So. I work for an independent student newspaper as the Managing Editor. What this means is I get the initial say-so on what we include in terms of content, and I also manage the layout of the paper. My boss is the Editor-In-Chief, which pretty much is what it sounds like. My drafts go to the EIC, and he checks over everything, and gives the final say on anything we want to print.
Enter a lady from Human Resources (which is an unconnected, practically irrelevant department on campus). She has no actual authority over our paper, and she begins censoring our hard work. You may have read my piece here about minimum wage reform– it was slated to appear in a trimmed down form (for tone and length, but mostly length) in the latest edition of our paper. HR lady (whose name is D-SOMETHING I CANNOT PRONOUNCE UNLESS SUFFICENTLY INTOXICATED) takes a nice red marker… and draws a GIANT RED X over my article, saying “You’re not allowed to print this.”
What the fuck?
From whence doth thee draw thine divine authority, oh zealous sweaty-toothed and imperiously adjutantial wench from some over yonder and unconnected department to which my paper holds no line of direct communication?
Here’s the thing. I report to the Editor in Chief, and the EIC reports to the campus director. Directly reports. Not “reports via Human Resources”, not “Walks By Human Resources on His Way to the Campus Director”. As in: “REPORTS DIRECTLY TO THE TOP MANAGEMENT– DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $100.”
At no point on our chain of command do we link with anything in this lady’s domain.
And yet, here she is, throwing her weight around and telling us what we can and cannot print as if she owns us, with no actual authority.
If she were to walk in with something like this
and it were signed by our Campus Director, and gave this HR lady a position to dictate what we can and cannot do, then I suppose I would either eat my words and play ball her way… or resign my post in protest. We were promised minimal staff oversight from the Campus Director: things like spell-checking and contribution and regulation of photographic media and particular.
But this lady who reaches across departments to stifle my First Ammendment rights is not someone I intend to lay down for.
I will fight for the journalistic integrity of my paper. I have helped build this from square ZERO. I will be dead and buried if I just roll over for some random chick who has delusions of executive grandeur.
And that’s what pissed me off today, kids.
Now excuse me. I’m off to vent rage into poetry form.