High school considers prior review of paper
Administrators at Grosse Pointe South High School have censored the school newspaper, The Tower, for the first time in its 75-year history. The censorship included the removal of a seven-line article about a fatal accident, and administrators are now considering prior review of The Tower.
Staff members were notified that the Jan. 29 issue will not be put out.
Tower managing editor Alex Lang said Principal D. Allen Diver alerted their adviser on Jan. 13, just an hour before deadline, that the story must be removed. The article reported on a traffic accident that involved a Grosse Pointe South student and another student’s father, who died from injuries when the student’s SUV struck his vehicle.
The article, based on an interview with police, did not name names or list sensitive information, but still the administration kept the next issue from being printed. According to Lang, Nardone read a statement that said, “At this point there will be no issue Wednesday,” and then told the staff not to ask him any questions.
The administration contests that the students’ First Amendment rights have not been violated and that the school still supports its student journalists.
Twenty-seven named Chips Quinn Scholars
Since the start of the Chips Quinn Scholar program in 1991, 148 newspapers and news organizations and 184 schools have cooperated to give students of color the opportunity to gain newsroom experience. This spring, 27 student journalists of color will work internships of up to a dozen weeks at 18 newspapers.
Scholars went through an intensive five-day orientation with veteran journalists and journalism educators at the Freedom Forum in Arlington, Va., before continuing on to their host newspapers.
John Costa, editor-in-chief of The Bulletin in Oregon, views hosting a Scholar as a way to give back.
“I think that all of us who have been fortunate enough to lead long and successful careers in journalism have an obligation to give another set of hopefuls a chance,” Costa said.
Writing coaches Mary Ann Hogan and Dick Thien will conduct writing sessions with the Scholars this year as well, and the Scholars will continue to be coached by journalists via e-mail during the internships.
College pulls papers over sex column
Late last year, editors of The Wagnerian, the student paper at Wagner College in Staten Island, joined a growing trend in collegiate journalism by starting a regular sex advice column.
But instead of catching the attention of students, the paper was noticed by the administration. The college pulled papers from the racks and threatened to fire Claire Regan, who has worked as the paper’s adviser for more than 15 years and is a Wagner alumna.
The column, titled “The Sex-Files,” ran in the Nov. 18 issue, and included a discussion of faking orgasms and a “man on the street” section with student quotes and pictures.
Hundreds of copies of the twice-monthly, 1,000-circulation publication were pulled from racks by the administration on Nov. 22 and piled into Dean Ann Love’s office.
According to Regan, it is unclear who ordered removal of the papers, which are still in administration hands.