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Our View: Media restrictions at Ithaca College

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012

Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 15:10

It’s a journalist’s job to find information its audience would deem important to their everyday life and to relay that news to them as quickly and efficiently as possible.  
But sometimes the media’s efforts to inform a community are obstructed by bureaucracy.

That is what students and fledging journalists at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.  are experiencing after the administration announced a new media policy beginning on Oct. 1  requiring all members of the media to go through the school’s office of media relations.

An Ithaca media official claimed, in an article by the college’s student newspaper “The Ithacan,” that the new rule was created to “better facilitate interviews with administrators and make sure the sources are the most appropriate.”

This new policy affects the members of Ithaca’s student newspaper, television and radio stations since they must now navigate a figurative firewall in order to interview 84 administrators, directors, deans, associate deans and assistant deans on campus.

At ASU we enjoy a relatively open access when it comes to getting in touch with important figures on campus.

We understand people like President Charles Welch and Chancellor Tim Hudson have busy schedules that require coordination with their respective offices, as daunting as that may be.

However, the policy that has been implemented at Ithaca puts a gag in both the news organizations on campus and the people who could be a source of valuable information for the professors who work underneath them and the students who are paying their salary through tuition fees.

A campus’ goal should be to have an open and inviting community, one where students don’t feel like the people in control are hiding something and trying to pull wool over the students’ eyes.

College is a place where information is shared in order to enrich everyone that puts stock in it, not one that places restrictions on the flow of information in order to benefit an administration.

We see how this policy could be beneficial in setting up appointments and getting appropriate sources, but fear it will just give administrators a way out of answering unwanted questions.

“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of Arkansas State University.

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