I’d like to give Steve Smith the last word (for now) on the Oregon Daily Emerald strike situation. His blog post (a few graphs from it are below) is an eloquent, careful, moving response. I must confess I painfully relate to his comments about trying to fit a newsroom sensibility into the academy in this new day.
My mouth has walked into way too many committee meetings before my brain is even off the elevator. Newsrooms in the academy and newsrooms in “the world” are entirely different creatures and often speak entirely different languages. Newsrooms in general and the academy in general are different planets.
And yet, there are loads of great questions and lessons to be explored after the dust settles, many raised by Steve’s post. Not to go all Oprah on you, but I’m genuinely looking forward to the next phase, where we heal and learn and grow.
It’s time for me to start looking forward, putting the recent Daily Emerald mess behind me and leaving that field open to the interested parties who can find a resolution.
So unless there is some new ground to cover, I intend to make this my last post on the subject. It’s a lengthy post, so I beg your indulgence.
First, let me apologize to the University of Oregon, the Oregon Daily Emerald Publishing Co. board of directors and to the professional and student staff of the newspaper. When I stepped forward last fall with an offer to help the paper through its financial crisis I did not foresee how my involvement would alter the delicate chemistry behind this 100-year-plus institution.
A friend said it best the other day: I am a product of a tumultuous professional career, comfortable in an environment where change is a constant, where decisions must be made quickly and where the niceties often are subordinate to the demands of the moment. The university culture, as I have learned (painfully), deals with change in a much more deliberate way, relying less on quick decision making than on slow-to-develop consensus building. I had been told about this, of course. But my work with the Emerald was my first true immersion in that culture.
In the end, I think I assumed the culture would adapt to me. I did less well adapting to it. For that I sincerely apologize.