ATHENS, Ga. -- Editorial control at the University of Georgia's student-run newspaper, The Red and Black, was returned to the students according to the paper's former editor in chief.
At a meeting Friday afternoon, staffers learned that editorial control had been returned to the students, days after the staff had resigned from the newspaper en masse. The large-scale resignation Wednesday evening came after control of the paper had been moved to non-student staffers, with story content requiring the prior approval before publication.
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Former Red and Black editor in chief Rachel Bowers said editors were told that they would need to reapply for their positions with the newspaper.
Red and Black staffers resigned after a draft memo came out listing expectations for the paper's professional staff, which moved control away from the students.
In the wake of their resignation, the former staff members created a blog and Twitter feed, Red and Dead, with the intent of posting original content without constraints on subject material.
Several Red and Black alumni showed up to Friday afternoon's meeting to offer their support to the student journalists in their plight.
The Red and Black Board of Directors posted a statement on the newspaper's website Friday afternoon addressing the matters related to the controversy. Board member Ed Stamper tendered his resignation after sending a letter of apology to the students on staff from the newspaper. Stamper had written the memo that initially angered the student staffers.
In part, the statement emphasized that the student editor of the paper has final editorial decisions regarding news content in the paper:
The student editor has always had the final editorial decision responsibility for our news content. That is still the case. The professional staff who work on the editorial side of this newspaper are intended to be coaches and advisers only.
The statement went on to say that they look forward to continuing the tradition that has existed at The Red and Black.
We appreciate the passion for excellence in journalism displayed by the students. That same passion for excellence and love of The Red and Black motivates our board. We look forward to continuing to provide news coverage to this great university for many years to come in our printed product, our magazine and our digital first format.
According to Bowers, Ed Morales, who had been named editor in chief after the mass resignation, would be returning to his position as editorial advisor for the newspaper.