Texas cheerleaders can keep religious banners, judge rules

Texas high school cheerleaders have won the right to keep displaying religious banners at sporting events until their case goes to trial in June.The case first came up in September when the Freedom From Religion Foundation complained, after a tip from a local resident, about the religious-themed banners used by Kountze High School cheerleaders for players to burst through at the start of football games.A temporary restraining order allowed students to continue to putting religious messages on run-through banners. A Hardin County judge extended that order Thursday, telling the school district to cease censoring the speech on the girls' banners. In granting the preliminary injunction, the judge said the ban on banners was infringing on the cheerleaders' constitutional and statutory rights by prohibiting religious expression.“I think we were right on the facts and the law,” said David Starnes, the attorney for the cheerleaders.Before the hearing Thursday, the cheerleaders received support from both Texas Gov.

Amid breastfeeding professor controversy, American University discusses role of student media

The role of student media came under fire after American University’s student newspaper, The Eagle, interviewed an associate professor about breastfeeding in class. The story generated national attention before the paper ever even wrote about it, and Thursday, media and school representatives gathered to talk about the role of student journalism and their rights, as well as what qualifies as news.“Journalists serve the public interest, but that is not the same as what the public is interested in,” said John Watson, an American University associate professor who was one of the panelists on the forum held at the campus.The panel consisted of Watson, Director of Media and Interactive Journalism Amy Eisman, Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte, Associated Press Reporter Brett Zongker and was lead by Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Communication Rose Ann Robertson.The Eagle was unfairly criticized as a third-rate, sexist, anti-woman publication targeting faculty, hounding sources and asking biased and sophomoric questions, Robertson said.“They do make mistakes because they have the unfortunate liability of relying on human beings but it’s a very good paper,” Watson said.One of the functions of a news media is to put controversial issues on the public agenda, Watson said.

Athletic department threatens to revoke student magazines press credentials over its livetweeting

Like many college papers last Saturday, The Stony Brook Press live tweeted its school’s football game — only their tweets made no references to football.

The tweets (view a Storify here) prompted a threat from the athletic department to revoke the newspaper’s press credentials if they did not start using correct football terminology.