Weekly Media Round-up: National Media Takes Quinnipiac to School, With FIRE’s Help

October 31, 2008

The national media has officially descended on Quinnipiac University (QU), with FIRE’s early efforts to end the injustices visited on the Quad News and the QU chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ) helping to pave the way.

FIRE’s press release issued Wednesday helped to bring a new wave of attention to QU’s shoddy treatment of the newly formed Quad News, as well as the administration’s threats against the SPJ for associating with that independent publication. Law professor Eugene Volokh is only one of many to take notice of FIRE’s warning to QU; the Free Expression Network and the Independent Women’s Forum have also taken note, as has the Netherlands-based PoliGazette. The Corner notes the irony of QU’s mistreatment of its student journalists, given its role as the home of a nationally respected media and polling operation. This sentiment is echoed by Greg in his most recent column for The Huffington Post, as we noted earlier today.

This week also brought a cascade of attention to QU from a range of national media sources, which is noteworthy in that FIRE has been following the issue with interest since last year and has been instrumental in helping put the issue on the national radar. We are pleased to see the cause of QU’s determined and admirable journalists aided by a recent editorial in The New York Times, as well as an article in the Associated Press.

We announced an important victory for free speech at the University of Oklahoma (OU) this week, a victory that was aided and abetted by not one but two front-page articles in OU’s student newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily. Monday’s headline about OU’s email policy coming "under ‘FIRE’" is a play on words we’ll never get sick of seeing and, judging by the Daily‘s article from the next day, it worked! Thanks to the Daily for its role in helping secure free expression rights in the final days of this election season.

Elsewhere, a pair of incidents garnering widespread attention last week has continued to make waves in the media. First, the recent questionable treatment of the Cornell Coalition for Life, a student group at Cornell University, forms the centerpiece of an article by Andy Guess for Inside Higher Ed. In Guess’ article, Adam observes that Cornell’s duplicitous response to the incident (read his Torch entry from last week to see just how duplicitous), is likely motivated at least in part by a desire to shield the administration. Says Adam, "A case like this is embarrassing, and that’s the real issue when you get to higher levels of the administration."

Second, FIRE’s efforts at Lone Star CollegeTomball featured prominently in an article in WorldNetDaily. It is at Lone Star, should Torch readers need a reminder, where the campus chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas has been threatened with probation and dissolution for distributing a satirical top ten "Gun Safety Tips" flyer. Be sure to check out the articleas well as our previous Torch writings on the incident.

Finally, Adam announced the creation of The Lantern: The Journal of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. With this being the one-year anniversary of our victory over thought reform at the University of Delaware (UD), our first issue will feature a comprehensive article examining the UD ResLife program in all its chilling detail. Minding the Campus has noted with anticipation the article’s release. As Anthony Paletta writes: "The Delaware program may be gone, but its advocates are still legion. The report is essential reading on an impulse to indoctrinate still far from dormant."

Schools:  Quinnipiac University Cornell University University of Oklahoma University of Delaware