CMM 10: Karla Bowsher, Editor in Chief, University Press

CMM 10 is a spotlighting of the 10 individuals who have mattered most to college media over the past academic year.  This inaugural edition honors a mix of standout student journalists, innovative student media entrepreneurs, and impassioned outside advocates of campus press 2.0.  With a hat tip to the annual Time 100, the posts announcing each honoree include a few words of adoration penned by a close friend or colleague.  Next up…

Karla Bowsher

Editor in chief, The University Press, Florida Atlantic University

In the “Photo of the Day” now featured on The University Press website, a golden silk spider is in full focus, navigating a tightly-woven web in the Florida sun.  The picture resonates with UP’s own current tangled reality. The Florida Atlantic University student newspaper is caught in a web of intrigue involving a beloved ousted adviser, a replacement student media director so far less-than-respected, a band of administrators who have pressured j-students to do things their way, and a set of slighted staffers trying to suck it up and cover FAU daily.

Karla Bowsher, UP’s editor in chief, is the woman at the web’s center. Previously, as the paper’s copy chief, she helped heal the “open, oozing, pus-ridden sore” that was the UP copyediting system.  The current sore she battles oozes censorship.  Even while still extremely new to the EIC post, she has passionately stood her ground in the face of administrative threats.  She has been unafraid to publicly challenge school officials for their off-kilter words and behaviors.  She has rallied her UP peers to continue reporting the news.  And she has continued reporting herself, writing pieces that “snarkily hold FAU’s powers-that-be accountable.”

Unlike that of the pictured golden silk spider, the web in which Bowsher finds herself is not of her own making.  But she is making the most of it– and earning the respect of the journalism establishment and free speech advocates along the way.

Photo by Devin Desjarlais

“Karla Uses Journalism for More Than Just Reporting”

By Michael Koretzky

Karla Bowsher is probably the most famous student editor in the country this summer- not bad for a Spanish Studies major who started the job only a few weeks ago.  I believe Karla was genetically engineered to handle the controversy embroiling FAU right now. She’s proven immune to the administration tactics that have broken other student leaders. When she’s been threatened, she researches the rules and learns she can’t be punished. When she’s ignored, she keeps asking relevant questions. When she’s dictated to, she stands up for herself and her staff.

In other words, Karla uses journalism for more than just reporting on her university. She uses journalism to preserve her newspaper’s independence. I’ve never seen Karla lose her cool, either in front of her staff or behind the scenes. and when the heat is on, she cooks. She’s been firm but not rude, fervent but not melodramatic, opinionated but not dogmatic.  All you need to know about Karla you can hear for yourself. Catch her in action…

Koretzky is a veteran journalist and the former paid adviser and current volunteer adviser for The University Press.

Other CMM 10 honorees:

Adam Goldstein, Student Press Law Center

Windsor Hanger, Stephanie Kaplan & Annie Wang, Her Campus

Davis Shaver, Onward State

6 Responses to “CMM 10: Karla Bowsher, Editor in Chief, University Press”
  1. Amie says:

    Go Owls!

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  1. […] Bowsher is the former editor-in-chief of The University Press and a CMM 10 honoree. […]