According to a recent report released by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), there has been a rise in incidents involving the restriction of material provided by student journalists for their university newspapers.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) summarized the report in early December, highlighting its significance by noting: “The report also underscores the important, multi-faceted role student journalism plays in the civic health of college communities. Because financial shortfalls have gutted professional newsrooms, ‘college and university journalists are today asked to bear more responsibility than ever before.’”
Although there have been many isolated incidents that have drawn national coverage in the past several years, these new findings express grave concern that these higher profile stories could be “just the tip of the iceberg.” Often, student news outlets will succumb to administrative pressure to modify their reporting in order not to alienate the student body of their institution, or pressure not to publish ideas or opinions that may be perceived negatively or reflect badly on the university.
The AAUP report is well worth reading for those who are concerned about the state of free inquiry and student journalism on college campuses.