Our Voice: Editor fired for story idea

The Editorial Staff

For those of you who haven’t heard the story, Erica Corder, the Editor-in-Chief of Virginia Tech’s student newspaper, wanted to write a story about how some questionable finances have left the Educational Media Company- the nonprofit organization that oversees all student media at the public institution- with an uncertain future.

After leaders in the organization heard about her story, she was fired from her job, which if you ask us, is total bullshit.

Corder was not given a fair chance to state her case, and after much debate, it is clear that the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, along with university officials, clearly violated its own due process policies.

On March 24, Corder was asked to step out of a weekly meeting with the Management Advisory Team, a group of student leaders from each student media organization and their advisers, so the advisory board could discuss alleged personnel issues, Corder said. From outside the door, she heard her peers and colleagues discussing her finance story and her potential termination as a direct result of her story.

But the story was never published.

Corder said the objective of her story was to explain the relationship between Virginia Tech and the student media company, the decline in ad revenue since 2008 and how the two planned to move forward.

Corder was unjustly punished for wanting to pursue what all journalists should have the freedom to do – cover a story.

It is absurd to think that a journalist can be fired for her ideas, let alone without a chance to explain or defend them.

As journalists, and citizens of the free world for that matter, we have this thing called the First Amendment that should protect her right to report on the financial troubles student media at Virginia Tech is facing.

Was all of that thrown out the window two weeks ago? Backtracking isn’t going to make this go away for the leadership of the EMCVT.

The apparent lack of transparency that exists at Virginia Tech is appalling and troublesome.

The First Amendment is what keeps this paper going. It is the root of why we do what we do. The protection from abridging the freedom of speech or infringing on the freedom of the press is something that should always be upheld.

The staff of The Colonnade fully supports? Erica Corder and hopes that she has the opportunity to finish and share her story regardless of her pending future with student media at Virginia Tech.

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