Princeton University: Weaponization of No-Contact Orders Stifles Press Freedom


Princeton University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On January 25, 2024, FIRE and the Anti-Defamation League wrote jointly to Princeton University about its ongoing practice of allowing students to be granted no-contact-type orders against student journalists. As FIRE and ADL pointed out, Princeton appeared to be granting such orders to any student who requested one, absent even allegations of a policy violation by the journalists, or any modicum of due process. FIRE and the ADL called on Princeton to end this deeply chilling practice, which threatened press freedom by allowing students who dislike journalists’ reporting to respond with a no-contact order, effectively stopping future coverage. FIRE first wrote Princeton about this practice nearly a year earlier, in January 2023, after a student reporter for The Princeton Tory, wrote about her experience in The Wall Street Journal

In a speedy victory for FIRE and the Anti-Defamation League, Princeton amended its no-contact order policy on Jan. 26 to conform to parameters we recommended in our joint letter sent the day before.