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SPJ pleased with Prof. Karen Bosley’s reinstatement to faculty adviser position

For Immediate Release:

Mead Loop, Vice President, Campus Affairs, (607) 274-3047, mloop@spj.org
Guy Baehr, SPJ Member, (732) 932-7500 ext. 8024, gbaehr@scils.rutgers.edu

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists commends the Board of Trustees of Ocean County College for its recent unanimous vote to reinstate Prof. Karen Bosley to her long-time position as faculty adviser to the campus newspaper, The Viking News.

The trustees' decision follows a federal judge's order temporarily reinstating Bosley as adviser while he hears a case brought by three student editors who charged that her removal was part of an effort by the college to violate their First Amendment rights.

SPJ urges the board to complete the job of restoring student press freedom at Ocean County College by also reversing her unjustified removal as an instructor in the college's journalism program and adopting a clear statement protecting student press freedom in the future.

Fact-finding committees from both SPJ and College Media Advisers found earlier this year that there were no good educational reasons for removing Bosley from the journalism courses she has taught for many years and that removal appeared to be part of an effort to intimidate and control the student press at the college by punishing the student newspaper adviser. Both committees recommended strongly that Bosley be reinstated as instructor in the journalism program she has created over the past 35 years.

Both reports, as well as a resolution passed last month by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, also called on the college to adopt a clear statement protecting student press freedom at the college.

Delegates at SPJ's national convention in Chicago adopted a model statement on student press freedom for colleges and universities. SPJ urges the board of trustees at Ocean County College to consider and adopt this model statement, as follows:

“Student media are designated public forums, and free from censorship and advance approval of content. Because content and funding are unrelated, and because the role of adviser does not include advance review of content, student media are free to develop editorial policies and news coverage with the understanding that students and student organizations speak only for themselves. Administrators, faculty, staff or other agents shall not consider the student media's content when making decision regarding the media's funding or faculty adviser."

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.


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