May 12, 2007

Cornell American, Cornell Review Merge

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After a rivalry lasting several years, Cornell’s two conservative newspapers, The Cornell American and The Cornell Review, have recently united as one publication. The merger was a mutual agreement between members of both staffs during recent years when each side decided that the rivalry was outdated.

“In the last year or so, [the rivalry] kind of settled down, because the people who were originally responsible for it had graduated. There was really no more reason for conflict or competition,” said Greg Isaacson ’07, former editor-in-chief of The Review.

Originally, The Review had been Cornell’s only regular conservative publication. Ann Coulter ’84 helped found The Review during her senior year here at Cornell. According to The Cornell Review Online, the paper was founded “as a response to the atmosphere of liberalism prevalent on the Cornell campus.”

The American made its debut in 1992, but the publication experienced difficulties and fell apart until 2004 when, grad student Ryan Horn ’04 headed a successful revival, according to Will Cohen ’09, former production editor of The American.

Until the merger, The American was known as the “unapologetic and satirical” controversial conservative publication that “continually pushed the envelope,” according to Andrew Gioia ’07, former editor-in-chief of The American. On the other hand, The Review was often criticized by The American for having gotten soft on some social issues. These differences led to full-fledged rivalry between the two papers, according to Jordan Fabian ’09, former executive editor of The Review.

Gioia said there was variability between the two newspapers before the merger. “The Review is a lot more reserved than we are, and I think The American has long thought that to be too weak or ineffective on a campus so far to the left,” he said. “We are, for good reason, much more provocative, and I think The Review just doesn’t like that.”

Nevertheless, after months of discussion and negotiation, the fading rivalry came to an end a few weeks ago when Eric Shive ’07, The American’s editor-at-large, and Isaacson issued a press release of the union of The American and The Review.

For the most part, members of both sides said they are optimistic about achieving the main goal behind the merger. Isaacson and Cohen in particular said that they see the unification as an opportunity to create a stronger conservative presence on campus.

Gioia felt differently about the merger. “Though I don’t feel this merger was in the best interest of The American … I’m very confident in Will Cohen and our other writers in continuing to deliver hard-nosed and uncompromising conservative articles that will never succumb to political correctness,” he said.

Members from both staffs said that the new Review will represent a unification of The American and The Review by incorporating the aspects of each.

The new publication will maintain the name The Cornell Review, but the front page will reflect the involvement of The American by prominently displaying its name in the heading and adopting its slogan, “Limited Government, Traditional Values, America First.”

The paper will be run by two co-editors-in-chief, Cohen and Fabian.

As they work to fuse together the identities of the two papers, Cohen and Fabian hope for greater reader satisfaction through a larger staff and greater financial resources.

“We are hoping to bring an engaging paper that shines a light on a political belief overshadowed on the Cornell campus,” Cohen said. “Maybe we’ll change a few minds, or at very least we hope to entertain.”

“The first issue has our editorial explaining the mission statement of the paper, and after reading that I hope the readers will base their opinion of the new newspaper on the content of the paper and not the past rivalry or image of either previous newspaper,” Fabian said.

The first issue of the bi-weekly publication The Cornell Review will be published soon.