We received the following email from Thad Parsons III, a former photo editor at the Chronicle, about the current state of the publication, and he's agreed to let us print it as a guest column.
I just read your comments about The Chronicle and I would like to say that as a former staff member, that from an internal POV, this decline has been long in coming. I was the photo editor in 2001-2002 during my Junior year at Duke. Starting my senior year at Duke (2002-2003), the paper started to go downhill ... at least internally, even if it was not readily evident in the output of the paper. During the 2003-2004 school year, I was still in Durham and noticed a still further decline in the paper. When I contacted the paper (specifically the photo department about helping them with training), I was not received warmly.
Unfortunately, The Chronicle has made some poor decisions that are not in the interest of the students who are volunteer journalists at the paper. Those decisions have caused some people to abandon the paper. It is unfortunate, that within a few years, the paper went from The Chronicle of Stone Cold and a defense of First Admendment Rights in the face of protests to a paper that seems to be intent on doing little more than stirring controversy within the student body.
It is also unfortunate, that little can be done to change the current state or affairs EXCEPT for one force ... the current student body needs to get involved and make themselves heard. Do not just sit by and stop reading the paper. The Chronicle is a student organization that allows people who want to be involved to be involved. So, go to 301 Flowers and become a writer or a photographer or a columnist. Then, make a difference in the editorial decisions that occur in that office.