JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker is touting a bill he said will protect the state’s student journalists from censorship, written in part as a response to a recent confrontation between a University of Missouri assistant professor and a student videographer during protests on campus.
The measure by Republican Rep. Elijah Haahr, of Springfield, would prohibit public K-12 schools and colleges from blocking articles or other content created by students, with some standard exceptions — content that’s slanderous, libelous, breaks laws or is an invasion of privacy.
“I think it’s time that Missouri becomes known as a state that values free speech, especially for student journalists,” Haahr said before a Monday House hearing on the legislation.
The bill is partly a means of addressing the confrontations that received widespread attention, Haahr said, although he first was prompted by a college journalism professor from his alma mater.
On Nov. 9, there were protests on the Columbia campus over what some saw as university leadership’s indifference to racial issues. Video shot by student Mark Schierbecker showed Janna Basler, who works…