After 143 Years in Print, The Columbia Spectator Will Be Shutting Down


To our Loyal Readers,

It is with the utmost regret that today we announce that after 143 years of dedicated, groundbreaking student journalism, the Colombia Daily Spectador will close its doors at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

As the Editor in Chief of this publication, I first must thank Spec for providing me with a community and a purpose here on campus. Columbia can be a lonely place, but with Spec as a constant in my life for the past four years, I have never felt alone. In fact, I’ve barely had a moment to myself, what with Spec constantly infiltrating every waking moment of my existence. But regardless, it has been an honor to serve this publication and the thrill of a lifetime to engage daily with a team of talented and driven editors, journalists, and all the other hardworking folks who contribute in innumerable ways to our publication. These people represent the best of Columbia, and I am lucky to count them among my friends and colleagues.

I also must thank our readers, who have continuously supported our content, tirelessly reading our news updates online and in print. I sincerely hope that our little newspaper has enhanced your time at Columbia in some small way, whether our long-form pieces have tugged at your heartstrings, or our op-eds have made you laugh with contempt.

Most of all, however, I feel that I owe the Columbia community an explanation for the sudden and surprising shift of fortune Spec has undergone. I must admit, the circumstances that precipitated this unfortunate event were altogether unforeseen and calamitous. It all started last fall, when our sports staff all unexpectedly quit at the same time, leaving us completely sports-section-less.

At first, we thought that this wouldn’t really be a big deal since no one read our sports section anyway, but what we hadn’t realized was that the sports section took up valuable retail space within our print issue that we now needed to fill with something else.

Then came the op-eds.

At first, they weren’t so bad. Students talked about the need for reform of the Core Curriculum, their personal experiences with discrimination and micro-aggressions on campus, and the lack of school spirit. But when 2019 rolled around, the op-ed section took a dramatic turn for the worse when one titled “I’m a Conservative Lesbian: Lick it up” was published. This piece elicited so much outrage that the liberal lesbians on campus wrote a counter op-ed titled, “To the Conservative Lesbian: There’s a Reason None of us Want to Date You.”

After this, the op-eds spiraled: “A New Weight on My Shoulders” chronicled a student’s journey to lift weights, and “Columbia is Still an Elite Place, but not Like it Used to Be” made the case that students on financial aid should be grateful to, nay even thanking, full-tuition-paying students for subsidizing their education. These op-eds were becoming so ridiculous that they were being mistaken for fake op-eds by Columbia’s second-rate satirical newspaper, The Federalist.

But still, we thought that we could come back from this. That was when we found out that there was a double agent in our midst – a spy who had been giving our information over to our competitor, Bwog. For months, this person, who will remain unnamed, had been feeding Bwog our sources, leads, and slowly siphoning off our best writers, which is why I am the one writing this article today. This same person was behind the sports staff catastrophe and they had also been waging a campaign among the student body, convincing students to purposefully write the worst op-eds known to mankind. This person has been intimately involved with every mistake that we had made this past year.

Worst of all, as a result of this, Bwog was gaining traction as a legitimate news source. They were breaking stories before we even heard of them, like that we were closing. We were in the midst of a complete coup, and we didn’t even know it.

And I’m sorry to say it, but Bwog has won. We are closing down, and they remain the only source of news on campus, especially because as I’ve said before, The Federalist is a total joke. Welcome to the era of Bwog. Print journalism has been defeated once again. All hail Satan.

With nothing but regret,