Recent headlines illustrate that the struggle continues between student journalists and administrators on public university campuses nationwide. The back and forth centers on student journalists’ objective of reporting on the activities occurring on the campuses and administrators’ hesitance to provide the necessary information to ensure the students can do their jobs, as charged by the student newspapers for which they work. Examples of headlines include: “UCLA adopts policy limiting access to faculty work” (Santus, 2014, para. 1); “Purdue Exponent photographer detained by police while covering campus shooting” (McDermott, 2014, para. 1); “Appalachian editor calls for open chancellor search in front-page editorial” (McDermott, 2014, para. 1); “Oregon State adviser resigns over public records dispute with university” (Santus, 2014, para. 1). Journalism administrators, in particular, are working in environments in which they may find themselves at odds with university administrators from other disciplines or those more senior to them. This is an issue they should consider as they deal with these other entities and develop strategies for evolving their own academic programs.
This article examines issues of editorial control, prior restraint, and prior review on public university campuses in an important state in America’s heartland — Ohio. It provides a review of necessary literature; the method of the study; specific instances of issues of the struggle over editorial control, prior restraint, and prior review on public university campuses in the state; and concludes with final thoughts on what continues as a real problem for student newspapers throughout the United States.