Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 9, 2009


Daily Californian - The entire editorial staff of the Daily Emerald - the student-produced newspaper at the University of Oregon - went on strike in protest of the attempts of its board of directors to install a publisher with unprecedented control over the newsroom.

College newspapers across the United States and Canada stand in solidarity with the editorial staff of the Daily Emerald in support of the independent collegiate press and student-controlled editorial content. We are deeply dismayed by the short-sighted actions of the Emerald's board of directors and strongly support the strike until the staff's demands are met, and independent student journalism can be safeguarded from such attacks at the Emerald and on college campuses nationwide.

The board of directors had the audacity to publish their own version of the Oregon Daily Emerald using content from The Associated Press and a front-page statement from the board. . .

In November, the board of directors hired Emerald alumnus Steven A. Smith as a consultant, and he drafted a plan that included a call to hire a publisher. Smith then authored the publisher's job description as well as his own terms of employment for the position, which the board approved without negotiation. On Feb. 24, the board voted to hire Smith as the Emerald's publisher, and to give him unprecedented control over the full paper's operation, including supervising the editor in chief. Smith could also have been concurrently employed by the university, creating a clear path for the university to control what should be student-produced editorial content.

In the face of the strike, Smith has decided to withdraw his decision to accept the position. The Emerald staff demands a nationwide search for a new publisher, whose authority would not extend over the editor and who would not be employed by the university. . .


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