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TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Shedding light on the true magnitude of college costs and student debt

(07/12/11 4:45pm)

Consumers avidly price-shop for the most expensive purchase in their lives (houses) and the third-most expensive purchase in their lives (cars) -- but when it comes to the second-most expensive purchase, emotions ("Whoa, is that a rock-climbing wall?") sometimes override dollars-and-cents.

TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Reviewing citizen complaints should be a police-beat staple

(07/05/11 5:40pm)

At least since "don't tase me, Bro" entered the national vocabulary as a T-shirt slogan and late-night punchline, the public has been fascinated by how university police use force in dealing with unruly but unthreatening members of the campus community. When working the campus police beat, journalists should make an at-least-annual public-records check for citizen complaints alleging unprofessional conduct by police, to see how many complaints are occurring and how they are being resolved. Public access to police complaint records was spotlighted by a recent state Supreme Court decision, allowing a lower court's ruling to stand, that the New Mexico sunshine law requires disclosure of citizen complaint files. In August 2010, the state Court of Appeals decided that the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act does cover records of complaints filed against officers of the state Department of Public Safety.

Parents drop discrimination lawsuit with student newspaper connection

(07/14/11 12:20pm)

The parents of a former middle school student have dropped a discrimination lawsuit that was based in part on the family's objections to a student newspaper column. Caroline Lineen, attorney for Mahopac Central School District, said that the plaintiffs, the parents of then-middle school student “H.B.”, suddenly chose to withdraw the complaint without explanation.

SUNY-Brockport editor wins SPJ recognition for weathering intimidation

(07/19/11 9:34am)

A New York college editor who kept up his fight for public records from a hostile student government that threatened him with legal action has won a national First Amendment prize recognizing his tenacity. The Society of Professional Journalists named Bill Matthias the winner of its annual Robert D.G.