By MALCOLM McCRUMB
A new newspaper, The Krampus, will offer Allegheny students an alternate news source based on satire beginning with its first issue next week.
For founder Tyler Gund, ’13, The Krampus is an opportunity for students to take on news writing with a more laid-back approach.
Although many colleges publish satire in their official newspapers, recent controversies have arisen over satirical articles being published in student newspapers at Connecticut State University, the University of North Dakota and Reed College.
Pieces intended to be sarcastic were interpreted as literal and stirred negative reactions amongst the college community.
The Krampus, however, is not intended to provide accurate depictions of current events or topics, said Gund. It seeks to entertain readers by examining relevant issues through a humorous lens.
“Whereas The Campus is journalism, we are not,” Gund said. “We pretty much get together and try to make each other laugh.”
The Krampus is officially recognized by ASG, and its academic advisor is Professor Glenn Holland.
The paper’s name is a play on The Campus, but it is also derived from an Austrian-Germanic fairytale creature, the Krampus, that is said to accompany Santa during Christmas to punish bad children.
“I like talking about the idea that the owner of The Krampus would be this Austrian news-business mogul, sort of a riff on Austrialian news mogul Rupert Murdoch,” Gund said. “We’re going to be great.”
Libel, defined as the publication of false statements of fact that harm another person’s reputation by the Student Press Law Center, could threaten The Krampus’s with legal consequences. However, staff has worked to fend off possible suits.
“By acknowledging that featured articles are not meant to be taken seriously as factual representations, The Krampus is more open to satire and opinion—student contributors are not required to ‘report,’” said Eric Hoff, ’14, one of the public relations managers for The Krampus.
Luke Wronski, ’12, submitted articles for the first issue. He related The Krampus to popular national publications like The Onion.
“While being really sarcastic, you’re kind of being a bit more truthful in a humorous sense too,” he said. “You can get at the point very quickly.”
So far, The Krampus is in its initial development stages, with no specific topics of focus.
“As for sections, we figure this will evolve,” Gund said. “As we work on it more, we’ll naturalize them into the process of producing [The Krampus], but for now, we’ll gauge interest, see what people want to write, and frame our sections around the articles that have been written.”