(RA 7079) The Campus Journalism Act of 1991 is perhaps one of the strongest laws protecting the rights of the youth, particularly student journalists, and preserving the integrity of student publications.
However, in many cases, many institutions do not follow these rules, or balatantly disobeys the law. And we cannot blame them; being owners of the institutions editors belong to, they believe that they must have complete control over the publications, even if the law provides otherwise. I would want my opinion to be taken hypothetically.
There are many advantages to a free student publication: First, it trains the students on journalism and provides an avenue to concretely practice truth, fairness, and balance. These are values taught better by experience, and supplemented by the classroom.
Second, it provides check and balance for the administrators, the student councils, and the students. Campus journalists and publications become the students’ eyes in things that the institutions hide.
Third, it safeguards democracy in the campus level. Campus publications, being an independent entity, is accountable to nobody but its readers and protect democracy and freeedom of expression while encouraging the readers to do the same.
Campus journalism is important, for it safeguards the halls and the posts of democracy and provides the student readers a deeper perspective; things that happen under their noses. As journalists, let us help in protecting its existence by enforcing the law protecting it.
Now is the time.