Alongside the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the College Media Association (CMA), and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has released a report, Threats to the Independence of Student Media, which shines a light on threats to student media and reaffirms and expands upon basic principles of a free student press.
The report cites multiple cases in which college and university administrations exerted pressure in attempts to control, edit, or censor student journalistic content. This pressure has been reported in every segment of higher education and every institutional type: public and private, four-year and two-year, religious and secular. The report finds that administrative efforts to subordinate campus journalism to public relations concerns are inconsistent with the mission of higher education to foster intellectual exploration and debate. And while journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable, it fulfills an important civic function.
“This report exposes restrictions on press and speech freedoms on campus and exhorts college and university administrators to educate students in the operation of our constitutional system by allowing students to engage in its most critical functions: seeking information, becoming engaged and informed, and speaking out on matters of importance,” said NCAC's Executive Director Joan Bertin.