Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2019

Capstone Advisor

Cheryl Reed

Honors Reader

Roy Gutterman

Capstone Major

Broadcast and Digital Journalism

Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Communication | Journalism Studies


This body of work sheds light on the obstacles student newspapers at public universities face while attempting to function as free presses. Public universities are protected by the First Amendment but some administrations take action to suppress those rights in their student journalists. Unfortunately, this trend has existed on college campuses for many years but the attitudes exhibited are increasingly paralleled by the relationship between the mainstream media and the current administration.

Universities will take measures such as cutting budgets, firing faculty advisers, denying open records requests and occasionally taking lawsuits against student publications to keep the truth from circulating. Through three news articles, this project addresses this history and its implications, examples of the types of behavior that characterize this conflict and case studies of two schools in particular, Western Kentucky University and the University of North Alabama.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, June 28, 2020