Not sure I can add much to the heartfelt blog posts and updates by the Oregon Daily Emerald staffers in this crucial post-strike moment. They have the choice to be humble, to learn, or not. They clearly have chosen the former. I’m particularly stunned by the connection developed between the Emerald and The Commentator. I mean, that was one unhealthy relationship…not uncommon in college media; the “alternative” paper, often politically conservative, constantly going after the mainstream daily. They had that classic duet down to a science. And now, well, you just have to read below.
It’s their experience to name, document and describe, not ours. Something incredibly important happened, though, and we’d all be wise to do what these students asked of us (even in the midst of the worst moments) that we all think this through together. What do we learn? What are the implications? What IS editorial independence, really? How does and should it work? What’s our industry standard? Does financial instability open doors to new definitions? Who’s the decider? We’ve got a lot to talk about.
In a recent post they wrote:
“We hope to see more academic discussion and analysis that might help guide us in where to go from here. And, of course, we appreciate the interest in the life of the paper for which we care so dearly.”
Here’s a bit from their latest blog update. I think there may be some radio silence after this for a while, as nobody has slept in days.
March 6, 2009 by independentjournalist
We would like to express our utter gratitude to the 33 student newspapers who stood up with us and echoed our message across the continent, a chorus for which we are so grateful. As we return to work, we offer them our heartfelt thanks.
We now hope that our further, mediated discussions will remedy the ills we went on strike to correct and forge not just greater harmony among the entire staff of the paper, but a more connected campus community.
It has already warmed relations between us and our staunchest critics, the staff of the Oregon Commentator. Their excellent piece in support of us brought tears to our eyes. Their solidarity in refusing to produce content during our strike demonstrated the bite behind their bark — even though the fact that Commentator Editor-in-Chief CJ Ciaramella stayed up until at least 6 a.m. the night before may have been just as much responsibility as solidarity and professional brotherhood…….”