Michigan House delays anti-theft bill

\nMICHIGAN - A bill that would have made the theft of free\nnewspapers a punishable offense in Michigan is on hold after failing\nto make it out of a House committee last year.

House Bill 5536 provides that individuals who take 100 or more\ncopies of a free publication could face a maximum jail term of\n90 days and fines of up to $100.

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Battle brews over alcohol ads in college media

\nPENNSYLVANIA - A federal judge rejected a college newspaper's\nchallenge to a state ban on alcohol advertising in school publications\nin July.

The Pitt News, a University of Pittsburgh student newspaper,\nargued that the state's ban on advertising was unconstitutional\nbecause it violated its First Amendment free speech and free press\nrights.

Alumni group, university wrestle over control of magazine

\nNEW JERSEY - There is a growing struggle between university\nofficials and a group of alumni, faculty and students at Rutgers\nUniversity over who controls the alumni magazine.

The Rutgers 1000 Alumni Council wants to place an ad in the\nmagazine urging the school to reduce its emphasis on athletics,\nbut university officials are refusing to publish the ad, arguing\nthat Rutgers Magazine does not accept "advocacy advertising."

In a case that could potentially affect the ability of college\nnewspaper editors to reject advertising, the American Civil Liberties\nUnion of New Jersey is suing the university for rejecting the\ngroup's ad.

Richard Seclow, a 1951 Rutgers graduate and retired advertising\nexecutive who is a spokesman for the group, said Rutgers 1000\nhas a First Amendment right to publish its ad in the magazine.

"Constitutionally, [Rutgers Magazine] has the obligation\nto publish [the ad] under the First Amendment," said Seclow.\n"It also has the obligation to let the alumni know ... that\nwe have a dissenting view on what we call the professionalization\nof sports at Rutgers."

Rutgers 1000 opposes the school's joining the Big East sports\nconference and its renewed efforts to improve big-time sports,\nsuch as football and basketball, at the university.

Rutgers University officials declined to comment on the case,\nbut David R.

Blue Springs student reconsiders stance

\nMISSOURI - High school student Jon David was adamant about\ngetting his newspaper's adviser back when she was fired last summer.

David and fellow students filed a federal class action lawsuit\nagainst the school district, claiming their First Amendment rights\nwere violated by the attempt to censor their newspaper, The\nJaguar Journal. They spoke to the media, praising Valerie\nHalas as an adviser and demanding her return.

"She taught us about real journalism," David said\nin the March Teacher magazine.

Southern Illinois reporter defeats subpoena

ILLINOIS - The student newspaper at Southern Illinois\nUniversity at Carbondale defeated a May attempt by an Illinois\npublic defender to gain access to a student reporter's notes.\nThe attorney was hoping to subpoena notes taken by the reporter\nwhile covering the murder of a Southern Illinois University student.

"The public defender essentially wanted to show someone\non the witness stand was lying," said Amy Gherna, an attorney\nat Craven and Thornton law firm in Springfield, Ill., who represented\nthe student newspaper.