U.T. Tyler Administration Accused of Stifling Freedom of Press - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/8/02 - Tyler

U.T. Tyler Administration Accused of Stifling Freedom of Press

It started with an opinion article in the student newspaper at the University of Texas at Tyler... asking whether the money donated to build a new clock tower on campus might have been better spent. Now staffers of the "Patriot" newspaper say administration is setting the grounds for what they believe is censorship.

 

"We are asking questions, we are filing open records requests, and find out stuff that maybe they don't want us to find out." Now patriot staffers say UT Tyler administration is punishing them for their tougher journalism.

 

"They are trying to control the content of this newspaper and that is not right."  A board of only senior administrators will now hire and fire staffers... and determine quote- "character and policies" of the paper.  Power students have had along with adviser Vanessa Curry, who now has learned she won't be Adviser anymore.  Staffers say the solid journalism she teaches is why the paper is now award winning.

 

"The students have come back to me and said, 'administrators haven't told me what I need to know' and as a last resort I have showed them the laws pertaining to open records and how to file an open records request."  Journalists do that to get public information made public.

   

"Real journalists don't write stories that are going to improve, the image of the university, they write stories that are newsworthy, whether that be good or bad."  Channel 7 was told today that senior administrators were on-campus today but were not available to speak at all with us.  That includes provost Dr. David O'Keeffe who did speak to the Dallas

Morning news about students filing open records requests.  He said quote "you should bear in mind, I don't believe students should be getting into that. They aren't prepared to do that. They can do a lot of harm."

  

"Sometimes it takes faculty and administrators a long time to finally adjust to the fact that they're dealing with adults, not children." Communications chair Ken Casstevens says staffers, some older, some younger, are quite capable.  But for those getting their feet wet in journalism, might it make them back out.

 

“Will that affect their scholarships, will that affect whether they're picked to be on the staff?"  Melissa says when it comes to projecting a good image, that's not a journalists job, but it could be the patriot's future.

 

"They see this as a corporation, a money making corporation, and anything that threatens that or gets in it's way they're going to put a stop to it."

 

Provost David O'Keeffe did tell the Dallas Morning News the fact that Adviser Vanessa Curry's contract won't be renewed has nothing to do with tough reporting.  He said it just sometimes "happens."  The student press law center says the students on the patriot staff may very well have a good legal case, claiming violation of their first amendment rights.

 

  • NewsMore>>

  • Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-05-28 02:21:10 GMT
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
  • DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-27 14:46:22 GMT
    crashcrash

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>
  • Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:36:26 GMT

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly