Famuan stories welcome here

January 10, 2013
By Peter McKay | FAMU ’97 | Email

FAMU has put publication of The Famuan on hiatus through the end of the month following a libel suit by an ex-member of the Marching 100 related to a story about hazing last semester. The journalism dean says they’ll replace the adviser and take other steps to shore up journalistic standards during that time.

As you might expect, this has caused a lot of discussion among students and even alumni like myself today. People are concerned not just about the standards issues but also the extent to which the staff’s First Amendment rights and independence are being protected.

Personally, I’m a little puzzled because it would seem that contesting a libel suit and suspending publication is mixing apples and oranges. Publications of all sizes are sued for libel all the time for things they published previously, but that doesn’t mean they don’t put out the next edition while the litigation is pending. Journalism in the real world is very much a show-must-go-on sort of enterprise, and if nothing else, it sends a very bad message to students to undermine that idea.

With that in mind, I’ll gladly publish any stories here through month end that FAMU staff members would otherwise have printed in the Famuan. Just email me a draft, including a phone number where I can reach you. I’ll edit your copy myself, then publish it with your byline as a guest writer on the blog, so the information will still get out.

It’s an admittedly imperfect workaround, but hey, I’ll just throw it out there in case someone has use for it.

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3 Responses to “Famuan stories welcome here”

  1. Jade Tipton Says:

    hello my name is Jade Tipton, i came up in the marching 100 into 2008, i never completed my season, due to all the slander towards me. i was never physically beaten but i was mentally and verbally abused through my pre-drill and few weeks that i did march, until i could not handle it anymore. considering I’m white and was VERY uncommon for me to be coming up ins a historically black marching band, that had been my dream for years. I attended FAMU for the marching 100, my dreams were shattered when i was verbally and mentally ran out of this organization. my dreams were soon shattered with all the slanders i was called, cracker, and all the hate.

    • Peter McKay Says:

      Wow. Thanks for reaching out with that story, Jade. Sorry to hear about the troubles you describe.

      One small request/suggestion: We’ve been collecting stories like yours via a reporting form that collects the information in a central database. If you could please put an entry there as well, I’d greatly appreciate it. Would just take a few minutes and mostly involve copying in that narrative you just described, plus a few other details about your experience to flesh it out a little more. Form is at http://bit.ly/VOfndj


  2. [...] McKay, The FAMU Hazing Blog: Famuan stories welcome here (Jan. [...]


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