Harvard graduate school newspapers merge to survive

BY WILLIAM HARVEARST

Declining ad revenues and competition for readers online have dramatically altered the media landscape in recent years, and the consequences for Harvard University’s graduate school newspapers have been no exception to the general trend. Responding to rising administrative costs, plunging profits, and uninterested readership, Harvard’s graduate papers, long plagued by competition with the undergraduate Harvard Crimson and its vast staff of eager would-be journalists not yet jaded by the real world, have joined forces in a single publication. The Harvard Business School’s Harbus, the Harvard Law Record, and the Harvard Kennedy School Citizen will henceforth publish together under the banner of Harbus Law Citizen.

“Harvard’s graduate school journalists will now speak with one voice,” said Harbus editor and heir to a Greek shipping fortune Weerall J. Staristocrates XIV, adding “and by ‘journalists’, I mean our collective staff of maybe, like, five.” It is believed the new publication will combine the Harbus’ experience covering the business school party scene with the Record‘s ceaseless panegyrics to Ralph Nader and the Citizen‘s creative use of copious white space, earning what Staristocrates called “the ultimate cross-over readership potential”.

Editors from all three papers said the merger was part of a bankruptcy agreement that took place when the papers realized they had no assets to divide among their creditors except yellowing back issues that no one had read even before the death of journalism, and some ratty old Commodore 64s.

The deal was not without its casualties, but, uncommonly for layoffs under recent economic conditions, these had their upside. “Sadly,” Staristocrates said, “the Harbus was forced to release its ceremonial staff of 475 layout serfs, all of whom the editor had insisted were necessary to maintain the paper’s “high net worth” design scheme. The blow came after Harvard Business School refused to help capitalize the fledgling paper in the wake of a contributory negligence judgment that implicated it in the collapse of Lehman Brothers and AIG.

“Light!” one exclaimed upon reaching the top of the basement stairs as the Harbus‘ castle was emptied out following the merger. “Precious, precious light. I thought I would never see you again.” Layout will be handled by Record staffers, who reluctantly agreed to the job after the three grad school papers were unable to force any of their friends from the Graduate School of Design to miss the more drunken half of the gallery show they were attending on publication night.

The papers will also consolidate in the Record‘s basement offices below the Law School’s Ames Hall dormitory, or as Staristocrates characterized it, “the lowest circle of Hades, the furthest reaches of the deep.” Editors of the Citizen were asked to comment on the development, but none could be found at the time this article went to press, nor have any been known to ever really exist, ever.

The paper invites readers to submit comments on its inaugural issue, as long as they promise to contribute to the next, since we are really strapped for staffers and support. No, seriously, please, write something/work for us. The next issue will debut whenever the planets align and the next Business School “networking event” ever concludes, its Law School editors miraculously find themselves with hundreds of pages less reading, and the editors of the Citizen return from their externships in countries with really high Gini coefficients and Freedom House rankings, if there ever were Citizen editors.

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