Thursday, December 08, 2016

First Amendment?: What's that?

Ashe Schow reports at,
Student journalists at college and university newspapers are facing consequences for reporting on concerns that show their schools in a negative light, according to a report from the American Association of University Professors.

“It has become disturbingly routine for student journalists and their advisers to experience overt hostility that threatens their ability to inform the campus community and, in some instances, imperils their careers or the survival of their publications,” the report stated. “Administrative efforts to subordinate campus journalism to public relations are inconsistent with the mission of higher education to provide a space for intellectual exploration and debate.”

...The report notes a March 2016 survey of college and university media advisers in which more than 20 advisers said school administrators attempted to control content by student journalists. The advisers would not share their stories out of fear of retaliation. Even tenured professors are afraid to speak up, the survey found.

The report also found cases in which student journalists were denied access to key university meetings: “Even where student journalists are not directly barred from publishing unflattering information, image-conscious institutions may often achieve the same result by choking off access to information, at times in defiance of state laws guaranteeing the public, which includes student media, access to government meetings and documents.”

Student journalists are often the ones best able to report on college and university matters. They know the schools best and are in the best position to know about and attend events and meetings. Cutting off their access not only hurts students, alumni and donors, but also goes against the First Amendment.
Read more here.

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