The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s Communications Board meet to reform editor in chief selection process

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A two-hour meeting was held Saturday between members of UCLA’s Communications Board and senior staff of The Daily Bruin as a follow-up to their Wednesday meeting regarding the board’s oversight of the selection process of the newspaper’s editor in chief.

According to an email from The Daily Bruin’s current editor in chief Jacob Preal, the strike has largely been concluded, with staff returning as early as Thursday — one day after the strike was announced — and those who have not returned to work plan to return Monday. He added that the response from the Communications Board — an organization that oversees UCLA student media — was positive, and that The Daily Bruin’s staff plans to work to “create a better system than the one currently in place.”

Saturday’s meeting included discussion on the endorsement process for The Daily Bruin’s editor in chief position as well as the Communications Board’s bylaws and Constitution, according to an email from Tim Groeling, a professor in the communication department at UCLA and a member of the Communications Board. Similarly, Preal said in an email that the meeting covered the possible amendment of the editor in chief selection process.

Groeling said in an email that Saturday’s meeting was “professional and productive,” and that there was a lot of agreement between the Communications Board and The Daily Bruin’s senior staff. Groeling added that the focus of their meeting was to improve the process for the future.

“I would characterize the issue of the current editor selection as resolved,” Groeling said in the email. “I was very impressed with the insight and professionalism of the senior staff during our Saturday meeting. They are a very smart, dedicated group.”

In a letter from the editor, Preal said that The Daily Bruin staff has decided to rally behind the Communications Board’s appointed editor in chief. He added that the Communications Board has allowed The Daily Bruin to maintain independence from UCLA, but that the current selection process is “a long broken system.”

Preal’s letter said that reform is needed to increase transparency in the Communications Board’s selection process and to more adequately support The Daily Bruin’s interests. The letter also states that The Daily Bruin staff is seeking amendments to the Communications Board’s policies and procedures to achieve this.

UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association External Vice President Jamie Kennerk agreed that there is a need for better policies in the endorsement process. She added that she sees a resolution to the controversy in sight.

“While it is within (Communications) Board’s purview, I believe The Daily Bruin’s staff is closer to the day-to-day,” Kennerk said. “I am more a believer that the (Communications) Board should take the word of The Daily Bruin’s staff.”

Contact Leon Chen at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @leonwchen.