Boycotting the Aronson Awards: The Plot Thickens

Peter Parisi: Self Anointed Chaperone for the Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism

Peter Parisi: Self Anointed Chaperone for the Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism

Colleague Peter Parisi said at a department meeting a while back that he supported news censorship under certain conditions and that he supported censoring the WORD.

I’m telling students and others to boycott the Aronson Awards this spring for a number of reasons (to be explained in upcoming posts), but especially because of Parisi’s position on censorship. Paris has acted as a self-appointed nemesis of the WORD for years, and though I’ve stymied all of his intrusiveness, I resent that I had too.

A while back he sent an email memo to Colleagues saying that the WORD was outdated and inferred that support of it was misdirected and that the department should support Colleague Bernard Stein’s The Huntspoint Express, which has received funding support from the Chair.

He preferred The Huntspoint Express? Okay with me. But  inferring that my class operation for students was undeserving of support was pure Paris bullshit. I’ve operated without D:F/M support for years, getting my primary support from Hunter ICIT while thwarting interference from Colleagues and chairs. What really bugged him (and others) was  all the attention the WORD had been and is receiving for what it does for students serious about journalism.

It’s that kind of moronity of Colleagues that undermined the Envoy, a Hunter student population that had been adrift for years until I was hired and resuscitated it, only to see it corrupted by campus and department politics, largely inspired by D:/M colleagues.  And that goes for undergraduate journalism on this campus.

The gutting of the best undergraduate network operation for digital journalism and media at the City University of New York by Colleagues and staff in D:F/M is the most recent example. But that lunacy needs a separate blog, coming in the near future.

The WORD, was designed for me to teach journalism to students who take my classes and has operated independently of the department, which has never funded it, though there have been many efforts by Colleagues and chairs to interdict and interrupt when they were stymied from taking credit for it or taking control. It has been a key part of my curriculum and teaching and should have been respected as the way I choose to teach and a clear expression of my Academic Freedom preferences. Parisi and others have been targeting my AF for years and that is one of the primary reason for the internecine conflict between me and my department.

At a Aronson Awards ceremony in the Lang, when the awards still had some significance, Parisi announced to an assembled audience that the publication was a department project. I didn’t create a scene at the insult but I stopped, discreetly of course, supporting the Aronson Awards. And decided that one day Parisi would put his foot in his big mouth in a way that could not be ignored. Someone should tell Peter Paris that comeuppance can be a bitch. The chickens have come home to roost. More about this later.

Back to the topic at hand: What respectable journalism professors support news censorship? Another Colleague, Martin Lucas, also expressed support for censoring the WORD. More about Lucas later. Nevertheless, Parisi has yet to respond to the announcement to me. But according to the minutes of the November 2012 faculty meeting, a resolution was passed:

“Whereas the department of Film and Media is concerned that every email our colleague, Gregg Morris posts on Hunter=L include this language: “BOYCOTT the Aronson Awards – Tell Peter Parisi: James Aronson Never Supported News Censorship.”

Our concern is with singling out Peter Parisi by name. The department therefore asks that the administrators of Hunter-L determine whether this is a violation of Hunter-L rules and then communicate this decision and an explanation to the chair of Film and Media.
Karen [Hunter] seconds
All in favor, vote passes. Jay will take it to respective parties.

I was informed by the Hunter-L Powers That Be of a complaint lodge about my boycott tag. I was told that providing more context would address the complaint. That action was taken.

More later.

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