Support flows in for #SaveStudentNewsrooms

One by one, the editorials rolled in, from Villanova, Arizona State, Boston University — among 135 student news sites and papers counted by Thursday night. These outlets fought together this week to keep school administrations away from their First Amendment right for free expression and independent reporting.

Here are excerpts from a few outlets, alums and supporting professional journalists, via the savestudentnewsrooms.com site set up by University of Florida student editors. 

  • “This academic year, we've updated our salary database of ASU employees, made an interactive map detailing where ASU gave the most parking tickets and, recently, covered the journalism school’s relationship with Sinclair Broadcast Group amid must-run controversy.” — The State Press (Arizona State)

  • “The young journalists who come to me most prepared are the ones who have left their blood, sweat and tears on a student newsroom keyboard … there’s no better way to scrape down to your bare DNA and see if a journalist lives there.” — Roy LeBlanc, assistant metro editor, Tampa Bay Times

  • “College students deserve a source of transparent information on the actions of their administrations. Whether or not a publication is independently funded draws the line between journalistic reporting and public relations. Regulated journalism is not truly journalism.” — The Free Press (Boston University), which almost folded in 2014, but alums kicked in $70,000 to save a weekly edition.

  • “Nobody will fully recognize the importance of their college newspaper until it’s gone, or until it’s forced into a corner where it’s only option is to serve as a mouthpiece for the university. As college newspapers, we check power, we record history, we give a voice to students whose words would otherwise remain unheard” — Jemina McEvoy, the independent Washington Square News (NYU)

  • “Those who are willing to put in the work at a student magazine/newsroom are the same people who make strides in their career goals” — UF alum Kevin Huynh, now fashion assistant at Wall Street Journal/WSJ magazine.

  • “I went to a small, commuter school in Denver that is not known for cranking out Pulitzer winners. ... In my student newsroom, I was surrounded by dedicated and diverse people who thought outside the box every single day. ... Without my student newsroom, I would not be able to pursue my education at a higher level and I would not be getting the freelance opportunities I am now. Plain and simple.” — Kaitlin Benz, MET-Denver, now in grad school at UC-Berkeley.

  • Cassidy Grom experienced censorship at The Echo, the Taylor University paper. It was allowed under the private schools rules, and it was applied on a story after the 2016 presidential election and attempted in a student election race. The threat of censorship “made me feel hesitant to pursue any stories that might make the university look bad. I’m thankful for my later internships in newsrooms which taught me to seek the truth courageously,” wrote Grom, who now directs the Student Press Coalition.

  • And one last round, from a famous former student journalist at Texas A&M:

Lovett

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