Working with that sports Info director behind the curtain…

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Alex Johnson, Cartoonist, UIS Journal

By Justin Schneewind

 Needing prior permission to interview college athletes and coaches has become the norm rather than the exception for college and professional sports journalists, who must often first go through the school’s sports information director or athletic director.

That goes for in-depth pieces and after-game interviews, in-person interviews, texts, e-mails, Facebook and other forms of communication.

Sports information directors, with the blessings of their athletic directors, are increasingly forbidding journalists to communicate with players or coaches unless the communication has been arranged first by the sports information director or other one of the sports information director’s staff.

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Student and professional journalists dealing with restrictions on sports coverage

By Frank D. LoMonte
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center


Fueled by billions in television and licensing revenues, college athletic departments are increasingly stiff-arming journalists by restricting access to practices and games. Meanwhile, media industry leaders are looking for ways to respond.

MugLogo_LoMonteThe start of football season in August 2012 brought a wave of new restrictions on journalists—professionals and students alike—who cover college athletics. Threatening to revoke press credentials or close practices, coaches at several schools, including the University of Southern California, Washington State University and the University of North Carolina, ordered journalists to refrain from reporting on player injuries observed during practices.

In recent years, colleges and athletic conferences have become increasingly assertive about controlling how media organizations use the information and images they gather at sporting events. Continue reading

Study Abroad offers journalism students unique opportunities

As globalization becomes an increasingly important part of modern life, universities are launching study-abroad programs in ever more remote and exotic destinations

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Editor’s Note: The main focus of this issue is study abroad, highlighted by this and another article by CMR Vice President Rachele Kanigel.  Kanigel is the executive director of   ieiMedia, an organization sponsoring journalism study abroad opportunities this summer in Italy, France, Turkey, Israel and Northern Ireland.

By Rachele Kanigel


In a rural province of Cambodia, a broadcast journalism student from California State University, Fullerton shoots video of a blind man being fitted with a prosthetic hand, a replacement for the appendage that was shot off in the 1970s when he was fleeing the Khmer Rouge.

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First Amendment Mileposts in 2012

Four noteworthy First Amendment cases for college media in 2012

By Frank D. LoMonte
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center


MugLogo_LoMonteWith the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Hazelwood ruling approaching on Jan. 13, the College Media Review asked the Student Press Law Center’s executive director, Frank D. LoMonte, to take stock of the state of free expression rights on college campuses –which, as LoMonte notes, “is a frequent source of litigation, as courts try to make sense of a shifting and sometimes muddled area of First Amendment law.”

During 2012, courts decided four particularly noteworthy cases directly bearing on the legal rights of student journalists and bloggers – including one especially significant case recognizing that the Constitution can protect advisers as well as students against retaliation by public institutions.

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When controversial coverage lands on advisers

Embattled advisers should look to alumni networks, training and legislation to protect their jobs.

By Debra Landis
University of Illinois Springfield

This year hardly had started before another college media adviser was fired following a controversy over student-managed content. Paul Isom, the student publications director at East Carolina University, lost his job after editors at the The East Carolinian newspaper published a full-frontal photo of a streaker among a series of photos on the front page. Continue reading