Friday, March 26, 2010

Student hopes to save college newspaper

Bill Silverfarb at the San Mateo Daily Journal reports that student journalist at the College of San Mateo has embarked on a crusade to save the campus newspaper, The San Matean, which is currently slated to go on hiatus for the fall semester.

San Matean Executive Editor Margaret Baum has solicited the help of the Student Press Law Center and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo. She has also become somewhat of an expert at getting the college to turn over documents through the Freedom of Information and California Public Records acts. [More]

In the photo, Prof. Ed Remitz, right, critiques the latest edition of The San Matean with the newpaper's staff. Remitz is a member of the Press Club's board. (Photo credit: Paul Carlson/Daily Journal)

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Baum and the other students ought to establish their own website, completely independent of the school, where they can publish their stories and report without the fear of censorship. If the administration attempts to meddle in the student paper's newsroom, they can report on that with their independent website.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty obvious that this is a clumsy attempt at censorship. The hiatus will be long enough to push Remitz out the door and replace him with somebody ready to train students to become future public relations professionals or whatever they call flaks these days. As for the complaint about low enrollment, I'm sure you could find other classes with fewer students that are being protected by the administration because they're somebody's pet project.

Anonymous said...

There is no way that journalism at CSM will exist without classroom support. Community colleges are commuter schools, meaning that there is no campus life to support an independent news operation. Unlike at universities where you study, work, eat, sleep and play, the burden on community college students to produce an independent news website would be to their own academic detriment.

Anonymous said...

With newspapers dying, I can see the administration's point about combining these print classes with online or broadcast media. I'd rather have the school training news writers regardless of the medium.

Anonymous said...

Are newspapers dying? A very recent alum from The San Matean just started her own newspaper in Foster City, The Lagonian. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

The alumni response:

Letter: Saving The San Matean
April 06, 2010, 03:55 AM

Editor,

As representatives of concerned alumni of The San Matean we recognize that the First Amendment student newspaper could be legitimately shuttered if the enrollment does not exist to support it (“The Paper Crusade” article by Bill Silverfarb in the March 26 edition of the Daily Journal). However, the investigative journalism undertaken by Executive Editor Margaret Baum is to ensure that the faculty and administration are acting in good faith. Unfortunately, the motivation of some faculty and administrators to shut down the newspaper is not as clear cut, as Baum is discovering through her investigation. When faculty makes comments like wanting a newspaper that “the campus can be proud of,” this begs the question: Is the newspaper being threatened due to content or due to enrollment? Unfortunately, Baum’s questions have gone unanswered, requiring her to file numerous petitions under the Freedom of Information and California Public Records acts.


There has been a long-standing struggle at the College of San Mateo as to how much content control students should have over their own newspaper. One-hundred percent of the student work on The San Matean is their own. The students own their mistakes and they own their successes. We have to wonder how many other programs can make that claim on a campus so concerned with grammatical errors that those errors are used to justify termination of the newspaper.

Mario Mihelcic, Editor 1996-1997
Jatin Billimoria, Technology Reporter 1996-1997
Malinda Gacula, Editor 1999-2000

Anonymous said...

Sad situation across the Bay in Livermore where the student-run newspaper, the Express, has been told not to cover protests over a suspended instructor.
That comes on top of warnings that the newspaper went over the line in printing an ad for the Erotic Exotic Ball and another ad.
The warning, which was veiled, was that it would be sad if funding for mass com were trimmed under the guise of state budget cuts.
There is something so wrong with this, and yet it remains to be covered by the local newspaper because of a shortage of reporters and the inability to cover the Tri-Valley properly.