Who controls the purse strings at your newspaper?

When an alumnus of Middle Tennessee State University heard the university was contemplating a proposal to switch the publishing control of the campus newspaper from student affairs to the journalism department, his initial concern was the potential threat to editorial content.

Unsure of the motivation behind the proposed change, Jeffrey Syracuse's inclination was that the journalism department was attempting to have financial and thus editorial control over Sidelines. He viewed the move as a threat to the students' press rights.

'I don't see how the paper could be completely editorial independent if it is under the journalism department, where there is a possibility of [professors] having some editorial control,' he said.

In the end the university decided to leave the newspaper under the supervision of student affairs.

Pa. reviews anti-Hazelwood measure

Thirteen years after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, student-press advocates continue to fight for the rights of student journalists taken away by that ruling.

The most immediate movement is in Pennsylvania, where the Pennsylvania School Press Association is rallying support to oppose proposed changes to the state school code that would put limits on what student publications can publish and remove protections that have been in the code since 1984.

New regulations, proposed by the state board of education, would reduce approximately 24 paragraphs that detail specific protection for student journalists to four paragraphs of broad regulations.

For example, the current guidelines state that 'students have the right to express themselves unless the expression ' threatens immediate harm to the welfare of the school or community.' The new legislation would remove the word 'immediately,' a change that troubles student-press advocates.

Editor narrowly avoids dismissal

LOUISIANA ' The campus newspaper and student government at Northwestern State University fought a heated battle this fall that almost led to the dismissal of the student newspaper editor.

In a 23-4 vote, the student senate decided to remove Rondray Hill as editor of The Current Sauce for refusing to publish the minutes of student senate meetings.