But when school officials attempt to censor by cutting funds, firing editors or some other indirect means, student journalists can have a more difficult time demonstrating they have a First Amendment case.
A prominent journalism academic said the court did not address the issue the student newspaper had wanted answered: whether Michigan public university governing boards are constitutionally exempt from the state's open meetings act.
Prosecutors have been tough on student newspaper thieves this school year, pressing charges against four people accused of stealing newspapers in two unrelated cases -- all in one month.
More than 8,500 copies of The Daily Utah Chronicle were stolen from campus bins at the University of Utah in November in what newspaper staff said was an effort by the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha to censor a letter to the editor about hazing.
CALIFORNIA -- Last spring three students who confessed to stealing student newspapers at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles were punished by an internal campus disciplinary process.
The Courage in Student Journalism Awards are presented each year to student journalists and to a school administrator or media adviser who have demonstrated exceptional determination and support for student press freedom, despite resistance or difficult circumstances.
Michael Vadnie, adviser to the University Chronicle, the student newspaper at St. Cloud State University, said the newspaper would remain "aggressive" in its reporting under his watch.
Urban students are more likely to favor greater means of expression ' such as airing an unpopular opinion or reciting profanity-laced lyrics ' while suburban students are more likely to believe the government should have the right to censor the press.
Settlement ends 14-year dispute between man and local newspaper
ILLINOIS -- A man wrongly identified in a suburban Chicago newspaper after editors used his high school yearbook photo to accompany a story on a drug bust settled his defamation lawsuit against the paper in September.
Many student newspaper staffs have faced situations like this in attempting to publish stories on homosexuality. But there seems to be just as many success stories where supportive advisers and administrators have said this is an issue that students need to be able to cover.