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College Media

Learning in Action

Edited By Gregory Adamo and Allan DiBiase

College Media: Learning in Action is a unique resource for journalism educators and students, media advisors, student personnel administrators, and students at any level  – undergraduate or graduate  – interested in learning theory and practice. Sixteen original, scholarly and diverse chapters encompass a wide range of methodologies that detail how students involved in college media organizations have formative experiences in a variety of different forms of publication and electronic media broadcasting. In part, the volume is assembled to help students and educators alike justify their practice and involvement at a time of change when new forms of social media, pressure to quantify learning outcomes, and budget issues in higher education are reshaping the undergraduate media landscape. This volume offers insight into how many journalism and media professionals began their careers and in doing so affirms the value of learning through direct experience and involvement.

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Chapter Eight: Laws, Rules and Regulations: Student Media Learning Through Obstacles, Obstructionism and Opacity (Susan Kirkman Zake)


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Laws, Rules AND Regulations

Student Media Learning Through Obstacles, Obstructionism and Opacity


When Chelsea Boozer was the editor of the University of Memphis’ The Daily Helmsman, the campus police repeatedly harassed her after the paper reported on a campus rape in March 2012. Her troubles continued when an editorial criticized the police because they violated the Clery Act when they failed to notify students of the rape in a timely manner (Gregory, 2012). Two university administrators threatened to file student conduct charges against Boozer and police created false reports about her (Student Press Law Center, 2012). Then, in May, the student government attempted to disproportionately cut the paper’s annual funding because, among other incidents, to cover the rape, Boozer pulled the reporter off a student government event. She routinely sparred with the university’s legal department over public records and its misuse of The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to withhold information.

Boozer is an example of how those working as student journalists in training rightly or wrongly run into various walls and obstacles. Often, the difficulties are created by the misapplication or misinterpretation of laws, rules and regulations. Other times, the same laws, rules and regulations help to empower student journalists as they work to report information on their schools.

Boozer, who received the College Press Freedom Award in 2012 from the Student Press Law Center...

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