East Carolina University: Student Newspaper Adviser Fired After Publication of Streaker Photo

Category: Free Speech
Schools: East Carolina University

On November 8, 2011, independent student newspaper The East Carolinian published an uncensored photo of a streaker at an East Carolina University (ECU) football game. A university administrator warned The East Carolinian’s editor in chief that the newspaper would “face consequences” for the decision to run the photo. On January 4, 2012, ECU fired Paul Isom, the newspaper’s adviser. On January 6, FIRE warned ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard that by firing Isom in retaliation for the newspaper’s editorial decision, ECU had violated the free speech rights of its students. On April 20, 2012, Isom and ECU released a joint statement announcing that Isom would receive a $31,200 settlement from ECU and acknowledging that Isom was not fired for cause.