Newspaper faces new prior review restrictions after publishing photos with Internet porn story





IOWA — When student editors at St. Ambrose University ran a news story last fall about a computer lab supervisor making Internet porn available from a university-owned computer they used some of the porn in question for illustrations in the newspaper.

“Needless to say, the administrators of this small Catholic college were not happy,” said Alan Sivell, the paper’s faculty adviser.

At the time, there was some talk of suspending the paper altogether, but the school “solved” the problem by rewriting Sivell’s job description, effectively creating what Sivell calls an “adviser to the adviser.” Sivell says his authority as adviser has been overridden.

The new guidelines require Sivell to review all editorials for content and tone, and to consult with higher-ups in the university regarding any controversial content issues.

“I hadn’t had a change in my job description in eight years,” Sivell said. “Let’s just say it’s not my ideal. There’s definitely potential for problems, but it’s a good Catholic school, so what are you going to do?”

Sivell said his students put a lot of thought into the decision before printing the pictures, and placed black boxes in the appropriate places on the illustrations.

The student editors felt the illustrations were an integral part of the story and found the story particularly newsworthy.

Sivell said the students are frustrated with the new policies and are ready to graduate and move on.

“The students still produce an excellent paper, but now they just want to get their schooling done and get out and get real jobs and be done with this,” Sivell said.


reports, Spring 1997