LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander requested a briefing on student media strategy last month after leaders met with Reveille alumni and other interested parties about the future of the campus newspaper, records show.
The Advocate filed a public records request on Aug. 12 for communication between Manship School of Mass Communications Dean Jerry Ceppos and administrators regarding The Reveille’s future. That request was fulfilled late Friday (Sept. 4) afternoon.
The emails received are not surprising but show that university administrators were interested in being kept up-to-speed on ongoing discussions about the campus newspaper.
The Advocate reported in July that LSU student media leaders were weighing the possibility of cutting back the Reveille’s print frequency while focusing more on digital offerings. That prompted some Reveille alumni to voice concern over the storied publication’s future.
The emails show Alexander, LSU Provost Richard Koubek and LSU VP for Strategic Communications Linda Bonnin were all given updates on the discussions at various points in July and August.
In an email to Koubek, Ceppos said reports “led a few recent Reveille alums to go wild and even make crude comments online.”
“Others calmed them down,” he wrote.
In a memo to Alexander, Ceppos assures that, “All of the stakeholders will have a chance to chime in, though, at some point we will have to make some decisions.”
And to Bonnin he wrote: “The truth is that we should be fired if we don’t look at declining print revenue, declining rates of kids picking up the paper and other issues that print publications have been seeing for years.”
You can read the full response to The Advocate’s records request here.
Ceppos, in a phone conversation with The Advocate today, said he wasn’t surprised by administrators’ inquiries into the ongoing discussions.
“I assume it’s my job to keep the university posted in what’s happening in my school,” he said.
He said that leaders are still evaluating all options for student media’s future on LSU’s campus.
“I just want to get some research, and let’s take a look at what our options are,” he said.