Buzzsaw Staff and Alumni Call for Repeal of Ithaca College’s New Media Policy

By | October 5th, 2012 | Buzz Blog, Guest Commentary, Media Criticism, News & Views, What's Happening

Last week, Ithaca College President Tom Rochon issued a new media policy that requires that student media outlets seeking interviews with college administrators must submit all interview requests through the Ithaca College Office of Media Relations. The policy encompasses 84 administrators, including school deans, student services faculty, financial and admissions personnel, and – of course – President Rochon.

President Rochon informed the staff of Buzzsaw magazine – as well as the staffs at The Ithacan, WICB, and ICTV – about the terms of the new policy last week, stressing that it was not designed as a roadblock to students’ access to the college administration.

However, the Buzzsaw editorial board, Buzzsaw staffers, and Buzzsaw alumni firmly reject the notion that the new media policy “will not be a hindrance to [our] pursuit of information.” In fact, the policy seems to be specifically designed to hinder student journalists from accessing administrators in a timely manner and relaying information about the college to the student body.

As current students and alumni committed to truth, transparency, and critical examination of our surroundings, this new policy flies in the face of everything we are taught to practice as journalists. We are taught to pursue stories of interest to our college, city, and alumni communities. We are taught to respectfully and thoroughly investigate stories by speaking with a wide and diverse array of sources. And we are taught to criticize unnecessary bureaucratic barriers and attempts at censorship when we see them.

That’s why we are formally declaring our support for the repeal of the new media policy, joining a chorus of voices who have spoken out against the policy – including the Student Government Association, The Ithacan, over 60 Ithaca College staff and faculty members, and hundreds of Ithaca College students and alumni.

College policies should exist to strengthen – not limit – the academic learning environment. We ask the administration to recognize the dangers of this policy, rescind it, and push our college toward the open, transparent community that we know it can and should be.

Signed,

The Buzzsaw Magazine Editorial Board

Kacey Deamer
Upfront Co-Editor
Class of 2013
Catherine Fisher
Sawdust Editor
Class of 2013
Mariana Garces
Sawdust Editor
Class of 2013
Rachael Lewis-Krisky
Seesaw Co-Manager
Class of 2014
David Lurvey
Web Co-Editor
Class of 2013
Gena Mangiaratti
Co-Upfront Editor
Class of 2013
Meagan McGinnes
News & Views Editor
Class of 2014
Emily Miles
Haircut Manager
Class of 2013
Kayla Reopelle
Seesaw Co-Manager
Class of 2014
Carly Sitzer
Ministry of Cool Editor
Class of 2013
Anika Steppe
Art Editor
Class of 2013
Francesca Toscano
Social Media Manager
Class of 2014
Danielle West
Layout Editor
Class of 2013
Jenni Zellner
Web Co-Editor
Class of 2013

Ithaca College Faculty and Staff

Jeff Cohen
Director of Park Center for Independent Media
Associate Professor of Journalism
Buzzsaw Advisor
Maura Stephens
Associate Director of Park Center for Independent Media

Buzzsaw Magazine Alumni

Zachary Anderson
Former Illustrator and Blogger
Class of 2012
Bryan Cipolla
Former Art Editor
Class of 2010
Jocelyn Codner
Former Ministry of Cool Editor
Class of 2010
Matt Corley
Former News & Views Editor
Class of 2006
Sam Costello
Founding Member of Buzzsaw Haircut
Class of 2000
Josh Elmer
Former Layout Editor
Class of 2009
Alyssa Figueroa
Former Upfront Editor
Class of 2012
Sara Fitouri
Former Contributor
Class of 2012
Harrison Flatau
Former Sawdust Editor
Class of 2009
Emily Gallagher
Former Editor
Chris Giblin
Former Sawdust Editor
Class of 2011
Briana Kerensky
Former Upfront Editor
Class of 2010
Jennifer Konerman
Former Layout Editor
Class of 2010
Cassandra Leveille
Former Contributor
Class of 2011
Jeremy Levine
Former Editor
Class of 2006
Meagan Murray
Former Staffer
Class of 2009
Adam Polaski
Former Upfront Editor
Class of 2012
Kate Sheppard
Former Editor
Class of 2006
Jacquelyn Simone
Former News & Views Editor
Class of 2011
Julissa Treviño
Former Upfront Editor
Class of 2009
Carly Willsie
Former Ministry of Cool Editor
Class of 2010

Buzzsaw Staff

Pete Blanchard
Jessica Corbett
Lauren Denecke
Gerald Doherty
Walker Dowd-Whipple
Sara Fitouri
Marissa Framarini
Bethany George
Michael Holland
Rob Hummel
Anna Isachenko
Crystal Kayiza
Drew Kellogg
Cassandra Leveille
Karen Muller
Ryan Muller
Meagan Murray
Amy Obarski
Marc Phillips
Jennifer Pike
Kyle Robertson
Nick Ruck
Jessica Santos
Abby Sophir
Kristen Tomkowid
Benjamin Viagas
John Vogan
Vicky Wolak
Kristy Zhen
Chris Zivalich

If you would like to stand in support of this statement as a non-Buzzsaw affiliated student, staff member, alumni or community member we encourage you to comment below with your name and reasons for co-signing this call for repeal.

    Buzzsaw Also Recommends:
  • Guest Commentary: Former Editors Respond to Media Policy by buzzsawmag-import (October 8, 2012)
  • Victory With a Grain of Salt by Gena Mangiaratti (December 5, 2012)
  • Buzzsaw Asks Why…The Real Issue Behind the IC View Controversy Hasn’t Been Addressed? by Josh Elmer (March 1, 2009)
  • BUZZSAW ASKS WHY: Someone would ever mistake Buzzsaw for Buzzfeed? Ever? by buzzsawmag-import (May 1, 2013)
  • The Hero Ithaca Deserves by Emma Taubenfeld (November 13, 2014)
  • 27 Comments on “Buzzsaw Staff and Alumni Call for Repeal of Ithaca College’s New Media Policy”

    1. Marc Phillips

      Add me to the list.

    2. Carly Smith

      Add me on as well. I think this decision is ridiculous. As journalists, we understand that it’s difficult to get in contact with a source, especially ones tied up in bureaucracy, but there’s no reason for the college’s administration to make our and their job more difficult by piling all of our requests onto another person who will then direct us to the proper source. If journalists do their job right — which you’d hope we would thanks to the Park School of Communications — they know who best to contact for an interview. Even if Rochon didn’t intend this to be a roadblock for Ithaca College journalists, I can’t see how this is anything but that.

    3. Robyn Schmitz

      Add me to the list! This is unreal. As if we don’t have enough trouble contacting sources as it is.

    4. Briana Kerensky

      Add me to the list, please!

    5. Zachary Anderson

      Standing in solidarity with Buzzsaw Magazine. Add me to the list!

    6. Meagan Murray

      Former Buzzsaw alum. Sources have their own free will to reject or accept an interview. This is a bureaucratic move. Please add me!

    7. Carl Heyerdahl

      I stand with buzzsaw

    8. Sara Fitouri

      This Alumna isn’t pleased! This needs to be repealed!

    9. Cassandra Leveille

      As a former Buzzsaw Contributor/all-around-non-fan of Rochon’s tramplings on transparency while I was a student at IC, I stand with Buzzsaw.

    10. chris zivalich

      add me to the list as a contributing writer, class of ’12, please!

    11. Pete Blanchard

      Add me, staff writer, class of ’12!

    12. Ryan Muller

      I stand with Buzzsaw on this! This is unreal for a college with such a strong communications program to implement something like this.

    13. Sam Costello

      Add me to the list — one of the co-founders of Buzzsaw (Haircut).

    14. Marissa Framarini

      Add me to this list, please!

    15. Anna Isachenko

      This new media policy needs to be revoked!

      Former Contributor
      Class of 2014

    16. Tucker Rothmann

      Add me to the list please, thanks.

    17. Francine Price

      I absolutely stand with Buzzsaw and all others in the repeal of this absurd new Media Policy. Television and Radio alumni ’12

    18. CJ Knowles

      Buzzsaw Marketing Director 07-08. Definitely add me to the list–this is insulting that they would even think this would fly in a community like Ithaca.

    19. Kaley Belval

      Add me to the list! I write for Buzzsaw currently.

    20. Mariah Gower

      I stand alongside my fellow students at Ithaca College. This order MUST be repealed in the name of transparency and journalistic integrity. Please add my name to the list.

      Mariah Gower, B.M.O. ’13.

    21. Catherine Nuwer

      I am so shocked by this. As a Writing major who graduated in 2012, I always felt that I had the freedom of speech while studying at Ithaca College and that made my learning experience so much more influential. I don’t think it’s fair at all to censor freedom of the press, and I would sign a repeal along with other former Buzzsaw staff.

      Cat Nuwer ’12

    22. Zeke Wright '07

      Add, former contributor.

    23. Bronwyn Bishop

      Bronwyn Bishop, current Buzzsaw writer. I detest bureaucratic moves like this. This is something my high school would have done, which, trust me, is not a compliment. Please add me to the list.

    24. Andreava Kasianchuk

      Add me to the list please! Thank you.

    25. [...] a victory for freedom of the press, Ithaca College President Tom Rochon announced this week that a restrictive media policy implemented early last month has now been rescinded. The controversial policy had required all [...]

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