Letter from Carole Braun

Dear friends at the Record and in the Community,

I wanted to clarify the implication in the last Record issue that changing RAB (Record Advisory Board) to REB (Record Editorial Board) would necessitate censorship of the Record. When I taught journalism on campus between 1989 and 1991, my responsibilities included chairing what was then REB. REB, which was composed of previous Record editors and interested faculty, staff and students, created Record editorial policy. Record editors were expected to conform to this policy, but the newspaper was never censored or subjected to prior restraint. (Prior restraint refers to a newspaper being reviewed by someone before it could be published.) Momentum to change editorial policy or question the editors about their responsibilities came from the community and was changed through democratic process. REB was appointed by Comcil. As I recall it, much of REB’s strongest questioning and criticism of current editors about being responsible journalists came from the previous Record editors.

I also was present at an Antioch University Board of Trustees meeting where then-college President Al Guskin defended the Record, its student editors and freedom of speech when Board members complained that the Record needed to be censored or restrained so that its news didn’t offend anyone or spoil the public relations efforts of the College. I was surprised then at the venom of the 1990 Board toward the Record, and I wonder if the current Board is not pressuring the administration for changes.

Carole Braun

Media Arts Technician and occasional adjunct