U Kentucky admin, student editors square off on sexual assault coverage
- Reason.com reports on litigation between the University of Kentucky and its student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel, over student and administrative privacy rights in reporting on sexual assault allegations against a professor.
- Administrators contend in a lawsuit that the reporting on a former professor who resigned following allegations of groping students has contributed to a reduction of reported incidents to the school's Violence Intervention and Prevention Center, a statistic broadcast to the campus by University President Eli Capilouto.
- Student journalists contend the school has denied repeated requests for Title IX information, and intends to marginalize issues of sexual assault in the eyes of the student body.
Administrators must work with the student press at all costs, because there is no certain victory over denying or stifling the work of student journalists reporting on serious campus issues. From many public relations perspectives, administration that looks to classify student reporting as amateur or incomplete, without first working to present all facts in helping them to get stories correct, gives the impression that university censors and silences free press, which invites distrust and potential lawsuits from students in a variety of areas.
Moreover, the press has connections to other press, and the notion of censorship is one which easily gains traction, and invites more scrutiny for more seasoned and influential journalists.