Oregon Daily Emerald: ‘University Shouldn’t Keep Students in the Dark’

Editors at The Oregon Daily Emerald are concerned about an expanding set of “unnecessary brick walls” being put in place by University of Oregon administrators.  According to the newspaper, these walls are blocking student reporting on “new propositions and changes” impacting the school.

In a staff editorial published earlier this week, headlined “University Shouldn’t Keep Students in the Dark,” the Emerald implored UO officials to grant the paper the basic access and respect all student media deserve.  As a portion of the piece reads:

“With all of the new propositions and changes coming to the university, student journalists from seemingly every publication are trying to get the complete story.  We’re hitting some unnecessary brick walls, however, in our pursuit to establish what these propositions and changes mean to our university.  As a result, it takes us much longer to actually get the full scoop than it should, affecting the student body’s ability to make a rational decision on a timely manner.  What’s more, it makes it seem as though the members of the student publication are ‘late,’ or ‘out of the loop,’ when we’ve been doing everything in our power to get the story.”

As an example, the editorial refers to a journalism class recently attended by the university president, in which he commended an Emerald staffer’s reporting work– and then reneged on a scheduled interview with the staffer later that same day.

The Emerald is concerned that a close-mouthed PR policy hurts not only UO student media but also the university itself.  As the editorial concludes, “The university’s leaders seem so concerned with saying the wrong thing or looking unprofessional that they would rather the students not be updated with university happenings. Because they are the people we pay to educate us and create an environment in which we can be educated, they have no right to withhold information and give watchdogs the wraparound. . . . Withholding information from us is withholding information from all.”

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