The Harvard Independent

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The Harvard Independent is a weekly newspaper produced by undergraduate students at Harvard University. It is one of the leading hard-news media outlets on the Harvard undergraduate campus. It is the oldest weekly newspaper in Cambridge, MA and at any American university.

Origin and history[edit]

The Independent was founded in 1969 by students and alumni who felt the campus needed an alternative to The Harvard Crimson. The Crimson at the time reflected the left-wing turn of student organizations throughout the nation in the 1960s, and the founders of the Independent felt politically alienated from Crimson editors.

As the decades passed, the weekly newspaper, released every Thursday and distributed both on the Internet and to Harvard College student dormitories, the format morphed to that of an alternative weekly rather than a standard newspaper, with illustrated covers and four main sections: News, Sports, Arts, and the Forum (Op-Ed) section. In addition, the Independent also has several themed issues each year, including the annual The Game issue for the Harvard-Yale game, the literary issue, and the Sex Issue, featuring the results of a campus-wide anonymous survey on sexual practices and opinions at Harvard.

The Independent no longer has any political affiliation.

In 2006, the Independent was the first to report that Harvard student Kaavya Viswanathan's highly publicized debut young adult novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life contained "imagery, sentence structure, and paragraph organization" which was "strikingly similar" to material in Tanuja Desai Hidier's 2002 novel Born Confused.[1] Portions of Viswanathan's novel had previously been alleged to have been plagiarized from several other sources.[2][3][4]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Liu, Jon (May 3, 2006). "Yet More Suspicious Passages Found in Kaavya’s Opal Mehta". The Harvard Independent. (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on August 9, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007. 
  2. ^ Zhou, David (April 23, 2006). "Student’s Novel Faces Plagiarism Controversy". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved May 31, 2009. 
  3. ^ Smith, Dinitia (April 25, 2006). "Harvard Novelist Says Copying Was Unintentional". The New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2006. 
  4. ^ Zhou, David; Paras D. Bhayani (May 2, 2006). "Opal Similar to More Books". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved May 31, 2009. 

External links[edit]