Daily Cal, Daily Collegian Enjoy Separate Recent Pardons

According to a pair of news reports published on the same day late last week, two A-list student newspapers enjoyed separate pardons from incidents begun last October- one financial and another criminal.

First up, Penn State’s Daily Collegian.  Last October, a student photographer for the newspaper faced charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse, related to a post-football-victory riot he was covering.  According to the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, cops twice asked him to scoot, at one point telling him his presence was actually inciting the crowd.  The photog had contended that he was simply doing his job calmly, acceding to every police request except vacating the scene.

Apparently, the authorities agree.  All six charges have now been dropped, a sign of respect and recognition that he was present at the riot as a member of the press, not a fan.  Excellent news.

Also in the excellent news category: The Daily Californian at UC-Berkeley will be keeping its newsroom for now, even though it had been unable to pay all its rent and utilities.  In a sign of the troubling economic times, as The Berkeley Daily Planet reported, the paper had “been forced to scale back on its operations. The paper is no longer printing its Wednesday edition and has stopped paying its student reporters the $8 to $15 they previously received for each article. Faced with a drop in advertising revenue, the Daily Cal has only paid half its rent [for its newsroom in Eshleman Hall] since October.”

The owner of the building, an organization called the Store Operations Board of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), has forgiven the debt, citing the newspaper’s “significant value” to the campus as one of the reasons for not forcing it out of the building.  Daily Cal‘s editor in chief has publicly assured readers that the action will not influence its editorial coverage of the board in general.

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