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.
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
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.