BRCC Today is the official campus newspaper created, written, and edited by a staff composed entirely of BRCC students. It informs, educates, and entertains the college community, providing it with an objective and timely-reported publication in an open forum free of administrative censorship. The student staff learns to work in a newsroom environment by writing, editing, contributing photographs, and using desktop publishing to produce printed copy. Student staff members are also responsible for advertising sales and publication distribution, and follow accepted journalistic standards including local, state, and federal laws that govern free expression. Students interested in serving on the BRCC Today staff should visit the Office of Student Life or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freedom of the Press Statement
Officially recognized BRCC student publications are free from censorship, and student editors are permitted to develop editorial policies and determine the coverage and content of the publications. On campus, students are afforded freedom of the press and speech, as guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. These rights will not be impinged upon by the college or any of its agencies, faculty, staff, or administrators.
Student journalists can report on and editorialize about controversial issues that might affect the college, community, nation, and the world. Also, under the “fair comment” rule, a student is free to express an opinion on any matter of public interest, including criticism of college policy and the performance of its faculty, staff, and administrators, as long as that criticism is not libelous. However, when reporting, the BRCC student press is expected to practice responsible journalism. Student journalists should never use obscene material, write libelous articles, or incorporate material that intentionally interferes with or disrupts the educational process. Although BRCC does not review student-written materials prior to printing, student editors should be reminded that they are legally liable for publishing and distributing materials which might include damaging information.
Definitions of Unprotected Speech
The following material has been deemed to be unprotected speech through various laws, court rulings, and legal judgments; their use by BRCC students is strictly prohibited.
Obscene material - sexually explicit material that offensively describes/depicts lewd images of the genitals and/or promotes a prurient interest in sex; or similarly offensive, indecent material lacking any serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Libelous statements - false statements, willfully or negligently published, that can injure an individual’s or business’s reputation in the community. Typically, it must be proven that a statement is libelous and was published without forethought or with malice; that there was a reckless disregard for truth, and the editor purposefully did not check the accuracy of the statement prior to printing or distributing it.
Disruptive material - Publications are disruptive if the context of the message is inflammatory and causes interference with the educational process. Examples include material inciting student rioting, unlawful seizures of property, or destruction of property; substantial student participation in a college boycott, sit-in, or walkout; or other types of civil disobedience. However, college officials are obligated to protect those who support unpopular views. Materials containing racial, religious, or ethnic slurs, although distasteful, are not considered disruptive. Similarly, material that merely stimulates heated discussions or debate is not considered disruptive and is allowed.