STAFF EDITORIAL: Prior review goes against free press

Staff Editorial

We at The Daily Eastern News would like to give kudos to The Panther, the Chicago student-run newspaper at Chapman University.

Before a recent visit from former President George W. Bush, the paper pushed to have the opportunity to report on the visit. After being granted access, the paper was told it would not be allowed to record audio at the event or take photos.

The paper was fine with this until a final request was made of it. It was told it would have to submit the story to Bush’s office for final approval.

The Panther then made the decision to not cover the event.

It was later discovered by the staff that members of Chapman University’s administration were behind the request to view the story before publication, not Bush’s office.

We at The Daily Eastern News support The Panther for its decision to not attend the event to avoid prior restraint.

Prior restraint is defined as “when someone not on the publication/media staff requires pre-distribution changes to or removal of student media content,” according to the Journalism Education Association.

More specifically, this is a case of prior review, defined as “when anyone not on the publication/media staff requires that he or she be allowed to read, view or approve student material before distribution, airing or publication” according to the JEA. This is a form of prior restraint.

Prior review disrupts the free press, is completely unethical and is something that we at The Daily Eastern News will never do.

In order to provide our readers with the most unbiased and accurate reporting, we must ensure the articles we publish come directly from our staff to our readers’ hands.

We will not allow for people with a public relations agenda to come in and affect our reporting to paint a better image of the university.

We at The Daily Eastern News are encouraged by the actions made by The Panther and other student-run publications and will continue to listen to the words of the late Livingston C. Lord, “Tell the truth and don’t be afraid.”

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].