thumbnail of Right to Know; The First Amendment: A 200-Year Test
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<v Narrator>The following program is a co-production of New Jersey Network and suburban Cablevision. <v Arthur Kinoy>The basic consideration is not a question of intentions. <v Arthur Kinoy>The basic consideration is the enforcement of the First Amendment to the <v Arthur Kinoy>Constitution of the United States. <v Joe LoGuidice>If enough of these are around, your First Amendment right is for sale. <v Joe LoGuidice>Unfortunately, mine is not. <v Mark Goodman>Again, the notion is you allow the government in to censor and it's not as if they're <v Mark Goodman>only going to censor the Liberals. <v Patricia Soto>And if something invokes a lot of feel, fears among some minority group of fear <v Patricia Soto>and hate. I think that that also should be censored. <v Allan Wolper>I'm Allan Wolper and this is a special edition of Right to Know. <v Allan Wolper>[music].
<v Allan Wolper>Welba Story, an old Chicago newspaper man said it is the newspaper's <v Allan Wolper>duty to print the news and raise hell. <v Allan Wolper>That's why 200 years ago, a Bill of Rights Congress got together to add some special <v Allan Wolper>individual rights to the Constitution. <v Allan Wolper>To give the press the right to raise hell. <v Allan Wolper>But media critics are saying that the press has too much power, especially in the light <v Allan Wolper>of what happened in the recent Democratic presidential primaries when people said <v Allan Wolper>the media went too far dealing with Gary Hart's extramarital affairs. <v Karen Mitchell>That was wrong what you guys did it. <v Karen Mitchell>I mean it was just to sell newspapers and report on TV and, you know, capture TV <v Karen Mitchell>audiences. That didn't have no effect on him as a political figure. <v Karen Mitchell>You know, because he had an affair doesn't, you know, affect his judgment and control in <v Karen Mitchell>a country. You guys ruined him. <v Karen Mitchell>You realize that? No, seriously. <v Karen Mitchell>And I mean, like millions of men out there cheating on their wives and you guys don't <v Karen Mitchell>report that. <v Allan Wolper>That Perth Amboy High School student was expressing the views of those Americans
<v Allan Wolper>who believe the media are probing too deeply into the personal lives <v Allan Wolper>of presidential candidates, but the tradition of a press watchdog has <v Allan Wolper>long been part of this country's heritage. <v Allan Wolper>And there will always be a healthy debate about how much the public has a right <v Allan Wolper>to know. The United States Supreme Court has generally upheld the media's right to <v Allan Wolper>probe as long as they tell the truth. <v Allan Wolper>The court earlier this year ruled that principals had the power to edit or censor <v Allan Wolper>high school publications and left open the possibility that college <v Allan Wolper>news organizations might someday lose their rights as well. <v Allan Wolper>The press, sensitive to public criticism, has been trying to police itself, <v Allan Wolper>concerned that its enormous power might be muted by irresponsible <v Allan Wolper>journalism. And the debates continue even at the high school level. <v Kenneth Rivers>I think the government's behind everything that the press does, because if the government <v Kenneth Rivers>feels that they don't want the people to know, they will let them know because they will <v Kenneth Rivers>keep it confidential and top secret like they always do.
<v Deliris Hernandez>The government tries to control the media, but really in some cases <v Deliris Hernandez>it can't because it tries to high secrets, but they find out about it sometimes <v Deliris Hernandez>they don't know how to hide it good enough. <v Allan Wolper>This student has his own First Amendment formula for deciding what the public <v Allan Wolper>should know. <v Frank Sorenson>If it can effect the American public then I think we should have the right to know. <v Frank Sorenson>We should know. If it's gonna affect us we shouldn't be hidden from us. <v Frank Sorenson>If it's not going to affect us then it's not that big of a deal, I guess. <v Frank Sorenson>But if it's going to touch anybody at all that lives in this country it should be known. <v Frank Sorenson>Should have the right to know. <v Deliris Hernandez>Do you tell them everything they have to know? <v Rosemary Pretigiacomo>I try. I do try to tell them as much, but I think more importantly, I triy to get them to <v Rosemary Pretigiacomo>think and to make their own decisions on what they should know. <v Allan Wolper>The New Jersey state legislature ratified the Bill of Rights on November 20th, <v Allan Wolper>1789, in what is now the Perth Amboy City Hall. <v Allan Wolper>It was the first state to do so. <v Allan Wolper>Kathleen DePow, the city historian, lives across the street from
<v Allan Wolper>that historic landmark. <v Allan Wolper>She says the signing had an ironic twist to it. <v Kathleen DePow>I feel it's very significant that Perth Amboy was a part of the Bill of Rights <v Kathleen DePow>because Perth Amboy contributed so much to the history <v Kathleen DePow>of the earlier colonial times by having been a Tory town. <v Kathleen DePow>What is a Tory town? A Tory town is a town that remained loyal to the Crown of England. <v Kathleen DePow>They felt we-we were rebels by wanting to be free people. <v Kathleen DePow>And the fact that then the Bill of Rights was signed here after having felt <v Kathleen DePow>that we shouldn't be free people, that we should remain loyal to the Crown is just so <v Kathleen DePow>incredible. <v Allan Wolper>Do you think we know what the First Amendment is all about? <v Kathleen DePow>No, no, sadly, no. <v Kathleen DePow>Um, it's two extremes I think. <v Kathleen DePow>There are people who don't have the slightest idea. <v Kathleen DePow>And then there are people who know what it is because they're testing it every day. <v Kathleen DePow>And I wish it was just that we were comfortable with it. <v Allan Wolper>The Supreme Court sparked a national of First Amendment debate last January when it ruled
<v Allan Wolper>that Robert Reynolds, a principal at Hazelwood East High School in Hazelwood, Missouri, <v Allan Wolper>had the right to censor his high school paper. <v Allan Wolper>The court said the principal should have as much editorial control as any newspaper <v Allan Wolper>publisher. Student journalists reacted by publishing underground or off campus <v Allan Wolper>newspapers. <v Allan Wolper>In Jefferson Township, in Morris County, New Jersey, officials scooped up 100 copies <v Allan Wolper>of a school publication called, The Brady Bunch Review, afraid the stories <v Allan Wolper>and it might produce violence. The unsigned material offered help to any student harassed <v Allan Wolper>by smokers, police, teachers or gays from a local bar. <v Allan Wolper>Detective Paul Hart is a township juvenile officer. <v Paul Hart>And identified this group as we and went on to say that we <v Paul Hart>were a nonprofit organization that, quote, gets off on breaking <v Paul Hart>people and things or things and people, I forget how they had it worded, <v Paul Hart>um but kind of indicating that they were willing to take on whomever, however, if
<v Paul Hart>the need would arise or if they were asked. <v Allan Wolper>Several papers say the student's First Amendment rights were being violated. <v Allan Wolper>Hart says, however, that the papers he spoke to would not have run a story like <v Allan Wolper>that. <v Paul Hart>If I called your newspaper and said, look, I'll pay for the ad, but I'd like to run an ad <v Paul Hart>and I'd like that he had to read, "Problems, someone picking on you, something bothering <v Paul Hart>you, smokers in the bathroom, so on and so forth. <v Paul Hart>I represent a group that's willing to do physical violence or damage. <v Paul Hart>And, you know, if you have a problem, give us a call." And would you and would you read <v Paul Hart>the newspaper on it? And virtually every one of them said no and I said well, why not? <v Paul Hart>And they said we're not that kind of newspaper. <v Allan Wolper>The media have been accused of being afraid to criticize their own industry. <v Allan Wolper>But some newspapers have hired ombudsman or reader representatives to handle <v Allan Wolper>reader complaints and sometimes write about them in their own papers. <v Allan Wolper>Ralph Williamson is the ombudsman for the Home News in New Brunswick. <v Allan Wolper>What do readers complain about most in this country?
<v Ralph Williamson>The use of anonymous sources, unattributed <v Ralph Williamson>uh material. <v Ralph Williamson>It's not a major problem of this newspaper, but it's a small problem <v Ralph Williamson>around the country. It seems to be a growing problem. <v Allan Wolper>Why is it a problem? <v Ralph Williamson>Well, I think it goes right to the heart of the credibility question. <v Ralph Williamson>If you can't tell the reader who the source is then the reader has no way <v Ralph Williamson>of knowing whether the material is is credible or not. <v Allan Wolper>But the Home News Ombudsman believes newspapers today are better <v Allan Wolper>than they've ever been. <v Ralph Williamson>By and large, I think the public is be, is well-served. <v Ralph Williamson>I think that the standards of journalism are higher than they've ever been. <v Allan Wolper>And now the panelists who will discuss those First Amendment issues, Robert <v Allan Wolper>Reynolds, won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that gave school administrators the <v Allan Wolper>right to censor or edit their high school papers. <v Allan Wolper>Nancy Louciana is a defense lawyer who tried to keep four victims of a
<v Allan Wolper>brutal assault by mass murderer Joseph Kalinger from being identified <v Allan Wolper>in a book. Wilbert Tatum is editor in chief and publisher of The Amsterdam <v Allan Wolper>News, the most influential black newspaper in America. <v Allan Wolper>Dianne Doctor is the executive producer of the W W O R TV <v Allan Wolper>Channel Nine Ten O'clock News Program. <v Allan Wolper>She was a former reporter at the New Jersey Network News. <v Allan Wolper>Richard Eitromm is the libel lawyer for the Asbury Park Press and a partner <v Allan Wolper>in the Newark, New Jersey law firm of McCarter and English. <v Allan Wolper>Reed Irvine is chairman of the Board of Accuracy and Media in Washington, D.C., <v Allan Wolper>an organization that monitors the news media. <v Allan Wolper>Arthur Kinoy is professor of law at Rutgers University and an expert on <v Allan Wolper>constitutional law. <v Allan Wolper>Joan Whitlow is the medical editor and a columnist for The Star-Ledger in Newark. <v Allan Wolper>Mark Goodman is executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Washington, <v Allan Wolper>D.C., which advises high school and college students on their First
<v Allan Wolper>Amendment rights. <v Allan Wolper>Now it is time to meet a person who claims he's the most misunderstood man in America, <v Allan Wolper>Robert Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds, are you a censor? <v Robert Reynolds>No. I don't consider myself a censor. <v Robert Reynolds>I consider myself a part of the editing process in the spectrum, <v Robert Reynolds>which is a school newspaper, at Hazelwood East High School. <v Robert Reynolds>We felt in our case that the Board of Education and Hazelwood School District owned that <v Robert Reynolds>newspaper. They paid for all of the printing costs, hired <v Robert Reynolds>the teacher who has a degree in journalism, provides the classroom and <v Robert Reynolds>all the equipment and materials that are used to put to publish that newspaper. <v Robert Reynolds>Um, I felt then and I still feel that I'm part of the editing process. <v Allan Wolper>Mr. Goodman, is- should he be part of the editing process? <v Mark Goodman>I think not. I mean, the whole notion is of hiring a a trained journalism <v Mark Goodman>advisor for a student publication is to teach students to make those editorial decisions <v Mark Goodman>for themselves. Once you get a principal involved in it, the chances are you're going to
<v Mark Goodman>get a student newspaper that really isn't news anymore. <v Allan Wolper>How newsy is your paper? <v Robert Reynolds>It covers the news at East High School that most of the faculty and students are <v Robert Reynolds>interested in. And we do not avoid any particular topics or points of view. <v Robert Reynolds>By board policy in our district number 328 <v Robert Reynolds>guarantees that students can write diverse viewpoints. <v Allan Wolper>Reed Irvine your a critique of just about everybody, you think that Robert Reynolds is <v Allan Wolper>right or Mark Goodman is right? <v Reed Irvine>I think Mr. Reynolds is absolutely right. <v Reed Irvine>The uh one of the things that journalists students are going to have to learn when they <v Reed Irvine>get out into the world is they're going to have to work for publishers. <v Reed Irvine>And the publishers have a voice in what goes into uh into the papers. <v Reed Irvine>A lot of journalists, a lot of reporters don't like that fact, but that's one of the <v Reed Irvine>facts of life. And it's just as well that they learn that while they're still in school <v Reed Irvine>is having to learn it the hard way when they get out and maybe lose their jobs as a <v Reed Irvine>result of going against something the publisher doesn't like or wants done. <v Allan Wolper>Bill Tatum, you're a publisher. What do you think about all this?
<v Wilbert Tatum>Jokingly, I might say that a great American newspaper <v Wilbert Tatum>once said, "That the only freedom of the press reposits <v Wilbert Tatum>with he or she who owns the press." Having said <v Wilbert Tatum>that, as the editor of my high school newspaper in Durham, North Carolina, and my <v Wilbert Tatum>college newspaper at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, I resent <v Wilbert Tatum>the idea of a principal of a school um <v Wilbert Tatum>editing what has been done already by the students <v Wilbert Tatum>and the student adviser. <v Wilbert Tatum>I believe that if the student advisor had passed the <v Wilbert Tatum>news and the copy, that the principal had no business getting into the act. <v Wilbert Tatum>[applause]. Now, if someone were to be fired, it would be that <v Wilbert Tatum>student advisor for not exercising good judgment.
<v Allan Wolper>Arthur Kinoy, you look like you're ready to say something. <v Arthur Kinoy>Well, I think we face a very serious problem because <v Arthur Kinoy>what has not been sufficiently understood and discussed is that the basic <v Arthur Kinoy>consideration is not a question of intentions. <v Arthur Kinoy>The basic consideration is the enforcement of the First Amendment to the <v Arthur Kinoy>Constitution of the United States. [applause] Which goes at the heart <v Arthur Kinoy>of the American system of government. <v Arthur Kinoy>There has been a very broad <v Arthur Kinoy>and in accurate reading of the Supreme Court <v Arthur Kinoy>opinion in the Hazelwood case, the majority <v Arthur Kinoy>opinion in the Supreme Court does not hold that <v Arthur Kinoy>school principals have the general right and power <v Arthur Kinoy>to edit or censor school publications. <v Arthur Kinoy>One of the dangers that we face in this country and I say to my friends <v Arthur Kinoy>in the press, learn how to read Supreme Court opinions
<v Arthur Kinoy>and don't over generalize them. <v Arthur Kinoy>And we are now facing a situation in which <v Arthur Kinoy>students must understand that when <v Arthur Kinoy>Justice White said that the first page of that opinion agreed to by the dissenting <v Arthur Kinoy>justices, Brennan and Marshall Blackman, that students <v Arthur Kinoy>do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of press or expression <v Arthur Kinoy>at the schoolhouse gate, that the court means that and you <v Arthur Kinoy>should not surrender one inch of your rights <v Arthur Kinoy>to publish whatever you believe <v Arthur Kinoy>is a useful, valuable idea. <v Arthur Kinoy>Even if it is an idea school principals do not like. <v Allen Wolper>Professor Kinoy, Professor, <v Allen Wolper>Professor Kinoy, the one thing we practice in journalism that we always accuse the law of <v Allen Wolper>not practicing is being fair.
<v Allen Wolper>Mr. Reynolds, how about replying to that, then we'll go to the audience. <v Robert Reynolds>I don't know of any or I will say for myself that I don't have a background in <v Robert Reynolds>journalism. I have no experience in journalism. <v Robert Reynolds>I have a minor in English, and that's as close as I'm going to come to to journalism. <v Robert Reynolds>The thing that I feel that the Supreme Court was addressing <v Robert Reynolds>so far is a principal's role. <v Robert Reynolds>We were not license to to censor newspapers, <v Robert Reynolds>and I would not ever do that. I believe in a First Amendment rights and the rights of <v Robert Reynolds>students as much as anyone. And I'm as strong as as Professor Kinoy in that <v Robert Reynolds>feeling. When you have a good, competent journalism teacher <v Robert Reynolds>and students that have a concern about a topic or an issue and comes to the principal <v Robert Reynolds>for it. I believe principals really should butt out and keep their noses out of it until <v Robert Reynolds>they're invited. I don't think the principal should have to read every article of every <v Robert Reynolds>newspaper produced that can lead to other problems.
<v Robert Reynolds>But the principal brings to that publishing process the same thing that he brings to <v Robert Reynolds>every decision that has to be made in a high school. <v Robert Reynolds>And that is good common sense and judgment and that- <v Allen Wolper>But Mr. Reynolds, do you agree with Professor Kinoy's interpretation of the Supreme Court <v Allen Wolper>decision? <v Robert Reynolds>That students have unbridled <v Robert Reynolds>or unabridged freedoms of First Amendment? <v Allen Wolper>He's hollering First Amendment right at you. <v Robert Reynolds>I know he is. <v Robert Reynolds>But the language goes on to state and I don't think that I'll quote this <v Robert Reynolds>exactly that but they don't have all the rights of adults in other places. <v Allen Wolper>Now, the audience and by the way, this is not all about Hazelwood. <v Robert Lee>I'm the student government president at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. <v Robert Lee>And as such, I am in charge of approximately 105,000 dollar budget for student <v Robert Lee>organizations, which also funds the student newspaper. <v Robert Lee>Now, I can be considered following the illusion of Mr. Tate and Mr. Reynolds, the quote <v Robert Lee>unquote, publisher and ultimate arbiter of the funds of this <v Robert Lee>publication. I could always pull funding at a at any point and I could always convince my
<v Robert Lee>board to do so. But that's not my job. <v Robert Lee>And that's why we have an editorial board. <v Robert Lee>That's why we have editors, because we put our trust in them, that they have their <v Robert Lee>judgment. <v Reed Irvine>Suppose it's one of the students put out a story about AIDS and identified all the people <v Reed Irvine>in your school who had AIDS. What would you do about that? <v Robert Lee>As far as the information I don't think people have a right to know about diseases <v Robert Lee>if if it has been proven that uh. <v Reed Irvine>Even if it's true. <v Robert Lee>If it's true, they have the disease. That's not the issue. If it's true that normal, <v Robert Lee>everyday physical contact is a transmission mode for AIDS, then we have a problem. <v Robert Lee>But unless you're putting a list of potential dangerous sex partners, that's that's just <v Robert Lee>garbage. <v Reed Irvine>So your good judgment, you would censor that huh? <v Robert Lee>I wouldn't censor that. I have a serious talk with the editor, though. <v Reed Irvine>What would you say to him? <v Robert Lee>I'd say I have a serious problem with this. <v Robert Lee>And what is your reason for printing this? <v Robert Lee>And what do you think this is supposed to accomplish? <v Robert Lee>I mean, again, intention always comes into it and intentions can be hidden and agendas <v Robert Lee>can be hidden. <v Reed Irvine>What if he tells you that you don't know your business? <v Robert Lee>She. She.
<v Reed Irvine>She says that's none of your business I'm going to print it. <v Robert Lee>Well, then uh I've I've known her for a while. <v Robert Lee>And I'd say and we're gonna have a very, very long talk before something goes on here. <v Robert Lee>I would have to moved- <v Reed Irvine>In other words you'd censor it. In other words, you'd censor. <v Robert Lee>I wouldn't say that. I can't say that uh directly yes or no. <v Robert Lee>It's a it's a judgment call that would have to happen in the the situation. <v Mark Goodman>I don't think what this points out is, is the notion that when you allow any government <v Mark Goodman>official, whether it be student government or anyone into the editorial process, there is <v Mark Goodman>the risk that they are going to take on the role of editor. <v Mark Goodman>And the point is, if they want to be editor, they should be editor. <v Mark Goodman>But they should name themselves as editor and not appoint someone else to that position, <v Mark Goodman>you know. If you've got a student newspaper at a high school such is as Hazelwood East <v Mark Goodman>High School, the spectrum, um and you're allowing the principal who is really the leader <v Mark Goodman>of that school to determine what is news and what isn't by influencing the editorial <v Mark Goodman>process, you're not going to get a student newspaper that does a very good job of <v Mark Goodman>covering that student that school. <v Allen Wolper>There's always that-this problem is something that happens in daily journalism as well. <v Allen Wolper>What do you print? Do you print the names of people who have communicable diseases?
<v Allen Wolper>How do you handle Joan Whitlow? What do you do with the Star Ledger? <v Joan Whitlow>Well, part of what you also have to think about, what's a news story, the fact that <v Joan Whitlow>given a number of people at any high school university out in the public <v Joan Whitlow>have AIDS, has AIDS may not be the story and it may rather be, how did that <v Joan Whitlow>list become public? <v Joan Whitlow>And in that case, I'd be more interested in making editorial judgment and how that list <v Joan Whitlow>became public and perhaps talk to some of those folks about how they feel about it. <v Joan Whitlow>Just running the names, you know, sometimes I think we do get caught up in the, you know, <v Joan Whitlow>we got the information let's show everybody we got and we got it first. <v Joan Whitlow>I don't think that necessarily rises to the level of the news story. <v Allen Wolper>Dianne Doctor, what happens when you get a story like that? <v Dianne Doctor>I think there's always a concern about using the name of a victim or <v Dianne Doctor>in this case, an an AIDS victim without their permission or consent, <v Dianne Doctor>consent or the consent of a parent. <v Dianne Doctor>I know that we have very strict guidelines in those matters-. <v Allen Wolper>You censor things too?
<v Dianne Doctor>Well, in through the editorial process, we decide what's appropriate <v Dianne Doctor>and what's not appropriate. I would not print uh I would not televise <v Dianne Doctor>the names of uh a number of AIDS patients if I was handed a list <v Dianne Doctor>and asked to uh televise it. <v Dianne Doctor>I think that would be a sensitive issue. <v Allen Wolper>That's the end of round one of this Bill of Rights Congress. <v Allen Wolper>We'll be right back right after this. [applause] <v Arthur Kinroy>[music] Do not confuse the word censorship with the right of <v Arthur Kinroy>the staff of a publication to decide what it <v Arthur Kinroy>is going to publish.
<v Joe LoGuidice>[music] With all due respect, Mr. Reynolds, from listening to your background, I believe <v Joe LoGuidice>you should have absolutely no say in any newspaper, whether it be high school, <v Joe LoGuidice>professional or anything. Anyone who doesn't know journalism should not have anything to <v Joe LoGuidice>say about it. And to Mr. Irving, to Mr. Reed and <v Joe LoGuidice>Mr. Reynolds, also listening to your def-your decision <v Joe LoGuidice>on why to censor the high school as paying for the publication <v Joe LoGuidice>and paying for the equipment. <v Joe LoGuidice>What that tells me is that enough of if enough of these are around your First <v Joe LoGuidice>Amendment right is for sale. Unfortunately, mine is not. <v Joe LoGuidice>The question is not the decision to censor this based on money. <v Joe LoGuidice>A parallel that could be taken into the professional world in censoring articles in <v Joe LoGuidice>newspapers based on advertising. <v Reed Irvine>The fact of the matter is that as was indicated earlier in the discussion was Mr. Lee, <v Reed Irvine>the things are being censored all the time by reporters, by editors, <v Reed Irvine>the reporters who decide that something is not newsworthy. <v Reed Irvine>They may be a tiny minority maybe it's something of great importance to the readers, but
<v Reed Irvine>because of their own personal interests or political interests or whatever, they decide, <v Reed Irvine>they're not going to tell a story. The editors may censor material and keep it up. <v Reed Irvine>That happens. I notice that Mr. Tatum is chairman of the board, CEO, <v Reed Irvine>and editor in chief of his newspaper, The Amsterdam News. <v Reed Irvine>Now, I'd like to put this question to Mr. Tatum. <v Reed Irvine>If you were to resign that post of editor in chief, uh Bill, and we simply to become <v Reed Irvine>the CEO and the chairman of the board. <v Reed Irvine>And you've got an editor who disagreed with you about Mayor Ed Koch and decided you want <v Reed Irvine>to run an article or an editorial saying that Ed Koch should not resign. <v Reed Irvine>Would that be okay with you and will you say that because he's the editor in chief, he <v Reed Irvine>should run that article? <v Wilbert Tatum>I would have no problem with it. As a matter of fact, I've had Ed Koch <v Wilbert Tatum>write a column in my newspaper or a letter to me <v Wilbert Tatum>saying how stupid some of our articles are. <v Wilbert Tatum>And he said that we had no right or we were being divisive.
<v Wilbert Tatum>And I've printed what Mr. Ed Koch had to say. <v Wilbert Tatum>I understand. But you see, I do. You raise a hypothetical here. <v Wilbert Tatum>Oh, I'm talking about a very real thing when I talk about a person whom I believe to be <v Wilbert Tatum>a clear and present danger. <v Wilbert Tatum>As um editor in chief, as editor in chief if I were designed <v Wilbert Tatum>to resign that slot, I would still have every right to write an op <v Wilbert Tatum>ed piece in a newspaper that I control. <v Mark Goodman>Allan, let me add something here. That fundamental distinction that hasn't been raised <v Mark Goodman>yet, the difference between Mr. Tatum and the difference between Mr. Reynolds is Mr. <v Mark Goodman>Reynolds is government. He is acting on the basis for authority given to him by the <v Mark Goodman>state. Mr. Tatum, as publisher of his newspaper, is a private individual and the First <v Mark Goodman>Amendment specifically prohibits actions by government officials and not by private <v Mark Goodman>individuals. <v Allen Wolper>It's time for some free space for the Bill of Rights Congress in the audience. <v James Leavitt>Yes, my name is Jim Leavitt of Redbank Regional and I'm the editor at the this year's <v James Leavitt>yearbook. And I have a question for Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Irvine.
<v James Leavitt>Do editors have the right to edit and to use their own common <v James Leavitt>common sense and good judgment? <v James Leavitt>Where does the job of the editor and the adviser leave off and where does the principal <v James Leavitt>take up on this? Is he on the staff box? <v Robert Reynolds>I think that the principal should only get involved whenever these students and the <v Robert Reynolds>adviser comes to him with a question or a problem or for his judgment, as I stated <v Robert Reynolds>earlier. That would be the only thing that I would bring to an editorial decision <v Robert Reynolds>is a judgment that I would exercise in any kind of question that came up <v Robert Reynolds>in my high school. <v Arthur Kinoy>Except for one thing, Mr. Reynolds. <v Arthur Kinoy>You, as a representative of the governing power <v Arthur Kinoy>of the state, you are bound by the First Amendment. <v Arthur Kinoy>You can not just use your good judgment. <v Arthur Kinoy>You have to follow the rules of the First Amendment and <v Arthur Kinoy>Justice White in the-as was the decision re
<v Arthur Kinoy>states the basic rule, which people tend to forget about <v Arthur Kinoy>a decision known as Tinker against DesMoine 1969. <v Arthur Kinoy>And all of you may remember that that's where students came into their school <v Arthur Kinoy>with black armbands protesting against the war in Vietnam, <v Arthur Kinoy>and they were punished for that. And the Supreme Court held they had the right of freedom <v Arthur Kinoy>of speech. What emerged out of that? <v Arthur Kinoy>A test for you, for the principals. <v Arthur Kinoy>You do not have the power, whether you like or dislike <v Arthur Kinoy>statements or material from a student publication <v Arthur Kinoy>to censor it, unless first it materially disrupts <v Arthur Kinoy>class work or secondly, involves substantial <v Arthur Kinoy>disorder or the invasion of fundamental <v Arthur Kinoy>rights of others. <v Arthur Kinoy>That's the test you must follow where you're dealing with a student publication. <v Arthur Kinoy>Otherwise, you have no power, even though you totally dislike
<v Arthur Kinoy>what is being said. <v Reed Irvine>The fact matter is that the Supreme Court decided to read and behave properly. <v Reed Irvine>So I don't know what your argument is. <v Arthur Kinoy>Only because she was this newspaper was being published <v Arthur Kinoy>as part of the curriculum in a journalism department <v Arthur Kinoy>for which students got on credit. <v Reed Irvine>Fine. Fine. Period. All- all, that he has to do is do what Mr. Tatum does, and he puts <v Reed Irvine>himself on the masthead as the editor in chief of the paper and he turns it over to <v Reed Irvine>students. That's all right. That would be all right with you I guess wouldn't it? <v Arthur Kinoy>That'll be fine. If some of those students are in that situation, call me and we'll go to <v Arthur Kinoy>federal court on that one. [applause and cheering] <v Allen Wolper>We have a question from the audience. <v Ahadi Bugg>If the principal is given absolute authority, couldn't key articles, depending upon <v Ahadi Bugg>the opinions of the principal, be edited, such as articles mentioning homosexual rights <v Ahadi Bugg>and other civil civil liberties? <v Ahadi Bugg>What if the principal were against students civil rights groups and did not allow them to <v Ahadi Bugg>voice their opinion? What if he disagreed with an editorial board's political <v Ahadi Bugg>preference? Could he censor clearly identified editorial opinion?
<v Robert Reynolds>The court directed that or part of the language, if I can remember it, um <v Robert Reynolds>that a school should be kept in a position of neutrality when it comes to political <v Robert Reynolds>issues. So I think you would have to, let's say that the editorial board of <v Robert Reynolds>the newspaper were pro one political candidate versus another. <v Robert Reynolds>There there should be balance, and I think that's responsible journalism. <v Robert Reynolds>But anytime that responsible journalism or the tenets of responsible journalism <v Robert Reynolds>is followed, then the principal, I don't think has any place to meddle. <v Allen Wolper>Of course, that's according to the principal. <v Robert Reynolds>That's true. <v Allen Wolper>The audience. <v Tom Davis>We've been talking about the legalities of uh legality questions regarding this decision <v Tom Davis>and everything more about the moral side. <v Mark Goodman>Allan, I want to respond to that if I can. I think this is a real fundamental problem of <v Mark Goodman>Supreme Court decision beyond the legality of it is we got to think of how we're <v Mark Goodman>preparing tomorrow's professional journalists and what we're teaching them about the <v Mark Goodman>government's ability to decide for them what is news and what isn't.
<v Mark Goodman>You know, I think that what we're saying is when principals come in and censor student <v Mark Goodman>publications, which happens all around the country at every um state and <v Mark Goodman>every county, sometime during a school year, when principals do censor <v Mark Goodman>they're teaching students indirectly to disregard this really fundamental notion of free <v Mark Goodman>expression, that hopefully we're hoping that that our students are gaining as as students <v Mark Goodman>and will have as an adult. <v Allen Wolper>Is it fair for us to keep saying keep using the word censor when everybody has <v Allen Wolper>editors who constantly cut your copy and make do horrible things to you because <v Allen Wolper>they have in the argument that you need a cut space and things like that. <v Arthur Kinoy>But if the state sends in a representative to your publishing office <v Arthur Kinoy>and says we, the state of New Jersey say you cannot publish that, <v Arthur Kinoy>then you've got a wholly different question. <v Arthur Kinoy>Do not confuse the word censorship with the right <v Arthur Kinoy>of the staff of a publication to decide <v Arthur Kinoy>what it is going to publish,. <v Allen Wolper>So federal government has FCC roles.
<v Arthur Kinoy>It is not a state publication. It's a student publication. <v Reed Irvine>Paid for by the state. <v Arthur Kinoy>You should go back and read. <v Reed Irvine>Paid for by the state. <v Arthur Kinoy>You should read this opinion that says, where is a student- <v Reed Irvine>I might, I might disagree with the opinion. <v Reed Irvine>I mean, that is you know, that's my right isn't it? <v Arthur Kinoy>Absolutey you're right but don't go around saying the Supreme Court has decided that <v Arthur Kinoy>the principals have the right to censor. <v Arthur Kinoy>It has not decided that. <v Allen Wolper>Let's go to the audience. <v Mike Eovino>Mike Eovino, I'm an editor for The Readback Regional Buccaneer. <v Mike Eovino>Now Mr. Irvine, this has to do with the probing into the backgrounds of candidates <v Mike Eovino>for office. Do you feel that morality is an important quality in a candidate for office? <v Mike Eovino>Do you think that it should be made an issue in an election? <v Mike Eovino>And do you think that candidates for office should be scrutinized a little bit more <v Mike Eovino>closely than just an ordinary person on the street? <v Reed Irvine>Well, you know, it was said earlier this year that character was going to be the big <v Reed Irvine>issue in the 1988 election. And uh this was after the Gary Hart affair.
<v Reed Irvine>Yes, I think character is a very important issue for a political candidate. <v Reed Irvine>Certainly once a candidate is elected, if he is elected to office. <v Reed Irvine>His character is going to get a lot of scrutiny, not only his character, but the <v Reed Irvine>character of the people that he appoints to office. <v Reed Irvine>And I have said and will say here again, that not only should the candidate be <v Reed Irvine>scrutinized, but we ought to know more about who he is likely to appoint <v Reed Irvine>so we can find out something about their characters as well. <v Reed Irvine>This is one of the things that uh the public has a right to know about. <v Reed Irvine>But it's one of the things I must say that the media are not very anxious to go into, in <v Reed Irvine>most cases. <v Allen Wolper>Let's get down to the nitty gritty. How many of you would publish a story? <v Allen Wolper>Or a series of stories about some student government candidates having affairs <v Allen Wolper>with people that they shouldn't be having affairs with at school. <v Allen Wolper>I mean, Gary Hart had to start somewhere, right? <v Wilbert Tatum>Allan, are you suggesting with a teacher? <v Allen Wolper>A teacher, not a teacher, a fellow student, someone running against them?
<v Allen Wolper>Somebody down here. <v Richard Eittreim>Got a lot of courageous journalists out there. <v Allen Wolper>There we go. <v Allen Wolper>You can give us some legal advice, Rich. <v Richard Eittreim>They're gonna need it if they try that. <v Joseph Biggio>My name is Joey Biggio. I'm the news editor of the Drew University ACORN and editor in <v Joseph Biggio>chief elect for next year. <v Joseph Biggio>Um, I think that publishing like what's going on with S.G., student government <v Joseph Biggio>candidates, things like that. I think that would be totally different because although it <v Joseph Biggio>may not make sense to say this college morality is different from real world morality. <v Joseph Biggio>[laughter] <v Allen Wolper>Would you explain that? <v Joseph Biggio>Um, I'd rather not. [laughs] It's just that people <v Joseph Biggio>what's going on in the real world, like in the United States with Guy Hart's morality. <v Joseph Biggio>He's going to have a lot more effect on a lot more people than <v Joseph Biggio>a student government president is going to have on <v Joseph Biggio>the- what goes on at the college or or the high school for that.
<v Allen Wolper>Not to the students at the college. <v Joseph Biggio>But how much- but the fact comes back to how much control does the administration <v Joseph Biggio>have over the student government? <v Allen Wolper>So what's the answer? Yes or no? <v Joseph Biggio>I don't think that it would be necessary to publish that information. <v Allen Wolper>Anybody here publish that? <v Allen Wolper>Well, that answers that question. <v Allen Wolper>What do you think, Richard? What would you advise them if somebody decided to print that <v Allen Wolper>kind of a story in a college newspaper? <v Allen Wolper>I know what Robert Reynolds would do. <v Richard Eittreim>I believe that they could be in serious trouble. <v Richard Eittreim>One of the things that these student newspapers and editors have to realize, that <v Richard Eittreim>they are just a subject to all of our common law, which is the libel on privacy law, as <v Richard Eittreim>The New York Times or any other paper. <v Richard Eittreim>Which is one reason I get a little bit concerned when we try to kick the principal out of <v Richard Eittreim>the picture. I think the students to some degree do <v Richard Eittreim>need guidance. And I think the problem is finding out how that guidance should <v Richard Eittreim>be delivered and what are the parameters for that guidance.
<v Richard Eittreim>I have to disagree with Professor Kinoy to some extent. <v Richard Eittreim>I'm concerned that the Supreme Court, while it did reaffirm the First Amendment <v Richard Eittreim>rights of students to to do to publish what <v Richard Eittreim>they need to publish and feel they should publish. <v Richard Eittreim>On the other hand, the bottom line of that opinion is that the principal gets pretty much <v Richard Eittreim>to do what he wants. The standard is whether or not the material <v Richard Eittreim>is reasonably related to pedagogical concerns, which is a very broad standard. <v Richard Eittreim>And I think what is needed are guidelines passed by boards of education, reasonable <v Richard Eittreim>guidelines, which they work with their editors to develop, perhaps even state laws <v Richard Eittreim>or regulations to put some better flesh on the very <v Richard Eittreim>loose standard that we have right now. <v Allen Wolper>Question in the back. <v Carlos Faris>My question is to Mr. Irvine. <v Carlos Faris>You said that the state pays for the publication and everything or <v Carlos Faris>Mr. Reynolds, they said the state pay for publication. <v Carlos Faris>But who pays the state us as taxpayers pay for the state?
<v Carlos Faris>So don't we have the right to publish what we want then? <v Carlos Faris>[applause] I'm Carlos <v Carlos Faris>A. Farir, reporter and editor [inaudible] Stanley College. <v Reed Irvine>I don't know how much you paid for what goes on in Hazelwood in the Hazelwood School <v Reed Irvine>District. I assume that the parents are the taxpayers out there and the school board <v Reed Irvine>is elected, I presume in Hazelwood is elected by the parents. <v Reed Irvine>And therefore is that is representing the taxpayers, right? <v Reed Irvine>I think they have some voice in it. And according to your formula, they are obviously <v Reed Irvine>entitled to have a voice in it. Right? <v Allen Wolper>There's a question right over here. <v Reed Irvine>[someone yelling from audience] Not you. We're talking about Hazelwood, right? <v Carlos Faris>But either way, either way, that the taxpayer there are paying to the state so <v Carlos Faris>they should have every right to make a decision without a principal or a government <v Carlos Faris>making the decision for them. <v Reed Irvine>And their elected representatives sit on the school board. <v Reed Irvine>The school boards have something to do with the appointment of the principal. <v Carlos Faris>Yeah, but they elected to decide either on the principal standard, they elected <v Carlos Faris>to know what's going on in school, not to stop publication.
<v Reed Irvine>Like your interpretation, that's your interpretation. It Isn't theirs obviously. <v Nancy Lucianna>I would like to expand on the Hazelwood issue. <v Nancy Lucianna>I totally agree with Professor Kinoy on the holding of Hazelwood. <v Nancy Lucianna>It was a very narrow holding, and I'd go a little further. <v Nancy Lucianna>It was even fact specific in that case. <v Nancy Lucianna>That case dealt with high school students who are dealing here with <v Nancy Lucianna>people who are under the age of consent. <v Nancy Lucianna>I think that case would be different if it concerned a university <v Nancy Lucianna>where we're dealing with adults, people who are of the age of consent. <v Nancy Lucianna>And I might add that the United States Supreme Court has always been <v Nancy Lucianna>extremely sensitive to children and to how things <v Nancy Lucianna>are going to affect the children. <v Nancy Lucianna>Here we're dealing with high school students. <v Nancy Lucianna>They're a little older than the term children and teenagers, but the court has always <v Nancy Lucianna>been very sensitive to that. I think perhaps if it dealt with the university, <v Nancy Lucianna>the result may have been different.
<v Reed Irvine>I agree. And I-that raises another question. We had a situation at Dartmouth College <v Reed Irvine>just recently. Where four students were disciplined, two of them suspended for <v Reed Irvine>18 months over an interview that they were doing for their newspaper, The Dartmouth <v Reed Irvine>Review, with one of the professors. <v Reed Irvine>They became a vexatious oral exchange, according to the uh president <v Reed Irvine>university. And for that, they were suspended. <v Reed Irvine>There were no blows struck. There was nothing disorderly about it except on the part of <v Reed Irvine>the protester who tried to take away their tape recorder and their camera. <v Allen Wolper>That's kind of a violent exchange. <v Reed Irvine>Well, that was on the part of the professor, but he was not disciplined. <v Reed Irvine>It was the students who were trying to keep their camera and tape recorder from being <v Reed Irvine>taken away. <v Allen Wolper>I'd be very upset if someone tried to take my tape recorder away. <v Reed Irvine>Right. Now, you see this Hazelwood's situation has gotten <v Reed Irvine>a lot of attention. How many of you know about the Dartmouth College situation? <v Reed Irvine>Let me ask you. Very few of you have even heard of it. <v Reed Irvine>And yet this is a very important issue of freedom of the press at the college level, <v Reed Irvine>which has just been just been pointed out as more serious.
<v Reed Irvine>Isn't the college, by suspending those students, in effect, sending <v Reed Irvine>a chilling message to that paper? <v Allen Wolper>You know, I think we're at where we're just beginning to get to something that Mark <v Allen Wolper>Goodman and I discussed, and that is unpopular thought on campus, in fact, <v Allen Wolper>unpopular thought everywhere. Mark? <v Mark Goodman>I think the Dartmouth situation is a good example of what <v Mark Goodman>many people don't expect to be a problem with censorship, but whether rather students <v Mark Goodman>with conservative viewpoints as opposed to liberal viewpoints who are being censored in <v Mark Goodman>their student publications and it's happening in high schools as well. <v Mark Goodman>If you read the Student Press Law Center's publication, you'd read about the Dartmouth <v Mark Goodman>Review situation. But we have high school students calling us every week with problems <v Mark Goodman>where they want to write a column um advocating prayer in the schools <v Mark Goodman>or they run write a story about a local group, a fellowship of Christian athletes, <v Mark Goodman>and are prevented from doing so in their school sponsored publication by a principal. <v Mark Goodman>Again, the notion is you allow the government into censor and it's not as if they're only <v Mark Goodman>going to censor the liberals. Censor across the spectrum, though, views those viewpoints
<v Mark Goodman>that they disagree with. <v Allen Wolper>Depends on what the principal believes in. Question. <v Beth Bressen>My name is Beth Bressen. I'm from Columbia High School, South Orange, Maplewood, New <v Beth Bressen>Jersey. I'd like to return to the issue earlier about someone who's running <v Beth Bressen>for public office and um the public's right to know about that candidate <v Beth Bressen>versus their personal invasion of privacy, which is obviously different for someone <v Beth Bressen>running for public office versus a private citizen. <v Beth Bressen>Um, I think what it what it comes out to is, <v Beth Bressen>is does does whatever it is that they want to print, you know, that the student <v Beth Bressen>government presidential candidate having an affair with a teacher. <v Beth Bressen>Does it affect how well the officeholder will perform his or her position? <v Beth Bressen>And I think that that becomes a judgment call and the responsibility of the editor <v Beth Bressen>of the newspaper. I think that the final responsibility should rest with them. <v Beth Bressen>And if it doesn't affect how well the officeholder is going to perform, I don't see why <v Beth Bressen>it should make a difference. <v Joan Whitlow>I think the morality of a candidate comes to question. <v Joan Whitlow>You know, the Gary Hart matter, shortly before he was followed by the Miami
<v Joan Whitlow>Herald, he he issued a challenge to the press, he said, if you've got doubts about me, <v Joan Whitlow>come follow me around and see what I'm doing. <v Joan Whitlow>There were questions [laughter] there were some questions being raised about his <v Joan Whitlow>judgment and judgment, I think is is a matter of concern for a presidential candidate. <v Joan Whitlow>There had been questions ra-raised about his womanizing, and I guess the issue may <v Joan Whitlow>be if he was doing what he was doing however innocent it might have been, <v Joan Whitlow>given the appearances. <v Joan Whitlow>How all that came together, should he have exercised better judgment? <v Joan Whitlow>So I think there were real issues there. <v Joan Whitlow>Allan raised the question of should you then write about a student government candidate <v Joan Whitlow>sex life to say to follow all the candidate, list the slate of candidates around and <v Joan Whitlow>see what they're doing in the evening? Probably not. If you've got one candidate saying, <v Joan Whitlow>I want to establish morality and chastity, chastity on the campus. <v Joan Whitlow>And you find out that person's having affair that might have a direct bearing on on their <v Joan Whitlow>campaign. Sure. <v Beth Bressen>Yeah. I think that there are going to be times where the morality of the candidate can be <v Beth Bressen>called into question, where it does have a bearing on the campaign that might have
<v Beth Bressen>that might or may not have been the case with Gary Hart. <v Beth Bressen>Um in and at those times, I would support, you know, publish it. <v Beth Bressen>Sure. And if it does pertain to the campaign. <v Beth Bressen>But that, like I said before, is a judgment call and the responsibility of the editor. <v Allen Wolper>Was the press wrong in publishing all that material about Jimmy Swaggart? <v Allen Wolper>Hardly a candidate. <v Wilbert Tatum>The part of the judgement on Gary Hart that I question <v Wilbert Tatum>is the ultimate stupidity of a candidate <v Wilbert Tatum>saying, please follow me when he knew what he was doing. <v Wilbert Tatum>[laughter] That is that's my problem with his judgment. <v Joan Whitlow>And with the uh Jimmy Swaggart. <v Joan Whitlow>This was someone who had built a multi-million dollar public industry <v Joan Whitlow>on morality and goodness. <v Joan Whitlow>And um if it had been Larry Flynt or uh <v Joan Whitlow>Hugh Hefner, it, of course, would have had a different but because of who he was <v Joan Whitlow>and what he was doing, that's why it was a news story.
<v Allen Wolper>Some questions in the back. <v ILene Davison>Yes. My name is ILene Davison, I'm opinions editor of The Observer here at Rutgers, <v ILene Davison>Newark. My question centers around a comment by Joel Judas earlier <v ILene Davison>when he questioned the authority of Mr. Reynolds to censor <v ILene Davison>or edit anything because he had no journalistic experience. <v ILene Davison>Mr. Reynolds, I believe, has the right upheld by the Supreme Court <v ILene Davison>to have a say in what goes in the newspaper of his high <v ILene Davison>school simply because he does not have a degree in journalism. <v ILene Davison>I don't understand why that makes him less qualified to know what is appropriate to go <v ILene Davison>in a paper and what not to go in a paper. <v Allen Wolper>And in fact, and so very reasonably, having a degree in journalism was hardly a <v Allen Wolper>requirement. The First Amendment is supposed to belong to everybody. <v Reed Irvine>Well hey, I would certainly agree with that. <v Reed Irvine>I don't have a degree in journalism. I've been a media critic now for nearly 20 years and
<v Reed Irvine>I never took a J-school. In fact, I'm not even sure J schools existed when I graduated <v Reed Irvine>from college. Some of the greatest journalists that we've had in this country have never <v Reed Irvine>been to journalism school and uh one of them, for example, is Mark Twain. <v Reed Irvine>The J-school had not yet been invented at the time he went into journalism. <v Allen Wolper>At this point, we'll have to take a break. We'll be right back right after this. <v Allen Wolper>[applause] [music] <v Wilbert Tatum>I have lived a long time and I've reported all over the world <v Wilbert Tatum>and I read the coverage here in the United States and it is selective.
<v Allen Wolper>Question. <v Barbara Morsa>Ah, Yes. My name is Barbara Moras and I'm from Duri University. <v Barbara Morsa>I hate to give up the opportunity to comment on Mr. Reynolds' comments, but <v Barbara Morsa>I have a question prepared and I'd like to address it to anyone on <v Barbara Morsa>the panel who might be willing to comment or answer it. <v Barbara Morsa>Uh Last night on the Morton Downey Jr. <v Barbara Morsa>Show, um. <v Allen Wolper>I knew we were going to have to deal with it. <v Barbara Morsa>I had to bring him up. I'm sorry. A guest was quoted as saying that Jesse Jackson <v Barbara Morsa>has escaped media scrutiny simply because he's black <v Barbara Morsa>and that reporters are reluctant to dig up anything on his past <v Barbara Morsa>for fear of being labeled as racist. Um, in light of what's happened to Gary Hart, <v Barbara Morsa>I'm just wondering how the panel feels about this. <v Barbara Morsa>Um, not that Jesse Jackson is in particular singled out to be a target of <v Barbara Morsa>criticism. But is there any reaction to this? <v Wilbert Tatum>Absolutely. <v Wilbert Tatum>Jesse Jackson has been more scrutinized than any other presidential
<v Wilbert Tatum>candidate in the history of America. <v Wilbert Tatum>There have there has been so much written about him. <v Wilbert Tatum>There has been so much rumor and speculation. <v Wilbert Tatum>It is absolutely sickening sometime, if you get <v Wilbert Tatum>newspapers from all over the country, indeed all over the world, as I do, <v Wilbert Tatum>to have the pious press of the United States and <v Wilbert Tatum>those who control the press say that Jesse has not <v Wilbert Tatum>been scrutinized. It's a- it's it's crap. <v Reed Irvine>Well, let me- <v Wilbert Tatum>Pure and simple. He has been scrutinized, exercise, <v Wilbert Tatum>victimized and every other kind of thing that you can name. <v Joan Whitlow>I think early on he was he was pretty much ignored as a political candidate because it <v Joan Whitlow>didn't take him seriously. And if you look at the kinds of coverage, the coverage <v Joan Whitlow>that was given to him was focusing on what was wrong with Bush, but not as Jesse Jackson <v Joan Whitlow>as a serious political contender. Uh, when when that began to change, I saw one story
<v Joan Whitlow>they were talking about his time schedule and the fact that he was always running behind <v Joan Whitlow>time. And anybody who's covered, any candidate knows, no-none of them show up on time. <v Joan Whitlow>They never keep the schedule. <v Dianne Doctor>I think that when we send a reporter to cover Jesse Jackson, um, <v Dianne Doctor>the scripts that I've seen, the stories that we've put on are <v Dianne Doctor>similar to the coverage of the other candidates. <v Dianne Doctor>With Jesse Jackson, we have uh we have it, I think that generally <v Dianne Doctor>we in the media have an approach we cover him as a candidate and we cover him <v Dianne Doctor>as a black candidate. He has a separate category established for that. <v Dianne Doctor>And that's, I think, unfair and it's wrong. <v Dianne Doctor>But um in my coverage personally, I've tried <v Dianne Doctor>to judge him as I would judge any candidate for the office and <v Dianne Doctor>uh and cover his words to that extent. <v Dianne Doctor>Um, that's about it I guess. <v Allen Wolper>Question. <v Bernadette Scott>My question is in response to Mr. Tatum's previous statements about what does
<v Bernadette Scott>not get covered. Take the recent New York primary, for example. <v Bernadette Scott>I feel so much time was spent on the sexy story that <v Bernadette Scott>the voters didn't get a chance to hear the serious questions. <v Bernadette Scott>What I really want to know is, is there a conspiracy in the media not to cover these <v Bernadette Scott>stories because so often they tend to agree on what not to cover. <v Wilbert Tatum>I suspect that there is and I think it's unwritten. <v Wilbert Tatum>It's unwritten and we call it the gatekeepers. <v Wilbert Tatum>Very often you will see things in black newspapers that <v Wilbert Tatum>are not reported in the white press until they are seen <v Wilbert Tatum>observed, such as the Tawana Brawley case broken in black newspapers. <v Dianne Doctor>I don't think there's any kind of concern. <v Wilbert Tatum>I. Let me tell you. I have lived a long time and I've reported <v Wilbert Tatum>all over the world and I read the coverage here in the United States and <v Wilbert Tatum>it is selective and I-and it's selected by everybody.
<v Wilbert Tatum>And let me tell you, if it's not a conspiracy, it's the damnedest accident I ever <v Wilbert Tatum>saw. <v Dianne Doctor>I think in a lot of cases, the conspiracy is on the part of the candidates. <v Dianne Doctor>The three candidates for the Democratic nomination each <v Dianne Doctor>day or the day before give us their schedules, their photo opportunities where we can <v Dianne Doctor>talk to them. What access that we have to them. <v Dianne Doctor>They limit the access to the candidate. <v Dianne Doctor>In effect, they're generating their own method of projecting that candidate's <v Dianne Doctor>image on the public. I think to blame us is unfair. <v Dianne Doctor>I think you can say there is a kind of pack mentality about uh about <v Dianne Doctor>journalists and coverage of the candidates. <v Dianne Doctor>But at the same time, you have to look at the other side. <v Dianne Doctor>You have to look at the access that we have to the candidates and then wonder why <v Dianne Doctor>all the coverage seems similar to you. <v Wilbert Tatum>Well, since you mentioned pack mentality, I have to back off. <v Wilbert Tatum>Because that's precisely what it could be. <v Wilbert Tatum>But I suggest to you that it's much worse than that. <v Reed Irvine>A conspiracy suggests that the journalists are getting together and they're deciding,
<v Reed Irvine>look, let's do this, let's not do that. That's ridiculous. <v Reed Irvine>They don't. <v Wilbert Tatum>No, no, no. That is not what I said. <v Wilbert Tatum>Do you know, the gatekeeper is? <v Reed Irvine>Well she said conspiracy. <v Wilbert Tatum>A gatekeeper. <v Reed Irvine>She asked the question. I'm not taking to you-. <v Wilbert Tatum>Assignment editors. <v Dianne Doctor>If anything, there's competition between the various outlets to try <v Dianne Doctor>to get the story, to get more information about the candidates. <v Dianne Doctor>There's no conspiracy. I don't call up the editor at Channel 5 and say, hey, <v Dianne Doctor>let's all do the same story today [laughter] on Jesse Jackson. <v Allen Wolper>Let's just go to the audience. We have an audience just dying to talk here. <v Reed Irvine>There is a mentality. I just want to agree with my friend Bill here. <v Reed Irvine>There is a mentality. It does determine what the is. <v Reed Irvine>Only thing is that the things that I think that some of the things I focus on, what they <v Reed Irvine>don't cover are entirely different than what he's complaining about. <v Reed Irvine>I'd like to see him talk about the Dartmouth Review case. <v Reed Irvine>And he doesn't care much about that, you see. But uh but that's a part of the mentality <v Reed Irvine>of the journalists. <v Allen Wolper>And you're a gatekeeper too are you not? <v Reed Irvine>I'm a gatekeeper too. Yeah. <v Arthur Kinoy>I think we should hear some from the audience. <v Kate Warkentin>My name is. <v Kate Warkentin>[applause] Hi, my name is Kate Warkentin and I'm an assistant managing editor of Voorhies
<v Kate Warkentin>High School's newspaper, The Viking View, and I would like to turn to the Hazelwood case. <v Kate Warkentin>I read in a magazine article before the Supreme Co-Court made their decision. <v Kate Warkentin>Mr. Reynolds vetoed a proposed story on AIDS, telling the faculty advisor the <v Kate Warkentin>climate wasn't right. I think this shows that Hazelwood's students are not allowed to <v Kate Warkentin>write about controversial topics. <v Kate Warkentin>And could you comment on why you said the climate wasn't right? <v Robert Reynolds>I'm glad you brought that up. Did you say your name is Kay? <v Kate Warkentin>Yes. <v Robert Reynolds>I'm glad you brought that up, Kay. That was a misquote in the newspaper. <v Robert Reynolds>I never, ever, ever said that the kids at Hazelwood East High School could not <v Robert Reynolds>write or report on AIDS or anything else. <v Robert Reynolds>I had a very casual conversation with my newspaper advisor and her department <v Robert Reynolds>chair person in the cafeteria one day while I was supervising lunch. <v Robert Reynolds>And it was one of those days that a lot of things were going wrong. <v Robert Reynolds>Fights. <v Robert Reynolds>um-. <v Kate Warkentin>Did they propose the story though? <v Robert Reynolds>Parents and so on. Let me finish. <v Robert Reynolds>And so I said, boy, this is one of those days. <v Robert Reynolds>I sure don't need any more problems.
<v Robert Reynolds>And then we start talking about the kinds of coverages and stories. <v Robert Reynolds>And I said, well, today would not be a good day for an AIDS article for me, only because <v Robert Reynolds>it just be one more problem that I would have to handle. <v Robert Reynolds>Now, when that came out was on January the 13th or 14th when we had a lot of reporters <v Robert Reynolds>around school. And that question came up from one of the reporters and they said, <v Robert Reynolds>has Dr. Reynolds ever prevented or killed any kind of story <v Robert Reynolds>from being written. <v Robert Reynolds>I don't know why she said it. She said, well, one day he jokingly said <v Robert Reynolds>that he wasn't ready for an AIDS article. <v Robert Reynolds>Well, the jokingly was left out. The casual conversation was left out. <v Robert Reynolds>I was misquoted in the newspaper. <v Robert Reynolds>And I've had that hung around my neck, and I've had to wear it ever since. <v Robert Reynolds>And I want to say here publicly, I never, ever said that they could not write on AIDS. <v Kate Warkentin>Have they written on AIDS? <v Robert Reynolds>I'm ready to write the story for him right now. <v Robert Reynolds>If they need it. If it would just solve it. <v Kate Warkentin>Have they written about AIDS yet? <v Allen Wolper>Question. <v Kate Warkentin>Have they written about AIDS in those paper? <v Robert Reynolds>No, they haven't. But it's not because they can't. <v Mark Goodman>You know, I think just points out a real interesting point, Allan, on the day the Supreme
<v Mark Goodman>Court's decision was handed down, the current editor of the Hazelwood High School <v Mark Goodman>newspaper was interviewed by by Television N-News and was on national news. <v Mark Goodman>She asked how she was asked how she thought this decision was going to affect her, <v Mark Goodman>their publication. And she said she didn't think it was going to have very much effect at <v Mark Goodman>all because they don't really cover controversial issues anymore, she says. <v Mark Goodman>Exactly the kind of situation that I think, you know, we're fearing will happen in a lot <v Mark Goodman>of schools. <v Allen Wolper>A lot of questions. <v Patricia Soto>Hello, my name is Patricia Soto and I'm presently the president of the Student Governing <v Patricia Soto>Association here at Rutgers, Newark. <v Patricia Soto>And my question is regarding victims and specifically the homosexual population here <v Patricia Soto>at Rutgers. Uh, The Observer, which is the school newspaper recently printed a letter <v Patricia Soto>from the heteros against homosexuals. <v Patricia Soto>And my re- my question is, does the editor have the sole responsibility <v Patricia Soto>or the sole right to print letters that are specifically targeting groups <v Patricia Soto>that will evoke fear, hate and disturbances amongst the uh student <v Patricia Soto>population? And as an elected official who has responsibility looking
<v Patricia Soto>after all the issues or situations dealing with the student <v Patricia Soto>population, what is my responsibility and how far do I go to prevent any kind <v Patricia Soto>of targeting to any specific group? <v Arthur Kinoy>Can I respond to that just for a moment? <v Allen Wolper>Sure. <v Arthur Kinoy>Yes. You have a deep responsibility. You have a responsibility first to write answers, <v Arthur Kinoy>letters opposing that letter. <v Arthur Kinoy>Secondly, you have a responsibility as representing the student body to organize <v Arthur Kinoy>public meetings in this school, which you're going to discuss precisely <v Arthur Kinoy>that type of danger. <v Arthur Kinoy>You've got to meet head on any dangerous ideas that are put forward. <v Arthur Kinoy>You meet in controversy. <v Arthur Kinoy>You meet it in struggle and then debate. <v Richard Eittreim>Allan, if I may. The answer is that you do have that right and you need to exercise it as <v Richard Eittreim>Professor Carnoy said. It's your job to get involved, to make decisions, and it's a big <v Richard Eittreim>responsibility and difficult one, and you need to look for all the guidance you <v Richard Eittreim>can get from others. <v Allen Wolper>She saying whther does she have the right to actually go in with a pencil and grab the
<v Allen Wolper>copy away? <v Mark Goodman>Let me point out. <v Richard Eittreim>According to the editor, she does. <v Mark Goodman>The courts that have dealt with these kind of cases involving student government <v Mark Goodman>officials has said they like their school administrators, are limited by the First <v Mark Goodman>Amendment and cannot censor the editors of a college or university publication. <v Mark Goodman>So really, the editor legally has the right. <v Mark Goodman>You know, I think it would be interesting to ask yourself, how would you feel if this <v Mark Goodman>same letter had come for an organization that was, for example, you know, <v Mark Goodman>whatever people against the Klu Klux Klan, a viewpoint that is certainly <v Mark Goodman>very, very different, but nevertheless is one that may be advocating <v Mark Goodman>violence against a group like the KKK. <v Mark Goodman>The notion is that if you get in yourself in the process of restricting what viewpoints <v Mark Goodman>can be expressed on the basis of what you think is offensive and what isn't, <v Mark Goodman>everybody's going to lose in the long run as part of that process,. <v Patricia Soto>Well, getting back to what. <v Allen Wolper>I think we can't have a long debate on this. <v Patricia Soto>I'm not but earlier was stated that. <v Allen Wolper>We're just about we're just about coming to the end with one more questions. <v Patricia Soto>You can't print an article or anything in the newspaper that sorts
<v Patricia Soto>of that raises any kind of violence. <v Patricia Soto>And if something invokes a lot of feel-fears amongst a minority group of fear <v Patricia Soto>and hate. I think that that also should be censored. <v Patricia Soto>Thank you. <v Handel Lowe>Um, my name is Handel Lowe. I come from Parsippany High School. <v Handel Lowe>And my question is a little bit off track, but it's but it relates to what we're talking <v Handel Lowe>about. So here it is. Um, keeping in mind the publicly question ethics, <v Handel Lowe>morals and honesty of politicians and the press. <v Handel Lowe>Which group do you think is a more reliable information source, the press or the <v Handel Lowe>government? <v Nancy Lucianna>I wouldn't trust either one of them separately, but together I think it works very <v Nancy Lucianna>well. I think the press sparks controversy. <v Nancy Lucianna>It opens up the marketplace of ideas. <v Nancy Lucianna>And I think it adds very, very much to society. <v Nancy Lucianna>So to answer the question, there is an interdependent relationship <v Nancy Lucianna>both together make each other reliable.
Series
Right to Know
Episode
The First Amendment: A 200-Year Test
Producing Organization
New Jersey Network
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-526-cj87h1fq6v
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Description
Episode Description
"The best way to educate someone about the First Amendment, is with a story -- a mini-documentary -- and then allow a group of people discuss it. Student journalists and political leaders who have a stake in The Bill of Rights, confronting people who use the First Amendment in their work, or worry that the First Amendment has given too much power to the press. "The program was put together to make certain that every shade of opinion was covered. [Its] original focus was the Hazelwood vs. Kuhlmeir United States Supreme Court Case that gave high school administrators the right to editor or censor papers. The main participants in that case were present. But the trick was to let the story unfold so that there could be a debate of the entire news gathering process of the First Amendment. The final nine-member panel was a decent look at the spectrum of throughout on various First Amendment issues like censorship, privacy, and ethics."--1988 Peabody Awards entry form. Allan Wolper hosts a panel and audience discussion on first amendments rights within journalism. Panelists are: Robert Reynolds, Nancy Louciana, Joseph Kalinger, Wilbert Tatum, Dianne Doctor, Rirchard Eitromm, Reed Irvine, Arthur Kinoy, Joan Whitlow, Mark Goodman.
Broadcast Date
1988
Created Date
1988
Asset type
Episode
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:59:31.838
Embed Code
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Credits
Producing Organization: New Jersey Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-934f1be2d1f (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 00:58:30
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Citations
Chicago: “Right to Know; The First Amendment: A 200-Year Test,” 1988, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-cj87h1fq6v.
MLA: “Right to Know; The First Amendment: A 200-Year Test.” 1988. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-cj87h1fq6v>.
APA: Right to Know; The First Amendment: A 200-Year Test. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-526-cj87h1fq6v