Brandeis Justice Controversy Update 

Thanks to everybody who's been sending e-mails. I'll try to respond as quickly as possible.

It's been a crazy week on many fronts, and tomorrow it's all going to come to a head, I think.

So many developments in the Brandeis Justice incident, it's almost hard to keep up. But here we go, once more into the blogging breach before bed:

Steven Silver writes on his blog, "I guess as a former staffer for the paper, I feel a natural identification with the Justice editors, who made a horrible mistake but are now collectively being accused of doing much worse. There are likely people on the current Justice Editorial Board who have wanted to pursue journalism careers for their entire lives, and now may have to abandon that dream because their names will forever be associated with a racially charged scandal- even though most of them had nothing personally to do with the mistake."

Not only that, but I think there is a stigma that will become attached to the newspaper. So if and when current and future staffers will be looking to do a story on anything, some in the university community will tell them, "The Brandeis Justice? Oh yeah, you're the guys who did the whole Dusty Baker racist comment thing, right?"

I've had this sort of thing happen to me more than once, with university people still remembering an incident in 1997 (when I was in 7th, 8th grade, no less) where the newspaper, in an amazingly stupid move, put porn on the front page.

It makes it that much harder to get the story, to get people to trust you as a reporter, with that stigma attached.

Other Brandeis students blogging on this, found by Silver and Jawsblog's Josh: Here and here.

Josh mentions The Justice being an independent student newspaper: "So why did the administration place so much pressure on these two editors to resign? I can understand going after the section edtior, cause it seems like he dropped the ball, but the editor-in-chief? I understand why the administrators decided to get involved (they went into CYA mode) but what about the paper's autonomy?"

For administrators, a student newspaper's autonomy appears to come second, as it was proven over at UMass Boston, when last semester, the editor-in-chief was suspended by the dean of students. We wrote about it, and it got picked up by the Boston Herald.

And this, the stigma, editors getting fired, the overall climate, etc., is something that's been happening at student newspapers and on colleges campuses all over the country. The problem is nation-wide.

Jawsblog also says the controversial article is back online after a brief hiatus.

And the Boston Globe article from Thursday. University spokesperson Dennis Nealon said the editors "decided to take their time and look at this, to give students enough time to have input, and not rush an issue out while things are evolving." Which isn't quite what the newsroom source said.

And I think that's it.

Blogging will probably light tomorrow. I might be heading up to UMass Lowell with a few people to see some friends, or seeing a friend who hasn't been feeling well. Either way.

As always, tips, comments, suggestions, corrections, and clarifications can be sent to gin@the-mass-media.com.

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