Several years ago, after being awarded a educational technology grant from Hunter College, I started the WORD in a collaboration with students to teach journalism, especially news writing. That effort blew the minds of everyone at Hunter College and the City University of New York who were serious about or believed in the importance of student journalism and student writing. Accolades and praise resonated from the Hunter campus to the Chancellor’s office. Then President David Caputo told an assembly at an Hunter College Senate meeting that everyone should read the publication.
Publishing started during that rancorous period when CUNY was being pummeled by the New York Daily News and the New York Post and the Manhattan Institute and their cohorts for failing its mission to teach and that failure supposedly was reflected in reports and studies that students couldn’t write. And though there was one or two decent CUNY student publications producing stories, most were an embarrassment. The WORD was a breath of fresh air.
That significant accomplishment also fired up imaginations in the Hunter College Department of Film and Media Studies, inspiring and unleashing what can best be described as academic thuggery of biblical proportions.