| a brief history of the free press
The first issue of the Bard Free Press was printed on March 14, 2000. As mentioned in the Free Press Statement of Purpose in this issue, it "was founded by former members of the Bard Observer staff--the managing editor, section editors and contributors both--who were dissatisfied with the quality of student journalism at Bard."* The present day state of journalism at Bard and specifically the Free Press is manifest in and by all of those who, today, choose to participate.
In October of 2003, SPIN Magazine recognized the Bard Free Press as "Best Campus Publication" in their First Annual SPIN Campus Awards. We don't know how exactly we wound up with this award, but we were sent a framed certificate, and the magazine printed the following praise.
Bard makes no bones about being the college to attend if you really want to think but don't necessarily care if you get a job after graduating. So why are we not surprised that its monthly magazine is the smartest around? The issue on the war in Iraq (cheekily called "the French Press") was far more politically savvy than other college pubs (many of which just regurgitated Associated Press dispatches), while the arts section boasted a quirky zine sensibility, with music coverage as lively as you'd expect from a school with a Punk Rock Prom.
*It should be noted, however, that neither the founders of the Bard Free Press nor any contemporary staff members of the Bard Observer are currently enrolled at Bard College and/or contributing to either paper, and so the present day staff of the Free Press harbors no collective grudge against or discontent for the staff of the Observer.
The Bard Student Newspaper Archive (linked) chronicles the history of student journalism at Bard until 1999, prior to the conception of the Bard Free Press.