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November 3, 2009: It’s Election Day in Santa Clarita … get out there and vote!

Vote today!

With the general election upon us today, we’d like to take a brief moment to reiterate our endorsement of Randy Moberg for the No. 3 seat on the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees.

Moberg is going up against incumbent and board president Joan W. MacGregor. MacGregor’s service to the school and local community is well documented and appreciated. However, she has made it clear she has no intention of bringing back the Canyon Call, the student newspaper of College of the Canyons. School administrators shuttered the paper just prior to the start of the fall 2009 semester.

In an editorial that ran in The Signal on Oct. 18, the paper was frank in its summation of MacGregor’s candidacy: “No question, after 16 years of service, MacGregor has a thorough understanding of the college’s budget situation. But if institutional knowledge were the sole qualifier for office, John McCain would be president today.”

Moberg brings more than 30 years of real-world business and financial experience to the table and is a leader in the local business community. He is chairman of the board of the Valley Industrial Association and also serves on the COC Foundation board.

More importantly — at least as far as this web site is concerned — Moberg has stated publicly that he wants to bring back the Canyon Call. That earns him our endorsement, hands down.

As we’ve stated before, if you’re one of the 25,000 students who attend COC and want to express a written opinion in an open forum this semester, good luck. There’s simply no way to do it.

The newly formed Media Entertainments Arts Division — comprised of the RTVF Department and what’s left of the Journalism program — has an online publication, Cougar News, but it won’t have an Opinion section until the spring semester.

College administrators have said the transition to Cougar News was intended to provide students with what they characterized as an “up-to-date journalism education.”

We take that to mean a broadcast-oriented watering down of journalism. Whether Moberg has any chance of reversing the college’s ill-advised decision remains to be seen. But unless we elect him, we’ll never know.

For the past 40 years, the Canyon Call has provided journalism students with the opportunity to learn and embrace the importance of working as a team, building relationships, practicing proper ethics and hitting deadlines. These are qualities that serve students well once they leave the safety and security of college life for the outside world.

The Canyon Call gave all students the chance to express a First Amendment voice on campus, and it intangibly connected the student body and gave those who attended the college a sense of community.

The Coalition to save the Canyon Call has no intention of interfering with the academic process at COC. We merely want to see the newspaper restored and a stronger emphasis placed on journalism than what we’ve seen of MEA’s curriculum so far. There is ample evidence up and down the state that combining print and online versions of a student newspaper is an effective way to educate journalism students.

Our fear is that COC administration will attempt to use the “online” argument to establish Cougar News as a publicity vehicle rather than a First Amendment institution. This blurs the lines, and it could happen at other community colleges across California once it is allowed to take root at COC.

Please take a few moments to voice your opinion to one of the officials listed on the left-hand side of this web site. No doubt they’d love to hear from you.

No matter what the people in charge say about what little chance we have of saving the newspaper, we will not give up!

Click here to sign the online petition to save the Canyon Call.

Click here to join our Facebook group.

Now get out there and vote!

Number of days COC has been without a school newspaper: 72