Friday, October 19, 2007

Butzow earns award for paper on campus press

WIU assistant professor Mark Butzow has been notified he will receive a research award for contributing the best research paper on campus media issues to the College Media Advisers’ national convention, which takes place next week. He’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C., to present the paper, “The Hosty ruling’s reign of terror only a sprinkle so far,” which reports survey results from college newspaper advisers about the effects of a 2005 court ruling.

The study looked for evidence that college administrators were using the “Hosty v. Carter” ruling to wrest control of content decisions from student editors or otherwise interfere in the free expression of students through campus media operations. As the title suggests, those fears appear to be unfounded, at least so far.

As many of you know, Illinois legislators passed the College Campus Press Act this spring (and the governor signed it Aug. 28), which will provide a good measure of protection to all campus media in the state by designating them as “limited public forums.” That new law was a direct response to the Hosty ruling, which is based on actions in 2000 at Governors State University near Chicago.

Butzow will be presented with the Don Nordin Award for CMA Research at the end of the session where he and two others will present research that applies to teaching and/or advising. One of the other papers studied whether counting sources was a reliable means of evaluating objectivity in stories, and the other paper is a case study on how to build a broadcast journalism operation on a small budget. The research papers in that session also were “blind reviewed” by representatives of the journal "College Media Review," and the winner’s paper will be published in the journal.