Friday, September 04, 2015

Student editors say Mangum excluded them from planning process for FAMU’s new “official newspaper”

Journey Magazine Editor-in-Chief TyLisa Johnson with
President Elmira Mangum at the Legacy Banquet
Yesterday, FAMUan Editor-in-Chief Reggie Mizell criticized FAMU President Elmira Mangum for excluding student editors from the planning process for a new “official newspaper” at the university.

Mizell expressed his disappointment in a column that appeared on the student newspaper’s website. The editor-in-chief of Journey Magazine, TyLisa Johnson, was a contributor to the opinion piece.

According to Mizell, Mangum told a group of student editors about the new publication after the Thursday, August 27 Legacy Banquet that honored all the living FAMU presidents. He said the president told them that:  “It won't be the FAMUAN. It’ll be a real newspaper, like the Wall Street Journal.”

Mizell did not appear to appreciate that reported comment by the president.

“The university’s student-run newspaper, the FAMUAN (apparently not the official newspaper), has been publishing for more than 50 years, and, for the most part is successful with its publication, attracting national attention as well as winning awards and providing training for students,” Mizell wrote.

He took Mangum to task for not obtaining input from student editors.

“The idea of an ‘official newspaper’ has been secretive,” he wrote. “No notice of a launch has been publicized. Student media editors were not solicited to promote it on any of their mediums, i.e. newspaper, radio, or social networks. Mangum actually spoke to a class in the [School of Journalism and Graphic Communication] building and did not mention anything about it to a room full of journalists and reporters.”

The FAMUan editor-in-chief added that “Mangum said that she had sponsors for her publication.” He noted that The FAMUan and Journey Magazine both are in a “budget struggle” and hinted that they could use some help.  

Mizell also stated that “Mangum did offer us a student column in the paper, but we declined.”

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