Resolution Two 2006

Resolution Two: A Motion In Support of the First Amendment Rights of Students and Protection of Faculty Advisers to Student Media

Moved: Barbara Reed, Rutgers.
Endorsed: Resolutions Committee, Standing Committee on Professional Freedom and Responsibility.

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Whereas, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication repeatedly has affirmed a First Amendment right for the student media at both public and private colleges and universities, and

Whereas, increasingly college and university administrators have sought prior control of content in the student media by coercing, penalizing, or dismissing faculty advisers to the student media, and

Whereas, prior control of the student-media content by any means is repugnant to those who believe in a free press and the First Amendment and sets a damaging example of bad citizenship for students and the public,

Therefore be it resolved that,

1. The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication hereby affirms:

a. That advisers to student media should not be put in positions requiring them to control content of the media they advise at public or private colleges and universities; and

b. That college and university administrations, both public and private, should not expect student advisers to student media to determine content or give approval for content appearing in the student media, and

c. That advisers to student media at public and private colleges and universities should not be obliged to seek permission of administrators for the use of and placement of any content in the student media.

d. That no adviser to student media should be removed, punished, or face other sanctions because of content published or broadcast by student media.

And be it further resolved that:

2. The leadership of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication:

a. Communicate to the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) the membership’s deep concern over examples of administration abrogation of the letter and spirit of the First Amendment in curricular and extra-curricular journalism activities at public and private schools around the country and urge that such behavior be given special consideration in accreditation decisions, especially appeals of site team reports, and

b. Communicate the sense of this resolution directly to the administration of any college or university, public or private, that is seen to be exercising control of student-press content through the faculty adviser.

c. Publicize each and every example of bad faith among colleges and universities respecting the First Amendment in curricular and extra-curricular activities through member publications and through press releases to the media. Stand ready to promptly work with the Student Press Law Center, the College Media Advisers organization, and other institutions and individuals in protecting the rights of students, faculty, and media advisers through any and all means appropriate.

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Offered to the business meeting of the annual convention of the Association for Education and Journalism and Mass Communication, Aug. 4, 2006.

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