ATLANTA – The top two editors at the student-run newspaper at the University of Georgia have been reinstated after walking out along with other student journalists amid a dispute over editorial control, the board of directors said in a statement Monday night.
Editor-in-Chief Polina Marinova and Managing Editor Julia Carpenter are resuming their duties, according to a statement by the Red & Black's board, publisher and the editors themselves.
Many of the student journalists, including all of the top editors, walked out Wednesday after they said control of the paper was effectively being taken from them. They were angered by a draft memo that suggested what stories they should and should not cover.
By Friday afternoon, Marinova said the board had "met all the key points we asked for" and proved willing to listen.
"As a board, we reiterate our commitment to student journalism and The Red and Black as a training ground," the statement said. "We want to be clear that students have editorial control over the contents of our publications with no prior review."
The statement also said the board was committed to adding students to the board and expressed "continued confidence" in Publisher Harry Montevideo and the professional staff he's put together.
The student editors apologized in the statement for walking out on deadline, saying it "went against our instinct and training."
Founded in 1893, The Red & Black has operated independently from the university since 1980 and relies on advertising revenues for most of its funding. The board of directors oversees the paper's operations, but does not have a role in what the paper publishes.
Board member Ed Stamper said he wrote the draft memo quickly and meant for it to be used as reference during a discussion with the paper's editorial director, not a reflection of the board's views. He resigned Friday.
Changes at the paper began this spring when the board asked a sitting member to fix problems they believed had led to declining readership, the students said on a website they created after the walkout, called Red and Dead. They also sent out tweets from a new account about what was happening and why.
The outpouring of support was immediate, with Red & Black alumni and some professional journalists taking to social media to back the students.