When it comes to politics, there is a fine line for Central Connecticut State’s student newspaper, The Recorder. Last month their student editor found out about it the hard way.
Opinion editor Marissa Blaszko said she was fired last month for what the paper called a violation of their strict code of ethics, The Hartford Courant reports. According to their rules, no editor can be affiliated with an on-campus political organization.
The Recorder claims Blaszko crossed the line by signing several petitions and protesting on campus. She is also an active member of the Youth for Socialist Action Movement.
“She was not fired for her personal beliefs, values, political leanings or otherwise. Likewise, this is not a free speech issue, nor was the Opinion Editor’s removal from office an attempt to quiet an individual,” an editorial in the student paper says.
According to the editorial, the executive editors of The Recorder gave Blaszko "the opportunity to dismiss her political and external activities and focus on her position at The Recorder and covering and commenting upon local events. ... She left us no choice, after no response, but to terminate her.”
Now Blaszko is fighting to get back on the editorial board that kicked her out.
If you cannot be the press, appeal to the press, right? That's what she did. She held a press conference Wednesday.
“CCSU is not a corporate news organization, but a taxpayer- and student-funded public institution," Blaszko wrote in a press release. "We shouldn't have to swear off our interest in activism, or hide our opposition to a war, to work for our campus newspaper."
It looks like CCSU students and faculty have Blaszko's back.
More than 150 students and professors signed a petition saying they want the newspaper to re-hire Blaszko. They also want to get rid of the policy that got her fired, according to the news release.
“As a student newspaper, The Recorder must serve as an institution accountable and responsive to the wide ranging sentiments of the student body,” Blaszko said.
The media board will make no decision about reinstating her until next week.