Florida A&M officials announce new adviser for spring semester 2013, say they didn’t censor

The Famuan situation

By Debra Chandler Landis
Managing Editor, College Media Review
Student Publications Adviser, University of Illinois Springfield


Florida A&M University officials insist they weren’t censoring student journalists when they postponed publication of The Famuan for two weeks the month of January 2013 and required student editors who thought they had jobs for spring semester to reapply.

The decision to take these actions, university officials told the College Media Review and other media and media law organizations, stemmed from a libel suit filed in December 2012 against The Famuan and the university. The suit, brought by Keon Harris, says, in part, that the student newspaper wrongly reported that he had been suspended from Florida A&M because of his involvement with the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Continue reading Florida A&M officials announce new adviser for spring semester 2013, say they didn’t censor

Legal Issues: Florida A& M and The Famuan

Q&A with Student Press Law Center

The College Media Review’s Debra Landis asked Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, to weigh in on censorship and libel in the wake of a series of actions by Florida A&M in January involving the student newspaper, The Famuan. Among other things, the university temporarily halted publication, required editors who thought they had jobs for spring 2013 to reapply for their jobs, removed the editor-in-chief who had served in the top position fall semester 2012 and hired another student instead.

Asked how college media can avoid censorship, LoMonte says, “Getting your facts rights is the cheapest censorship insurance you can buy.” Continue reading Legal Issues: Florida A& M and The Famuan