Reader Comments

We have been barred from approving comments on the Emerald Web site, but because we still have access to our e-mail we are able to receive comments prior to their approval by an editor. From here on out, we will be pasting all comments to this blog.

The name of each comment author is below each comment. A few author names got lost in the copy-and-paste process; please excuse any typos.

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
As a proud Duck alum and former writer for the ODE, I stand in full support of the Emerald’s decision to strike. Journalistic autonomy is not a value that should ever be compromised — particularly not in these times. As an educational institution, the University of Oregon has an obligation to uphold freedom of the press. I applaud the courageous stand of the student staff of the ODS.

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Speaking as a proud alumni of The Daily Illini student newspaper at the Univesity of Illinois, and looking back on those years, it’s amazing how full of ourselves student newspaper reporters and editors can get. This is not all bad. College is, among others things, about developing, examining and defending our principles. But as is so evident at present nationwide, if a newspaper does not make money, there is no paper, no jobs, no reason to make a stand on future possible hypothetical situations that might arise, no platform for news stories and/or for the opinions of editors and reporters. While I sympathize with the Emerald’s reporters and editors, and share some of their concerns and views… for what that is worth. If the Emerald can not become or remain a financially viable institution, it may well cease to exist. I also think the news staff might want to consider stepping down off their high horse and not be or appear so self righteous and pompous… or they will soon be permanently resigning and blogging on personal sites rather than working at a student paper. Pick your battles. The reality is and remains the people who own the paper get to decide how it is run.

don ruhter

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Good morning, I sent the following to the Emerald board this morning. I hope to puts an end to this destructive “strike.” The Emerald cannot afford the disruption. Steve Smith Good morning, To the board: When it comes to unwise and futile gestures, I take a back seat to no one. So I can’t in any way criticize the staff of the Daily Emerald for taking a stand on behalf of principles in which they believe even though I think they are being shortsighted. I love the University of Oregon and I love the Daily Emerald. I have done my best throughout my career to show support for both institutions. Finding myself in conflict with the paper’s student editors is personally painful. So, it is clearly in the best interests of all involved that I withdraw my offer to work with the paper in the coming year. Perhaps with the field clear, the board and the staff can focus on the one issue that matters, the paper’s survivability. I am going to ask the Emerald to reimburse me for non-refundable expenses incurred in advance of my trip to Eugene next week, something less than $300. Thanks for your consideration and support during this difficult time. Please know that I wish you and the staff all the best. steve

Reader Name Free Text Value:
Steven A. Smith

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
From one college newspaper staffer to a lot of others, I commend you for taking a stand against this attempted coup by your board of directors. This is exactly the kind of stuff that’s been going on at the professional level, and the majority of journalists there took it lying down. Keep fighting the good fight, don’t allow the voice of the students on your campus to be corrupted and muted by those on your campus it was never meant to serve in the first place. I will be following this situation, and I wish you all the best of luck in coming out victorious. Save the presses!

Author:
Student

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
You guys are so brave. Keep it up. I know how hard of a decision this is, but you’re doing the right thing.

Author:
Jessie DaSilva

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
It’s a sad day when the Emerald misses its first publication date, but I’m very proud of the dedication the editorial staff has demonstrated in protecting the values that the Emerald embodies. I’m sure anyone who’s worked at the Emerald in the past (well, with a few obvious exceptions…) is behind you 100%.

Reader Name Free Text Value:
Nick Cummings

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Fight on journalism students. I met Allie Grasgreen at an Associated College Press convention a few years ago and based on that meeting, I don’t believe she would recklessly fight an administration. I believe these students are taking an appropriate stand. Nate Miller Online Content Developer The Sacramento Bee

Reader Name Free Text Value:
Nate Miller

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Good luck. Stay strong.

Author:
dave3544
Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Wow, congratulations for standing up for what you believe in. It seems ridiculous to me that it would have even gotten to this point, it is after all a *student* newspaper and it certainly seems to me that the students involved ought to have the final word (which I guess you are). Best of luck making the Board change its views.

Author:
Andrew Spittle

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
The students are absolutely right in defending their rights and demanding that a fair and open search is conducted for a publisher. I can’t believe that Steven Smith is so arrogant as to push his agenda forward without regard to the students’ concerns and desires. Or that the board would go along with it. As GM at The Daily Evergreen at WSU, I always put the students first above all else. I work for them and not the other way around. I believe the Emerald newsroom is right and I stand solidly behind them.

Author:
Alan Donnelly

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out-

Author:
will

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
I was one of the many people laid off by Steve Smith when he was editor of The Spokesman-Review. Yes, I have a bit of an axe to grind. But I must warn you to be careful of this man. VERY CAREFUL. This story sounds eerily similar to his operating style in Spokane, where he was widely disdained and disrespected by newsroom staffers. I commend you for your courageous stand. Don’t open the door to this fiend.

Author:
Former Smith Employee
Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
I knew this would be an interesting year when the Emerald decided to publish primarily online and go to a magazine format. When I had heard that Judy’s contract wasn’t renewed, I found that a little interesting, too, but I never expected this. That being said, I support the newsroom 100% in this. While I certainly wasn’t on the ODE staff during the 70s when the paper went independent, its independence has been challenged every year since. I’d be curious as to what the J-school’s stance is on this, as I know Tim Gleason has been very supportive of newsroom independence in the past. Fight the good fight and good luck! -Jake Ortman ODE Online Editor 1997-2000

Author:
Jake Ortman

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
I really hope this doesn’t happen. We need to keep Emerald around. I definitely agree with the issue not being independent on it anymore since others are making all of the decisions and not the students. And $80,000 for the position? WOW. That is a lot of money that he is demanding for a college newspaper. I wouldn’t want to give it to him either.

Author:
Sanja

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Does this mean my Winter term student incidental fees will be prorated for each day there is no new ODE on the racks?

Author:
Isaac Viel

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
As a former student newspaper editor, I am saddened by this on multiple levels. I respect Steven A. Smith highly, but I am more proud of the stand you are taking. It seems that some in the administration do not understand or appreciate the role of a STUDENT newspaper. It’s not the same animal as a for-profit one. The student newspaper is not just the voice of the students; it’s a primary learning tool for young journalists, too. Part of the education it offers is the experience of seeing your mistakes in print in order to learn from them. By putting an editor or publisher in charge or giving him or her de facto veto power of content, the university may be making the paper safer and more professional, but it’s also robbing the students of a valuable learning experience. I have learned more from hearing about 6,000 copies of my mistakes than from anything I have ever done right. The goals of a for-profit paper are different. For-profit media outlets need to have a structure in which mistakes are caught before they happen. And they need a different kind of internal oversight. I think the administration, and maybe to a certain extent Steve Smith miss that. Also, I think striking robs the University of Oregon (a state I have visited many times, and I love it there) of an important student voice. I advise the students to start up an independent student paper or website to cover the news on campus. Strike papers have a long and important history. Starting your own paper would also be a great experience for students who may have the opportunity and the necessity of starting their own publications if they desire media careers in the new world of media and journalism. Good luck Emerald staff! Jack Zibluk Associate professor of journalism Arkansas State University Former editor, Southern News, Southern Connecticut State University, 1981-1982.

Author:
Jack Zibluk

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
A strike? You’ve got to be kidding me? How does that solve or prove anything? You’re just letting students down. Way to be the most power hungry and extreme Oregon Daily Emerald staff in the newspaper’s history.

Author:
Concerned student

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
Wow. This is crazy. I’m so proud of all of you. You have my complete support.

Author:
Jobetta

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
I overwhelmingly applaud the Emerald staff for striking. As a journalism major, I fear losing jobs in the future for failure to succumb to the orders from above (owners, publishers, advertisers, etc…). I am proud to see that in a world where Rupert Murdoch owns most media and opinions, that my school is not bowing down to the unreasonable Board, which seems to be conducting shady business practices rather than attempting to provide an objective news source for university students.

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:
As an alumnus, I applaud the staff’s action, in the face of a seemingly devious attempt to curtail the paper’s journalistic independence, and a clearly disingenuous effort to eliminate the editors and staff from their rightful role in the search and final choice. The Board has issued a statement claiming that they are being “bullied and blackmailed,” which seems more to reflect their actions than those of the Emerald. Apparently, Mr. Smith realized and acknowledged the justification for the Emerald’s position; the Board needs to do likewise.

Article Headline:
EMERALD NEWS STAFF STRIKES

Message:

I overwhelmingly applaud the Emerald staff for striking. As a journalism major, I fear losing jobs in the future for failure to succumb to the orders from above (owners, publishers, advertisers, etc…). I am proud to see that in a world where Rupert Murdoch owns most media and opinions, that my school is not bowing down to the unreasonable Board, which seems to be conducting shady business practices rather than attempting to provide an objective news source for university students.

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6 Responses to “Reader Comments”

  1. Kai Says:

    Wow, great to see these!

  2. Dan Reimold Says:

    http://collegemediamatters.com/2009/03/04/oregon-student-newspaper-on-strike-protesting-publisher-position/

  3. Joey Baker Says:

    Well done folks. You’ve been fantastically organized so far. Cheers to you for doing the right thing. Keep it up.

  4. Andrew ODell Says:

    Who is barring you from approving comments? Great job and kudo’s for standing up for what’s right.

  5. Jake Ortman Says:

    I got your back on my blog, too:

    http://utterlyboring.com/archives/2009/03/04/oregon_daily_em.php

  6. First Emerald produced since 1900 without student contributors « Independent Journalism Says:

    […] photo media by our some of our photographers, off-linking to the internet resources relevant to interested readers, twittered coverage of the events, and our ability to get this story out solely relying on e-mail […]

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