Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and Research

Document Type



The aim of this qualitative study was to conduct a multiple case study that provides an analysis of censorship concerns at campus newspapers affiliated with public, four-year universities. Eighteen individuals from seven institutions participated in interviews. Interviewees consisted of former and current student journalists and advisers who worked at university publications where allegations of censorship have occurred within the last decade. The Student Press Law Center routinely investigates claims of censorship and provides pro bono legal counsel to student journalists (Zagier, 2011). While courts commonly sided with students in disagreements regarding free speech, Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier (1988) scaled back freedoms for high school journalists who were part of the school newspaper. Hosty v Carter (2005) applied the Hazelwood precedent at a collegiate level, leading to contentious debates between legal scholars about the legality of such a decision (Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier, 1988; Hosty v Carter, 2005). With no explicit instructions from the Supreme Court regarding the applicability of student press court precedents to college journalism, student journalists have sometimes pursued legal action to maintain a free press. Interview participants spoke about the challenges with censorship that they have encountered.

Committee Chair

Blanchard, Joy