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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Independent Student Paper @ UMass Boston

Last week’s article about The Mass Media’s editor-in-chief, Mr. Rhys, being suspended from any “co-curricular” activities illuminates the fundamental problem with the university’s perception of the role it plays in this student paper’s affairs.

The Mass Media is not a publicly owned paper falling under jurisdiction of any Massachusetts state employee. The Mass Media is a private commercial paper that is funded entirely by ad revenues and waivable fees.

Mr. Rhys is not an employee of UMass Boston. He’s an employee of The Mass Media, an independent student paper managed solely by the students who comprise the editorial board; this means that only the editorial board can issue suspensions to the paper’s employees.

This paper was once a blotchy black-and-white rag, but it is now in color and consists of almost thirty pages every week. The improvements in quality arise from increased funding due to a better business plan we developed and implemented ourselves, not from increased funding from public coffers.

We do not have any problems with reprimanding our employees. When employees abuse the privilege of working at this paper we reprimand them as we see fit, which in the past has even included suspension and impeachment. However, because we did not suspend the editor-in-chief we will not recognize his suspension from The Mass Media–a so-called UMass Boston “co-curricular” activity.

It’s true that we’re located on campus and we’re paid through the school, but we’re not funded or operated by the school. If we stopped receiving ad revenues and waivable fees we’d go out of business and there would be no more student paper. The Mass Media pays for all the services it receives from the school; the independent student paper pays nearly $20,000 each year in administrative fees alone to UMass Boston.

The editorial board has dealt with Mr. Rhys on this issue and will not tolerate other institutions meddling with what is solely the paper’s business. The Mass Media will not be censored in any way by any institution or individual. We are confident that the university will uphold our decision on the matter.