Ill. governor approves college press protections

A new set of protections for studentmedia at state colleges will take effect in January after being signed into lawby Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) on Aug. 31.

The College Campus Press Act, passed by the statelegislature in June and signed by Blagojevich Aug. 31, declares any studentmedia outlet at a public college to be “a public forum for expression by thestudent journalists and editors.” The law also prohibits school officials fromexercising prior review, regardless of whether the publication is sponsored bythe school.

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SPLC View: Great news out of Illinois. By making allstudent publications at public colleges “public forums,” the new law willeffectively nullify the 2005 Hosty v. Carter ruling by the 7th U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals for student media in Illinois, including atGovernor’s State University, where the infamous censorship case began.Unfortunately, the decision remains in force in Indiana and Wisconsin, the othertwo states that make up the 7th Circuit.

Statute: College Campus Press Act, Public Act 095-0580(2007)