By Maurice Cacho
Associate News Editor
NightViews, the campus continuing education newspaper, will be reviewed by a special editorial committee before it hits newsstands, starting in October.
When a controversial editorial was published in the July issue, addressing an allegedly unfair dismissal of two staff members, CESAR executives stopped distribution, replaced the editorial and reprinted the paper.
The dismissal of NightViews‘ layout and senior editors stemmed from a controversial article that alleged ballot boxes were stuffed during last year’s RyeSAC elections. Articles deemed libelous in the future will be pulled so CESAR, the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson, won’t be faced with a lawsuit.
“The only reason things would be pulled was if there was the potential that we could put ourselves into a difficult situation,” said Jeremy Salter, president of CESAR. “It’s not because, you know, there was an article like the one on fair trade coffee. That’s not going to get pulled.”
As a publisher, CESAR is responsible for material that is published in its newspaper.
The editorial committee will consist of both NightViews staff and CESAR board members and will meet regularly to determine what can appear in the paper. The structure of the committee has not yet been determined.
CESAR executives initially tried to make NightViews an independent newspaper during the summer. That way, CESAR would not be responsible for content published in NightViews.
However, this proposal was rejected by a majority of the NightViews staff because of uncertainty over the future of an independent publication.
“We’ve never used (the committee) because, again, we don’t want to be the iron hand that is controlling the propaganda on campus,” said Salter.
This concerns Don Gibb, a print reporting instructor at the School of Journalism and veteran journalist.
“I’m always skeptical of organizations that want to have control over their media outlet,” he said. “I would be reluctant to read any newspaper . . . that was under some sort of direction by a board.”
Following the termination of two senior staff members, the entire editorial staff announced their resignation in July’s editorial. CESAR replaced the editorial with an ad prompting students to get involved with the association.
“We didn’t think it was prudent to put that information out to the public fearing that there could be actions taken by the individuals that it mentions,” said Salter.
The original editorial read “In the future, please look for this newspaper, or its replacement, If there is no CE paper, there is no place to voice the collective concerns of the CE students, and ultimately the Ryerson population.”
In June, former senior editor Mark Bassant was released of his contract.
While Salter did not elaborate on the terms of his contract, Bassant said it was to expire on Aug. 31.
Melissa Cristina, who was responsible for the design and layout of NightViews, had her job terminated at the end of June. Unlike Bassant, she was not on contract.
“They told me that I was working on-call, and that I was not needed anymore,” she said, adding that she was never informed of her “on-call” status.
Salter said he was “not sure” if Cristina was told she was on-call when hired.
When asked by The Eyeopener if she was ever informed of her employment status, Salter said “I’m not in a position to tell you anything about that.”
Cristina still wonders why Bassant and herself are no longer a part of NightViews. It’s a question to which, she said, she’s never received an answer.
“We were all diligent workers and we were all working hard,” Christina said. “We enjoyed what we did and we wouldn’t want to change that for no reason.”
While Salter would like NightViews to eventually be an independent publication, he doesn’t know when this will happen.
Your Campus Papers: Who’s Behind Them?
The Eyeopener – Independently owned by the students of Ryerson, publishes weekly.
Golden Ram – The Ryerson Engineering Students Society’s monthly publication.
NightViews – Monthly newspaper published by CESAR. New editorial committee oversees content.
The Ryersonian– Published bu the Ryerson School of Journalism as a final-year project.