Hoya plans for independence

March 4, 2010

Jackson Perry

Jackson Perry

Georgetown’s Media Board expects the Hoya to become financially indepedent from the University within the year, though heads of the publication and University officials said a final decision has not yet been made.

“We believe the Hoya will be going independent this coming year,” Alexander Pon (COL ’12) said in his presentation of Media Board’s request at GUSA’s Finance and Appropriations Comittee budget summit last Sunday. (Full disclosure: Pon is Director of Technology for the Voice). “As they bring in much of the revenue for the media board we are kind of in an uncertain financial position,” Pon added.

The Media Board did not request any funds for the Hoya in its budget request for money from the Student Activities Fee.

When asked about the Media Board’s decision not to request money for the Hoya, heads of the publication said they had not been in contact with the Media Board and had not yet made the determination to go independent, but were unsurprised by the decision.

“I haven’t talked to the Media Board directly, but we’ve talked with Erika [Cohen-Derr, Director for the Center for Student Programs and advisor to the Media Board],” Margaret McLaughlin, the chair of the Hoya’s Board of Directors, said.

McLaughlin said that the Hoya was still in the process of deciding whether or not to go independent this year.

“We’re still trying to hammer out what this might look like … we really don’t know,” McLaughlin said.

Marissa Amendolia, editor-in-chief of the Hoya, confirmed that no official decision had been made, saying the paper is still “assessing our situation.”

When asked why the Media Board had chosen not to allocate any money for the Hoya, Pon said the Media Board had no reason to believe the Hoya would not be going independent.

“We are operating under the assumption that the Hoya’s independence was delayed by one year last year, and –we have not been corrected by administrators who sit in on our meeting,” Pon said.

The Hoya had been slated to go independent last year, and was not allocated any money in the Media Board’s original 2009 budget. But independence was delayed by a year after its April Fool’s issue was protested for racial insensitivity.

Ultimately, whether or not the Hoya chooses to go independent may have little effect on the Media Board’s budget since the Hoya usually breaks even.

According to Cohen-Derr, the Media Board has not yet allocated money to any of the eight media groups, and the Hoya could still make a request for funds from the Media Board.

In past years, the Hoya’s independence efforts have been thwarted by administrators, but this year it appears the school will not try to stop the paper from going independent.

“They’re not stonewalling us,” McLaughlin said.

When asked for comment, Todd Olson, the vice president for student affairs, said only that administrators were in conversation with students from the Hoya.

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“Ultimately, whether or not the Hoya chooses to go independent may have little effect on the Media Board’s budget since the Hoya usually breaks even.”
Where is the attribution for this claim? I was under the impression that the Hoya almost always turned a profit, subsidizing all the other publications, including this one. This is irresponsible journalism, saying something without attributing it to a source.