Monday, April 15, 2013

JACC Musings and the freedom of the press

I have decided I will continue to keep this blog more updated, despite my being busy with grad school.

I just got back from the Journalism Association of Community College's state convention held in Sacramento, CA this weekend. I had participated in this convention as a student in the past, even won a number of awards, and it was very interesting to do so as an editorial assistant for the journalism department at Mt. SAC where I currently work. There is a special feeling of having students go to workshops and learn about media law, public relations, editorial writing, social media and journalism and many other related topics. There is also something so awesome about getting there the first day and looking at the tables full of all the student produced publications in the entire state and later sitting down for dinner and watching an overhead slide presentation with the names of all these young people in journalism who are the future of our industry, most of whom are experienced and leaders in their respective campus publications.

Unfortunately our school did not receive awards this time around, on account of inexperience in our staff, high turnover of editors and a transition period with a temporary adviser who has nevertheless held the program pretty much together in the absence of our regular adviser. Speaking of leaves, I have been very troubled following the story of PCC's journalism adviser Warren Swil, who was placed on leave by Pasadena City College earlier this month. Most of us in the industry are concerned that this was a retaliation on the part of that campus' administration, even though the administration denies that.

It is troubling to even consider that our freedom of the press could be restricted by school administrators. I will continue to follow this case closely because I am intrigued by it and its possible repercussions. The latest report details that Swil is being helped by the Student Press Law Center, a representative of that organization also spoke at this weekend's convention.