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U. of Texas regents remove prior review of campus newspaper

By The Associated Press
02.14.07

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas regents have relinquished their power to control the content of the Daily Texan, the student newspaper at the flagship Austin campus.

On Feb. 8, the board approved revisions to a trust agreement governing student media, removing wording requiring a university adviser to check for libel or other problems before publication.

According to the Student Press Law Center, Daily Texan is believed to be the only large daily college newspaper that isn’t published until after an adviser examines its contents.

The policy was rooted in 1970s-era campus unrest, but officials agreed it was now outdated.

The agreement requires the newspaper to obtain liability insurance and transfers oversight of day-to-day operations to the Texas Student Media Board, made up of six students, three faculty members and two professional journalists.

The agreement also calls for the appointment of an adviser who will train editors, reporters and student managers in media law and related matters.

"This new approach will not just teach them skills they will use as students but hopefully provide them with skills they will use in their careers," said Regent Vice Chairwoman Cyndi Krier, who was a Daily Texan reporter when the original trust agreement was approved.

Despite friction over the policy, prior review never led to widespread censorship, said Kathryn Lawrence, director of Texas Student Publications.


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