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UPDATED: CNM reinstates student paper after controversial sex issue

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Update:

UNM’s Daily Lobo reports on its Twitter feed that it will resume normal print publication on Thursday.


Update:

Central New Mexico Community College today reinstated its student-run paper, saying administrators suspended it because they were concerned over a high school student being quoted in the controversial sex issue.

The reinstatement took place at a meeting on campus Wednesday afternoon.

According to a copy of a speech CNM President Kathie Winograd delivered at the meeting, the school will now give the confiscated newspapers back to the CNM Chronicle, which dedicated its latest issue to the topic of sex, including stories about sex classes and practices, sexual resources, an article on abstinance and feature on “favorite sexual position.”

When the suspension was made public Tuesday, CNM administrators said it was due to long-standing concerns regarding oversight of the paper. But on Wednesday, Winograd said the school pulled the sex issue because “we needed to check on legal ramifications of information on a minor in a publication of the college.”

“I believe as a college we have failed to provide the CNM Chronicle with the level of editorial resources and education that it needs and deserves. I hope that in today’s Publication Board meeting, the board will discuss ways the college can provide you a better educational experience through your participation with the CNM Chronicle. We encourage you to bring our community partners here today to the table to assist us in creating a positive situation moving forward,” Winograd said.

The reinstatement is immediate, Winograd said.

The CNM Chronicle’s return likely means the Daily Lobo will also continue operations. The Lobo announced Wednesday that it was halting print publications until the Chronicle was reinstated.


Update:

The University of New Mexico’s student newspaper, the Daily Lobo, is protesting Central New Mexico Community College’s decision to temporarily suspend its weekly student newspaper.

It, too, will stop print publication until CNM reinstates the newspaper, according to the Daily Lobo website.

However, it will continue publishing online, according to the statement from Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Cleary.

CNM suspended publication of The CNM Chronicle on Tuesday following a the publication of an issue devoted to sex.

The Daily Lobo called the move a violation of students’ rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Cleary said in a statement (complete statement here):

“On Tuesday, CNM administrators, in a ruthless and authoritarian display of censorship, stripped students of some basic constitutional rights. Tuesday’s issue of the weekly, student-run CNM Chronicle centered on sex.”

Cleary went on to say: ” The Daily Lobo will not publish printed issues of the newspaper until the CNM administration agrees to reinstate Chronicle staff members to their former positions at the paper and allow the newspaper to remain free of faculty, staff or administrative oversight. The Daily Lobo will still be publishing content online at DailyLobo.com.”


This article appeared on Page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal.

CNM’s newspaper suspended

By Deborah Ziff/Journal Staff Writer

Central New Mexico Community College has temporarily suspended its student-run newspaper, The CNM Chronicle, after the publication of an issue devoted to sex.

To see the issue of the newspaper

College officials say the suspension is not entirely due to the most recent issue, but because of a long-standing concern over the oversight and content of the weekly newspaper.

But Jyllian Roach, editor-in-chief, said the issue hit the newsstands Tuesday and six hours later, she and other staff members got a call to meet with the dean of students.

“All we know at this time is they thought it was ‘raunchy’ and that was it,” she said.

The issue includes a how-to on using sex toys, stories on sex classes and practices, a “favorite sexual position” feature, contacts for sexual resources and an article on abstinence.

“It’s a sex issue, but it really focuses on education,” Roach said, adding that there’s no nudity or curse words.

College officials say they hope the newspaper is up and running again by the summer term after an evaluation of the paper’s structure and oversight.

A statement from the college reads:

“CNM does not have a journalism program, which has limited the college’s ability to provide the education and training that students need to appropriately operate a newspaper that is distributed to a student body of nearly 30,000. CNM is going to re-evaluate how students can be trained, educated and supervised in operating a widely disseminated student newspaper.”

A spokesman added that the college funds the newspaper. Students who work on it receive work-study money. They will be assigned other jobs on campus while the paper is suspended.

“The current issue was part of an ongoing pattern of concern with the content,” said Brad Moore, CNM spokesman. He declined to elaborate with examples of past concerns over content.

An attorney for the Arlington, Va.-based Student Press Law Center said he believes the college cannot legally shut the paper down. The fact that the college funds the newspaper is “irrelevant,” said Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate, adding that the college is a public institution.

“When you’re the government, you’re always subject to the First Amendment,” he said.

He added: “It sends a really adverse message in that you have to read the mind of your administration and try not antagonize them.”

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