Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Cuts to Los Angeles City College student paper prompt accusations

September 23, 2009 |  8:09 pm

Los Angeles City College’s venerable student paper had its budget slashed by 40%, and the publication’s adviser says it’s because journalists fought the institution’s president over press freedom.

Rhonda Guess, adviser to the Los Angeles City College Collegian, told the Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Wednesday that President Jamillah Moore retaliated against students for filing a formal complaint, saying she “bullied” them at a college meeting. The students said Moore demanded they identify themselves and seek permission to record the proceedings.
Ken Sherwood, president of City College’s academic senate, vehemently denied that Moore bullied anyone. The president, he said, was actually trying to save the paper from the fate of Cal State Dominguez Hills’ publication, which folded in the face of crushing budget cuts.

“It’s the only way to preserve the newspaper from being cut completely,” Sherwood told trustees.

Guess, assistant professor of journalism, said she does not know how she can keep the Collegian, in continuous publication since 1929, coming out on its regular biweekly schedule on the reduced budget. The paper and one of its reporters, Mars Melnicoff, are up for three honors, including sports story of the year, at a national college press awards ceremony in Texas next month.

“It would be the same as cutting chemicals from the chemistry budget,” Guess said. “The paper provides a window into the college, not just for the 30 students who help produce it but for all the students and the community.”

-- Gale Holland