“Merging vs. Founding” – A Story in Progress Part II
Further setbacks and an unpublished draft
It has been a week since I started research on the merging of the film department with other departments at the University of Mainz.
The story has slowly developed a little, but in doing so, it really has downsized itself. What was interesting to see is how the university is trying to change the framing.
As I feared University’s Press Relations was not helpful in getting any further information. Instead, they sent me to the vice president who finally told me to send a request in writing.
Here is what I asked:
– Will the fusion happen, if so when will that be the case?
– What consequences would the merging have?
– What changes will consolidation bring for a) jobs b) studying c) the existence of the fields of study?
– Are any other fusions of smaller departments planned?
– Can you say anything about the student petition?
The email, however, was not answered by the VP, it came straight from PR.
Changing the Frame
In three lines they responded that they are considering to found! an institute with the three departments, one of the reasons being to take better care of the students. However, they do not expect a final decision until several months from now.
It is interesting to observe how the university is calling the plans a founding process, not a merger. I have a feeling this rhetoric might become important as the story continues to develop.
The story gets smaller
Either way, that press release killed my story of the merging right there and reduced me to the student protest. I decided to start writing the piece when I got more detailed news from the student I had talked to before. The students actually consider the game lost and are now trying to get the best out of the situation for themselves. They are hoping on a negotiation meeting in about two weeks.
So my draft is still correct, because I wrote about the protest and the petition and the general problem. However, there is new, relevant information, but it is too much to really get it into the article. What to do? Write a new one, trying to get all necessary information in (a huge piece) or publish the version I have and write a follow-up article once the next meeting is over?
There’s nobody to ask
These setbacks apparently weren’t enough. When I tried to call my editor at the Mainzer Rhein-Zeitung today, I was told that she called in sick and won’t be there for the next week. They don’t know what to do about the higher ed page yet that they usually have on Wednesdays, two days from now.
I will call in again tomorrow and try to get an update on the situation, maybe some general editor can help me in figuring out what to do.
To be continued…