Letter to the Editor: Call For The Signal’s Statement

Editor’s Note: 

This letter was submitted prior to the publication of The Signal’s editorial or letter from the editor — however by it’s submission plans for social media posts and public statements had already begun, as well as the writing of the editorial. 

In writing this editorial, The Signal wanted every staff member to have the opportunity to participate and make their voice heard and that was taken as priority over publishing a shorter, quicker statement. The decision to write an editorial was made before protests had began in Atlanta.


My name is Victor Sledge. I spent the 2017-18 school year as an Arts and Living reporter for The Signal. During that time, many of my articles focused on social justice issues like the ones our country is currently engulfed in. As an independent, student-led media outlet, The Signal has made their positions very clear on issues facing Georgia State students, the local Atlanta community and our nation in the past. Recalling The Singal’s fervent support for lower income students and how they make ends meet in the 2019’s summer magazine and their diligent and thorough investigation into GILEE despite opposition, I expected The Signal’s social media pages and website to have not only news coverage of the current events, but also loud and clear support for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery (this is clearly not an exhaustive list) and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole.

Black lives make up most of our student body, most of Atlanta’s population and a portion of The Signal staff. The Signal has had a long history of award winning black reporters, black alumni and black readers, and I am disappointed in the hesitation to take a clear stance on the issue. The Signal owes it to their audience and the Black students that work with them to fully and clearly support the efforts that we are seeing around the country.

This is not to say that nothing has been done, as you have worked diligently to do live reporting on the recent protests. However, reporting on major social events such as the protests is the bare minimum of what we, as both citizens and journalists, should expect from our news outlets.

In Dec. of 2019, The Signal was revered for your call to take down the monument of Henry Grady, a scathingly racist figure in Atlanta’s history. The Signal staff members, including the Editor-in-Chief, proudly boosted that coverage. It is a shame to not see that same passion and fervor come as quickly and as clearly as it did then.

I, as a past member and current reader of The Signal, want to see my university’s independent newspaper make their position clearly and unquestionably known on the issue of the countless Black lives taken by the police and the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole. 

As journalists, we primarily have a commitment to the truth, and our job is to be forthright and unapologetic about promoting it. The truth is that Black lives are purposely and regularly taken by police, and media outlets have the power to expose and positively influence that truth. However, The Signal has not done that in any substantive way in the recent days. Now is not the time to be quiet or hesitant about your position on the issues, and we deserve — at least — a social media post or letter from the editor in support.

Please consider what you can do to make your position clear, and please consider ways in the future you can avoid having alumni and readers question how much The Signal supports Black lives.


Victor Sledge

Georgia State Senior, English/Journalism