We demand The Daily Targum Board of Trustees to uphold journalistic integrity.
This petition had 266 supporters
One of the best things about The Daily Targum is that it is a student-run publication, and as a result, it is written by students, for students, with the intention of having no interference from administration or other external influences.
However, it has become clear that this defining value of the paper has been compromised.
It has recently come to light through a Huffington Post blog written by former Opinions Editor of the Targum, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh just how badly politics and pressure has affected the integrity and balance of the Targum. The Board believes it can censor the editors and writers at our student-led newspaper. The Targum’s staff and readers deserve to know who those individuals are, how they are appointed and the limits of their power.
We the students need to hold the Board of Trustees accountable.
•Transparency of the editorial and administrative facets of the Targum
•A complete overhaul of the Targum bylaws to establish checks on the Board’s editorial discretion
•The resignation and replacement of the Board of Trustees with a new Board representative of the entire student body
The concept of transparency must be embraced by The Daily Targum on the terms of the Rutgers University student body. This includes transparency with respect to the identities and powers of the members of the Board of Trustees, ensuring meeting accessibility to members of the public, and full public access to Targum archives.
The current bylaws of The Targum are not visible and available to the public, and the current bylaws are too abstract and allow for the Board’s limitless exertion of power. The bylaws need to be rewritten for the approval of the student body, and include a specific outline of the Board’s editorial discretion, checks on its powers, and a public form of election or appointment to the Board in order to properly reflect the entire student body.
The current members of the Board of Trustees must hand in their resignation immediately due to their ineptness at upholding the journalistic integrity of the newspaper through their intimidation and pressure they’ve used to influence the student staff. The current Board must be replaced with new members that are representative of the interests of the student body, and must pledge to abstain from any form of censorship from this point forward.
The Daily Targum is the second oldest university newspaper in the country and has a history of trailblazing in the field of collegiate journalism. The preservation of its journalistic integrity affects all of us profoundly, whether or not we are aware or even interested in its impact, and sets a precedent for freedom of speech in newspapers on college campuses across the nation. The time has come for us to send a clear strong message that students’ free speech is not to be encroached upon, and it is up to us to make a difference.
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