Staff of College Paper Strike

Staffers at the University of Oregon’s student newspaper, the Daily Emerald, went on strike Weds., saying they would not go back to work until their demands were met. The dispute is over student control and editorial independence all playing out against a backdrop of severe money problems. Here’s how the students described it in their story on

Here’s the newspaper’s advisor, Steven Smith, an Emerald alum and former editor in chief of The Spokesman Review in Spokane, Wash.,  giving his resignation to the board of directors. He copied the letter to Poynter Online’s Romanesko:

Good morning,

When it comes to unwise and futile gestures, I take a back seat to no one. So I can’t in any way criticize the staff of the Daily Emerald for taking a stand on behalf of principles in which they believe even though I think they are being shortsighted.

I love the University of Oregon and I love the Daily Emerald. I have done my best throughout my career to show support for both institutions. Finding myself in conflict with the paper’s student editors is personally painful.

So, it is clearly in the best interests of all involved that I withdraw my offer to work with the paper in the coming year.

Perhaps with the field clear, the board and the staff can focus on the one issue that matters, the paper’s survivability.

I am going to ask the Emerald to reimburse me for non-refundable expenses incurred in advance of my trip to Eugene next week, something less than $300.

Thanks for your consideration and support during this difficult time. Please know that I wish you and the staff all the best.


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