Hello, readers, contributors, and friends of New South,
You may have noticed that we’ve been particularly quiet in these last few months. While we’ve been working hard behind the scenes on issue 14.2, we’ve also been dealing with some financial challenges that have arisen due to some changes to the funding structure of student media organizations like us at Georgia State University, which we’d like to offer some transparency about.
The short version of the story is that some policies put in place by our university system have caused a shift in the way New South funds its operations, specifically its editorial board. Traditionally, the journal has offered small annual stipends to its few editorial positions (editor-in-chief, production editor, and our three genre editors) for their contributions to the curation and editing of the journal. However, enforcement of these new policies involves the prohibition of funding for any positions deemed “editorial,” under the guise of “not restricting the freedom of speech” of students who are paid with university funds. As the titles imply, each position on the staff of New South, with the exception of any volunteer readers, falls under the editorial umbrella, which means that all of our positions are currently unfunded and will remain unfunded until a new budget is established later this year.
Although we’re confident that we’ll find our way, the issue remains that as of the time of writing this, our superiors at the university have yet to secure a budget for any student media group for the coming fiscal year (though they are working with haste to do so). Typically, New South calls for applicants for its editorial positions on an annual basis, first calling for EIC applicants around February and for all other positions in March and April. Of course, the posting of these positions is contingent on the university allocating the funds for them. Because our budget hasn’t been secured, we’ve been unable to call for new or returning applicants to join the journal. This means that all editorial positions of the journal, including EIC, have technically been vacated as of May 1st, and will remain vacated until a new budget is established and applicants for the vacated positions are called for.
Now, the purpose of this post is not to question the enforcement or application of such policies, nor is it to start any kind of fundraiser to continue the operations of the journal; New South, like all student media organizations at Georgia State, will find its way somehow. However, these policies have put us in a strange, albeit temporary, position that demands transparency.
For our readers and contributors, all this means is that New South is going to be dormant for a little while, likely throughout the month of May and potentially through the rest of the summer as well. Submissions to the journal waiting in our queue will still be read with the same attention they always have been, although it will be a bit longer before we can get out our responses; as always, we respect the decision of anyone who chooses to withdraw their work from us due to our delayed response rate.
Our forthcoming issue, 14.2, will also still be released, though likely not until the fall of this year. We apologize for the continued delay of this issue, which is long overdue–but we’re confident that when it finally makes its way into the world, it will be one of the best yet.
While we take a step back and gather ourselves, we ask for patience from our contributors, readers, and submitters. Trust that we will be back soon, better than ever.
Thank y’all, and be well.
Ashe Prevett, Editor-in-Chief.
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