University of Southern California: Student Journalists Faced With Reporting Restrictions


University of Southern California

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FIRE Victory

On September 13, 2018, student journalists associated with student news outlets at the University of Southern California — including the Daily Trojan and Annenberg Media — were told they couldn’t record or take notes during a “public forum” hosted by the university. The forum was intended to offer community members an opportunity to weigh in on the search for the university’s new president. The student journalists reported being warned that they “could not take down notes or quotes despite the session being a public forum.” FIRE wrote to Interim President Wanda Austin on September 14, 2018, calling on the university to reverse its departure from its own policies and California law. The following Monday, USC apologized and said the directive to student journalists had been a mistake.