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News Clips 01/16/2013
FAMU students launch underground news website
Source: Tallahassee Democrat, 01/16/13
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By Jennifer Portman
Publication of Florida A&M’s official school newspaper The Famuan may be postponed until the end of the month, but some of its staff members are determined to continue delivering the news.
This week, a group of former Famuan editors launched their own website called Ink and Fangs.
In a joint statement posted on the website, former Famuan staff members called the suspension of the newspaper by the dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication “ungrounded and arbitrary.”
Dean Ann Kimbrough called for the publication delay last week to allow for additional training of staff members in the wake of a libel lawsuit filed last month. An article published in December 2011, incorrectly stated Marching 100 band member Keon Hollis was among four students suspended in the wake of fellow drum major Robert Champion’s hazing death. The newspaper corrected the error online days later and issued a formal correction in February 2012. Still, Hollis filed a defamation lawsuit.
Kimbrough confirmed this week the staff member who wrote the article was among others contributing to college media publications who were not properly enrolled at the university.
The first edition of the spring Famuan is scheduled for Jan. 30. Current Famuan staff members have been asked to reapply for their positions.
In the meantime, reports of news events are being posted on Ink and Fangs, including coverage of this week’s Tallahassee City Commission retreat and FAMU’s Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation.
Student journalists from across the country have voice support for their FAMU colleagues, who took a cue from University of Georgia students who launched their own underground publication in last year.
“The beauty of the news is that it keeps happening, every day, and you can’t just ‘suspend’ it until you feel comfortable again,” Kristina Bui, editor-in-chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, wrote on the paper’s website. “Still, despite the Orwellian, ‘it’s not censorship, it’s good teaching’ rhetoric of FAMU administration, Ink and Fangs heralds new progress in student media.”
The joint statement from the Ink and Fangs staff concludes:
“We apologize to anyone adversely affected by any past coverage and look forward to a new era of open, stimulating communication with our audience. Thank you for reading.”