By Dr. Richard Kallan
This issue of the Poly Post begins the Communication
Department’s thirteenth year as publisher of the newspaper.
Since September 1996, The Poly Post has been an instructional
unit housed within the Communication Department.
It is not affiliated with Associated Students Incorporated
(ASI), nor does it receive any funding from them.
Such independence allows the paper to function as both a quality
learning experience for student journalists and a trusted source of
news and opinion for the Cal Poly Pomona community.
The Communication Department’s vision of The Poly Post remains
the same today as it did twelve years ago: The Poly Post should be
a sound teaching and training tool integrated with the writing,
technology and design components of the Communication Department
curriculum – thus providing a hands-on platform for training future
journalists, newspaper designers and public advocates.
The Poly Post should be an editorially independent and balanced
forum for free and responsible expression open to all in the campus
community; protected by the First Amendment from censorship and
harassment by academic, student, community and administrative
groups; and bound by the journalism canons of fairness, accuracy
As publisher of The Poly Post, the Communication Department sets
broad policy (such as that outlined above), oversees the budget,
advises on key personnel matters and monitors potential issues of
Neither I nor any other full-time Communication faculty,
however, is involved in the day-to-day operations of The Poly
Indeed, we generally do not know of the paper’s specific
contents until its publication on Tuesday.
Doug Spoon serves as The Poly Post’s part-time faculty advisor.
An alumnus of Cal Poly, Doug was a Communication major and the
paper’s editor-in-chief in 1977.
He is charged with mentoring student journalists and supervising
the editorial side of The Poly Post.
Linda Perez, another Cal Poly alumnus, is The Poly Post’s
full-time advertising, marketing and business advisor.
She is charged with building and maintaining the paper’s
financial stability, which ensures both its survival and its
Several other Communication faculty, through the courses they
teach, also help train Poly Post writers. Such faculty efforts,
along with the work of Doug Spoon and Linda Perez, have enabled the
Poly Post to become a top tier college newspaper recognized for its
quality and integrity.
The accomplishments of the paper and its staff are clearly
visible. The Poly Post continues to win awards for its news
coverage, investigative reporting, opinion pieces, sports writing
and photography. Staff members have been selected for prestigious
scholarships and internships, and many former staffers now work as
professional journalists. Moreover, the Poly Post is seen as a
respected, objective source of information for the campus
community. To be sure, readers will not like everything the Poly
Post publishes, especially when the story is controversial or its
consequences are potentially negative. Some will want the Poly Post
to function simply as a campus cheerleader. But that is a
shortsighted view: no one-including the falsely
championed-ultimately benefits from such puffery.
The Poly Post will aggressively seek and present stories that
allow its readership to make informed decisions and act
intelligently. The opinion and editorial pages may be personal and
provocative, but the news pages will be fair and balanced. Readers
will experience the impartial voice of a credible paper whose
agenda is confined to illuminating the reader. A responsible
newspaper can do no less. If the Poly Post student staff strays
from that charge, it needs to be told. If you have comments,
questions or complaints, please write or call the editor, Daniel
Ucko, at 869-3530.
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