respect Mark Watson’s decision and perhaps it will be the best thing for him. I admire the hard work and dedication that he has given the ODE board over the years, and it is sad to see him go. He really put a lot into his volunteer position on the board as chair, and he has accomplished significant things in the last few year.

Ashley Chase, Editor in Chief

R-G report inaccurate, update necessary

March 7, 2009

The Oregonian reported this morning:

Student body president Sam Dotters-Katz told The Register-Guard that the eight-member board of directors had agreed to demands that the student paper’s publisher could not work for the university or have authority over the Emerald’s student editor.

This is not correct. The board has agreed to mediation sessions to discuss these issues and come to an agreement with Emerald editors. They have not agreed to the demands. The first mediation session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10.

We are confident that the support of papers across the nation – and the rest of our community and outside media world – will help us tremendously in our fight for independence and student control of newsrooms on all campuses.  We are confident that the Emerald is now in the best position it can be to move forward and make serious progress. Our newsroom is forever stronger already – and it’s not even over.

I feel the need to start signing posts, now that we are back to work and will be utilizing this blog in a slightly different way. Of course, newsroom staffers will continue to offer discussion about the happenings and aftermath of the strike and it’s ongoing negotiations with the board. But I hope that we will also be able to sustain this blog and the meaning behind it much further than this strike.

Ashley Chase, Editor in Chief

Harmony, connectedness, friendship on horizon

March 6, 2009

We would like to express our utter gratitude to the  33 student newspapers who stood up with us and echoed our message across the continent, a chorus for which we are so grateful. As we return to work, we offer them our heartfelt thanks.

We now hope that our further, mediated discussions will remedy the ills we went on strike to correct and forge not just greater harmony among the entire staff of the paper, but a more connected campus community.

It has already warmed relations between us and our staunchest critics, the staff of the Oregon Commentator. Their excellent piece in support of us brought tears to our eyes. Their solidarity in refusing to produce content during our strike demonstrated the bite behind their bark — even though the fact that Commentator Editor-in-Chief CJ Ciaramella stayed up until at least 6 a.m. the night before may have been just as much responsibility as solidarity and professional brotherhood.

Knowing that we’re not alone in this, that student journalists  all over  the country are standing up firmly behind the message we’ve been trying to send is incredibly moving.

It is with all of your voices that ours was finally heard.

Expect continued updates on the progress of the negotiations at this address. For now, after two sleepless days, we can return to our beds.

Emerald Editorial: Humbled by Support, Moving Forward

March 6, 2009

While the full staff will not be back to produce a more-or-less “real” Emerald until Monday, this morning’s issue features an editorial statement summing up some of our feelings and realizations from the last few days. It also features some of the comments on the strike from those who have always been dearest to the newsroom’s hearts, the student advertising staff. We’re posting a pdf on here for our readers to download. It’s mostly still a “wire paper,” but is designed and produced by part of the student news staff.

For right now, this is the only place to get both the editorial and comments from the advertising execs. We have not presently uploaded everything our regular website, and that will probably come tomorrow, or next week (when we resume full publication). Further discussions will undoubtedly take place regarding the future of the as-yet woefully inadequate dailyemerald.com, but for now we’ll keep posting updates to this blog.


“You have shown the Board of Directors that the campus will accept nothing less than student control of the newsroom … Thanks to outcry from all corners, we have finally, truly communicated our fundamental concerns to the board.”

Read more here.

Photo Update

March 6, 2009

Here’s a mix of photos. Some are from the meeting with the Dean. Others are from the discussion that took place amongst the staff about the fragile deal with the Board of Directors.

Photos by Dave Martinez.

Emerald news staff to return to the newsroom; to produce first paper since strike on Monday, March 9

March 6, 2009

[EDIT] What we mean by the word “produce” in this post’s title is that we plan to produce an actual paper with real, student journalist created work for Monday. Clarification is needed because technically, we did publish a paper tonight set to be on stands tomorrow. Because the decision to come back to the newsroom happened in the evening and we were extremely crunched on time, we were not able to make a paper that meets ours (and readers) expectations. We ran over 200 inches of wire content. But, we did issue an editorial, publish statements from the board and the newsroom, and a series of letters from student workers in the advertising department at the Emerald. (Would link to the letters, but it is now 4:18 a.m. and I have not been able to upload them to dailyemerald.com. Will do as soon as I wake up.) You can view the PDF of today’s paper here (actually, college publisher is being cranky right now and not letting me try to upload such a large pdf. i’ll have to post the link to the paper here soon.)

Speaking of sleep, I personally have only had a three or so hours for three days. That said, I will be sleeping in. Media: I will love to talk to you tomorrow afternoon for a response. The story hopefully won’t change between now and then. – Ashley Chase, Emerald EIC

After a series of discussions taking place today between the newsroom staff of the Oregon Daily Emerald and the Board of Directors, the impasse between the two parties has been broken as of this evening. Both the striking news staff and the board have agreed to enter into professionally mediated negotiations beginning early next week. Our negotiations will be conducted in good faith with the intention of reaching a resolution on the remaining staff recommendations to the board.

The news staff’s negotiation team and the Board of Directors will both issue statements in the Oregon Daily Emerald tomorrow morning, and we have published both of the signed statements in this blog post, below, for our readers to review.

Statement from the Board of Directors

The Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors remains committed to working alongside the newsroom to ensure the editorial independence of the newspaper. This includes standing behind the Emerald’s long-held principles of journalistic independence and student control of the newsroom.

The ODE board and the newsroom’s editors met Thursday night to discuss our issues and have agreed to participate in a mediation process next week. The board and the editorial staff are in unison and stand behind the fundamental values of the ODE.


The Oregon Daily Emerald Board of Directors

Jeanne Long
Rob Moseley
Laura Paz Smith
Melody Ward Leslie
Mark Watson
Mark Blaine
K. Miller
Kevin Boots

Statement from the News Staff Negotiation Team

The Oregon Daily Emerald newsroom staff made a principled stand for editorial independence and student control of this newspaper. Our commitment to these principles will not waiver as we move forward in trying to resolve our grievances with the Board of Directors.

On Thursday night the newsroom leadership met with the Board of Directors and agreed to participate in a mediation process early next week. We accept the good faith effort of the board in negotiating terms of a publisher’s contract moving forward, and believe it is in the best interest of our newspaper and our community to resume publishing our paper on Monday March 9, 2009.


The News Staff Negotiation Team

Ashley Chase, Editor-in-Chief
Allie Grasgreen, Managing Editor
Robert D’Andrea, News Editor
Andrew Greif, Sports Editor
Rebecca Woolington, News Editor

We again would like to thank our readers and our community for their continued support during these difficult times. We greatly appreciate everything that everyone has done to reach out in support of the strike effort, and will remain dedicated to the issues raised this week that are so profoundly important to our readers and our community.

Emerald editors met with the board, mediation to follow

March 5, 2009

This morning Ashley Chase, Rebecca Woolington, Allie Grasgreen, Robert D’Andrea and Andrew Greif met with several members of the Board. Both parties agree that productive conversation is key to moving forward.

The idea of bringing in a third party mediator was brought up at the meeting, and both parties thought that it would be beneficial to work through these matters as efficiently and directly as possible. The newsroom hopes to meet again with the board and a mediator as soon as possible.

We did not discuss any details of the remaining staff recommendations to the Board at the meeting. We will not be returning to work until a discussion takes place.

We will give any updates today via the blog, but are asking that the media give us a chance to get things in order before we do any more interviews.

Update: Inside Higher Ed

March 5, 2009

While this story is being covered at a number of places online, we wanted to highlight one of the blogs that did a particularly through job of diving into the issues around the strike, over here at Inside Higher Ed.

Some choice quotes:

The paper fiercely guards its independence, and Smith’s stated intention of securing a position as an adjunct professor at the university while also serving as the publisher was a source of concern. […]

The financial stability of the Emerald is a source of great concern for the newsroom staff, board members and the university’s school of journalism. Rob Moseley, a board member, said Wednesday that the publisher position was designed to help save the newspaper. While the newsroom’s concerns were taken into consideration, the board felt some major changes were necessary to save the paper, he said.

Also, it’s somewhat interesting to read some of the comments from journalism professors specializing in new media, and what they’ve had to say about the strike effort. We hope to see more academic discussion and analysis that might help guide us in where to go from here. And, of course, we appreciate the interest in the life of the paper for which we care so dearly.

Anyway, stay tuned for updates from the meeting we’re having this morning with the ODE Board of Directors. Until then, thanks to everyone for your ongoing support!