When the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit meets on Jan. 8 to hear Hosty v. Carter, it will make a ruling that could drastically reduce the rights of college journalists.
Student editors at two independent college newspapers found their independence threatened this fall when school officials attempted to insert stipulations into the newspapers’ lease contracts for office space that editors say would violate their free press rights.
A Florida college student newspaperthat fought to keep records public and a Michigan high school reporter who fought censorship at her school were recognized for their efforts by the Student Press Law Center in November.
The Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a city ordinance banning free newspaper theft in October, making it one of only a handful of jurisdictions in the United States with such a provision.
This fall the Orange & Black staff members had a choice: publish a controversial photo and risk a community backlash or self-censor and save the newspaper from possibly losing editorial control.
When students at Roger Williams University published The Hawk’s Right Eye, a conservative journal written by members of the campus College Republicans, they hoped their articles would bring attention to conservative political issues.
This year, three cases involving the distribution of religious material asked the courts to determine if student free speech can be censored by school officials who claim it violates the separation of church and state.
A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in September to prevent Shippensburg University from enforcing portions of its student conduct code that he said may violate the First Amendment.
In a nationwide telephone poll released in August, 1,000 adults were asked questions about corporate ownership of the media, journalists’ involvement in reporting on the war in Iraq and educating children about First Amendment freedoms.
While there is nothing new about students taunting and harassing other students, the introduction of the Internet to this tradition is causing some educators to establish school policies that punish students for off-campus speech.