Daily Lobo shows solidarity with CNM Chronicle

Posted at: 03/27/2013 6:27 PM
Updated at: 03/27/2013 6:46 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

On Wednesday afternoon, CNM administrators reversed a statement they made Tuesday night and reinstated the student newspaper, the CNM Chronicle, allowing them to resume publication. But for the past 24 hours, the CNM Chronicle isn't the only paper that's been affected; UNM's Daily Lobo decided to censor itself.

"It goes without saying that this violates student’s rights to freedom of speech and of the press," Daily Lobo Editor-in-Chief Liz Cleary said. "We felt we had a responsibility to do something that would continue the dialogue onto the next day."

The Daily Lobo printed the usual content online, but in place of their articles in their hard copy edition, printed big black X's. They said CNM Chronicle editors responded with gratitude.

"They were shocked, that we would do something this drastic in solidarity with them," Cleary said. "But the fact of the matter is we're a student run newspaper and the only reason we can do what we do is our independent status, that lack of administrative oversight."

Wednesday afternoon, CNM's publication board called a meeting with CNM President Katharine Winograd. Winograd announced that the reason administrators had taken the papers off of shelves was because a high schooler had been interviewed in one of the articles. CNM holds dual credit classes that high schoolers take. Officials would not specify which article or which student it involved. Wednesday, though, this was the statement they released:

"CNM is temporarily suspending the operations of the CNM Chronicle pending a full evaluation of the structure and oversight of the student newspaper with hopes of being back up and running by the summer term. The Chronicle staff will be reassigned to other work-study positions during the evaluation.

CNM does not have a journalism program, which has limited the college’s ability to provide the education and training that students need to appropriately operate a newspaper that is distributed to a student body of nearly 30,000. CNM is going to re-evaluate how students can be trained, educated and supervised in operating a widely disseminated student publication.

Some issues were pulled off the racks late in the afternoon. CNM felt the content was offensive and not appropriate for the educational mission of CNM.

CNM funds the operations of the Chronicle, and as a publicly funded institution, CNM feels a responsibility to make sure public funds are being used to support the College’s educational mission. "

Because of this, some students were shocked by the decision, but pleased.

"We're really, really happy with the college's decision," CNM Chronicle editor-in-chief Jyllian Roach said. "We're excited to see that we're back on and that we get to go back to printing and won't have to stop our publication."  

Daily Lobo staffers say all of this underscores the importance of calling attention to freedom of the press, especially on college campuses. 

"We have a responsibility and a right to cover these things without administrative oversight," Cleary said. "without the administration controlling that message."