10.22.13

Grambling Officials Can’t Stand To See Dilapidated Equipment (So They’ve Fired The Journalist Showing It)

Posted in College Spurts, Gridiron, Sports Journalism at 4:00 pm by

Over the weekend, you might recall Grambling State’s visit to Jackson State result in a 1-0, victory-by-forfeit to the hosts.  The majority of GSU’s football roster failed to make the trip in protest over issues including but not limited to conditions at their practice facility, long bus rides to away games (while school administrators traveled by airplane) and the recent firing of head coach Doug Williams.  On Tuesday, allDigitocracy’s Tracie Powell reports the online editor of GSU’s student paper, The Gramblinite, was relieved of his duties over his coverage of the boycott.

David Lankster Sr. said he’s been fired after tweeting statements from anonymous sources and photos of dilapidated facilities using the newspaper’s Twitter account, and he accused the school’s Director of Public Relations and Communications, former journalist Will Sutton, of attempting to censor student journalists.

“I was behind it. I was the only one on the ground hearing from the students and players,” said Lankster, the former sports editor who has worked at the paper since 2009. “Sutton was trying to mute our voice because we were tweeting the real news, the truth about what was going on.”

Lankster said he began tweeting developments and student frustrations with administrators around Oct. 17. He does not recall how many tweets he posted, but said some of them have been deleted by school officials, but not before they had caught Sutton’s attention. Sutton, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, did not answer specific questions.

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