Provost Lauren Robel has endorsed a plan that reverses the School of Journalism’s 27-year independence and interrupts its century-long heritage. This same plan calls for unspecified changes to student media, possibly affecting the IDS.
Her decision is drawing much controversy and will alter the academic landscape of our University. For our readers, it’s a story we have a duty to report.
For many at the IDS, it’s our story.
We are proud of our independence. As editor-in-chief, I make the final decisions about what we publish in consultation with other student editors and professional staff.
Yet we’re also proud of our history, a legacy that stretches back to this day 146 years ago, and a century of close partnership with the School of Journalism.
We share Ernie Pyle Hall, and most of the students who work to bring you the news study journalism, including myself and the rest of the IDS management team.
The school’s professors teach us about responsible journalism and perfecting our craft. It was the school that attracted most of us to IU.
This is enhanced by its autonomy, which allows it to instruct with limited outside influence, while still giving a broad liberal arts education.
We work together toward mutual successes.
Our futures are inherently tied.
A diminished school, particularly one caught in the bureaucracy and revenue sharing model of the College of Arts and Sciences, would suffer.
That’s why we’ve dedicated so much attention to reporting this story: Any decision that harms the School of Journalism also runs the risk of harming IU Student Media.
Further, it is part of a campus-wide conversation affecting us all.
In the last year, the School of Library and Information Science was folded into the School of Informatics and Computing. The Office for Women’s Affairs and the Leo R. Dowling International Center were closed.
Across the board, student input has been limited.
Our University is experiencing a time of great change. Change is often good, but the brash elimination of programs is irresponsible.
In July, President Michael McRobbie told the Herald-Times, “There’s no point in saving a school that trains people to manage fleets of horses if the motorcar has taken over horse-drawn transportation.”
Contrary to McRobbie’s belief, journalism isn’t dead. It is in a state of flux, as is the journalism school.
Nor is journalism dead in the IDS newsroom. I proudly work alongside others who dedicate themselves to informing our community. We have created an investigations team and a digital desk to report important stories and adapt to new media.
In the past, we may have been complacent. We’ve let opportunities to question decisions by administrators and trustees pass us by.
That stops today. We’re rededicating ourselves to asking tough questions, seeking the truth and serving you as the student voice of IU in every story we report.
We are not a horse-and-buggy operation. We are — in print, online and through social media — your news.
Michael Auslen, Editor-in-Chief
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