Joint editorial: LACC’s student-run newspaper is being reduced to ashes


Photo Caption:
Photo Illustration by Zara Aleksanyan / Staff Photographer

Los Angeles City College’s student-run newspaper, the Collegian, is an award-winning publication that has been in continuous print for 80 years. Its staff of approximately 30 students works tirelessly to publish high-quality content while adhering to rigorous journalistic values. The Collegian is a training ground for writers, reporters, columnists and editors, as are thousands of other student-run publications that hold to the same principles, standards and ethics.

But LACC’s president, Jamillah Moore, has made calculated attempts to hinder the students’ right to a free press. She has tried to forbid a company working with the college from speaking to the student press; she has tried to pressure student reporters to sign releases for recording public meetings; she has violated California Open Meeting Laws by requesting that reporters identify themselves; and she has attempted to silence the Collegian by slashing its budget by 40 percent — when the budgets of other student organizations were cut only 15 percent. Adam Goldstein of the Student Press Law Center said that if he had to choose the biggest First Amendment offender in the country, he would most likely choose Moore. And now, Moore is attempting to move the Collegian under student services, where the administration would have the option to edit all content, monitor stories and determine the direction of the paper.

An attack on free speech anywhere is an attack on free speech everywhere. That is why we, the undersigned, have come together to universally condemn the actions of Jamillah Moore and the actions of any administration that makes deliberate efforts to break the free speech of student publications.

As students, we have been taught to expect an environment where freedom of speech will go uncontested. And as student journalists, we expect our administrations to understand that we strive to be an objective voice of reason. But we also recognize that any publication that disturbs the comfort of the comfortable will be challenged. Student journalists at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of New Mexico and the University of Oregon, as well as countless untold others, have seen such assaults on their rights. This cannot stand.

We, as student journalists, come together today with a single message: We will not tolerate administrations that, for their own benefit, try to silence the voice of the student free press. We will continue to rebuke those in power who attempt to diminish that freedom, and we will not be silenced.

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This editorial was published in and endorsed by the following student-run newspapers:

The Collegian, Los Angeles City College;
The Cornell Daily Sun, Cornell University;
CU Independent, University of Colorado;
The Daily Orange, Syracuse University;
The Daily Princetonian, Princeton University;
The Daily Sundial, California State, University, Northridge;
The Daily Titan, California State, University, Fullerton
East Los Angeles Campus News, East Los Angeles College;
FSView & Florida Flambeau, Florida State University;
The GW Hatchet, George Washington University;
The New Hampshire, University of New Hampshire;
Oregon Daily Emerald, University of Oregon;
The Rocky Mountain Collegian, Colorado State University;
The Roundup, Pierce College;
The Stanford Daily, Stanford University;
The University Daily Kansan, University of Kansas;
Washington Square News, New York University

Editor’s note: The Daily Sundial is supporting The Collegian in their fight for collegiate freedom of speech. It is our duty as journalists to fight for our freedoms under the First Amendment.