A college newspaper poses quite the conundrum when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act. Technically journalists can refuse turn over notes, but if a publication is receiving public funding, they must comply with record requests.
University of Houston’s student run paper, The Daily Cougar learned this earlier in the week when they were asked to turn over some of their faxes, e-mails and other documents.
“[The request is for] any documents to and from the editors, columnists and reporters of The Daily Cougar in correspondence with any and all University of Houston employees from September 1, 2008 until October 23, 2008,” Eric Bentley, Assistant General Council for the University of Houston, tells Hair Balls.
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Dick Cigler, Director of Student Publications says the Cougar will comply with the request even though these documents are considered property of the staff members.
“We’ll hand them to General Council,” Cigler says.
Bentley could not comment on any information regarding reasons behind the request.
— Dusti Rhodes