Open Letter: The Blue & Gray Press explains the change
On August 18, the University of Mary Washington student newspaper announced a revamping, which included the announcement of a new name, The Blue & Gray Press. Since that date, the announcement has been interpreted in some media circles in a manner that misrepresents our decision and intention.
We, as the editorial board, would like to emphasize that the main reasoning behind changing the name was to better connect the newspaper with the student body. As it stood, the previous name of the publication did not have a direct connection to the school community. Therefore, it did not reflect the university it served in the way college newspapers, and all school organizations, should.
The editorial board has no intention of disrespecting the history upon which our school rests. We specifically chose a new name that represents the spirit of the school and acknowledges the history of UMW and Fredericksburg’s region. The name Blue & Gray Press, which incorporates our school colors, respectfully presents a powerful image of school spirit, with a nod toward local history.
The Bullet, a name related to the word “bulletin” and the phrase “news as fast as a bullet,” had become dated and no longer represented adequately the student body nor the university. Blue and Gray symbolize both the community’s history and our school’s spirit. By choosing The Blue & Gray Press as our name we are connecting the past with the present to honor both our beautiful city’s history and our student body’s pride in an identifiable and meaningful way.
The Blue & Gray Press is a symbol of the school it serves and the locale in which it publishes. The name expresses our desire to be an even greater part of both communities in our shared future.
We understand and appreciate that some alumni and others within the UMW community, especially those who may have worked for The Bullet, may have regrets about this new direction. Changing our name is the first of many steps we are taking to revamp how student media reaches the UMW community more effectively. Stay tuned for changes in the design and the way we report the news to our community.
Announcing a new name is a powerful and symbolic way to initiate these changes. As independent student media, the decision to change the name of the newspaper was not in the hands of the administration, but rather an effort by the editorial board to better connect with the students and community.
One thing has not changed: The Blue & Gray Press remains your school newspaper. We are forever thankful to those journalists who came before us. It remains our intention to honor them with the kind of quality journalism they produced and would respect. We hope to continue in the tradition of fair and honest journalism and constantly strive to better serve the University of Mary Washington community.