Editor in Chief of USC Newspaper Resigns Amid Dispute Over Duties

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The editor in chief of University of Southern California’s student newspaper has resigned amid a dispute over job duties.

Zach Fox, who had served as editor in chief since the start of the fall semester, resigned Tuesday afternoon. He had been elected by the newspaper’s staff to resume his role next semester.

However, the student media board, which is comprised of student, faculty and administrative representatives, declined to accept Fox’s application, which outlined his objectives for changing job duties. The board has final approval over the editor position.

Michael L. Jackson, USC’s vice president of student affairs and board chair, said in a statement Wednesday that the 21-year-old print journalism major wanted to make “drastic revisions” to the job without discussion or consent of the board.

“In the weeks before his application submission, we made this position clear to him,” Jackson said. “We cannot make such changes without thorough review.”

Fox said he wanted to delegate the daily production duties and use his position to tackle big-picture improvements, including beefing up the Web site, recruiting more production designers and improving staff training.

“I wanted to make the editor in chief more of an executive and less of a manager,” Fox said Wednesday.

During his tenure, Fox also sought to obtain detailed budget figures for the paper, but the university declined.

University spokesman James Grant said there was no connection between the board’s decision and Fox’s request for budget figures.

A university task force still intends to review Fox’s ideas for improving the Daily Trojan, although Fox said he has no plans to reclaim the post.

“I would fight this battle, I really would, if I thought there was any way I could win it,” Fox said.

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