FAMU Student Newspaper Fires Editor For Publishing “Negative Stories” About The University

The editor of the FAMUan the student newspaper at Florida A&M University has been relieved of his duties according to reports from “Southern Drawl”. The student editor Karl Etters sent a copy of the email to the blog for the Society of Professional Journalists.

"Thank you for submitting your application for the editor-in-chief of The FAMUan for the Spring 2013 semester. It was a pleasure to interview with you on Jan. 22, 2013. I regret to inform you that after careful consideration I have selected another applicant. Best wishes in your future endeavors.

The email was written by recently hired advisor Kanya Stewart. Stewart is replacing former advisor Andrew Skerrit who was fired after the recent scandal involving reporting of the Robert Champion death.

It should also be noted the student believes he was fired due to his refusal to take it easy on FAMU faculty and staff.

"She said my answer about holding the administration accountable and publishing 'negative' stories as she called it — which I did not say in the interview — was not in the vision of the paper.

" 'I said something along the lines of 'we publish the truth whether it's positive or negative, good or bad,' he said. 'She said that she didn't like my answer about negative stories. … I would never say that's a goal, writing negative stories. But holding people accountable doesn't constitute negative stories.' "

FAMU has long been long been known for producing top African American Journalists with alumni such as Pam Oliver, Wizards beat writer Michael Lee, and our own founder Keith Clinkscales.  I’m not sure what’s going on here, but hopefully this isn’t why the student journalist didn’t get to keep his position. I know FAMU wants to limit negative publicity but that isn’t the job of the paper. The paper is supposed to tell the truth no matter what. Without integrity as journalists, we’re nothing, and if FAMU wants to continue its legacy of producing great reporters they should make sure they aren’t censoring them for the sake of looking good.  

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