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Measure in Illinois would keep administrators out of college newspapers

By Sean Crawford, Illinois Public Radio

Springfield, Ill. – College journalists in Illinois could have more freedom to report without fear of administrators censoring their work.

State lawmakers are entering the fight over college journalists' right to do their jobs without interference from administrators.

That comes after a court ruled that a Governor's State University official did have the authority to block publication of a report that was critical of the school.

The decision sent shockwaves through campus news organizations throughout Illinois.

Legislation headed to Governor Rod Blagojevich's desk prohibits the administration of a public college or university from restraining student journalists in such cases.

The measure also protects administrators from being held legally liable for stories that are run in affiliated publications.

While it received overwhleming support in the Legislature, some legislators question whether students would be getting more leeway than their professional counterparts.

California is the only other state with a similar law.