Bowling Green State University’s independent school newspaper, the BG News, has found itself at the center of the biggest story on campus.
At its meeting last week, the Undergraduate Student Government considered a resolution calling for more oversight of the student-run publication, including the election of the editor, now appointed by a board of faculty, students and media professionals.
The resolution was prompted by complaints from campus groups, most of them Greek organizations, about their treatment in the pages of the newspaper. That included a recent headline calling attention to the annual Dance Marathon falling short of its goal as well as claims of being misquoted and inaccuracies in stories.
The resolution was tabled, but USG President Brian Kochheiser said the issue will be revisited, though any resolution “likely will not look the same.”
He said in taking up the matter the USG was simply being responsive to its constituency. “Many students are frustrated with the BG News.”
The resolution states: “(T)he BG News needs to be evaluated through a system of checks and balances, because they are not currently held accountable by the Undergraduate Student Body.”
If further says “Administrational action must be taken” if changes do not occur.
“We were surprised when we heard about the resolution,” said Danae King, the BG News editor. The USG leadership did not reach out to the staff before discussing the complaints. “That would have been more productive than a resolution where we weren’t contacted.”
The provisions of the resolution amount to censorship, an editorial published in Thursday’s edition asserted.
“What USG calls for would diminish our role to being nothing more than University propaganda, completely ignoring larger issues that impact students because they may make someone look bad.”