At the time of this writing, the First Amendment is under attack in the state of Utah.
On Oct. 16, the Dixie Sun News produced an editorial detailing struggles they’ve encountered this year.
Dixie State University has ignored state public law requests and excluded them from public meetings. University sources attempted to use the Dixie Sun News as their public relations arm and dictate what the publication should write and when.
University-affiliated sources have told them after interviews that key points were off-the-record. Generally accepted journalistic practice maintains that if sources want something off the record, that needs to be specified upfront.
In the 2016-17 academic year, The Signpost faced similar challenges with Weber State University’s administration and student government.
After publishing articles detailing then WSUSA president’s spending, WSUSA began excluding journalists from open meetings, and The Signpost faced attacks against its writers’ journalistic integrity.
In the years since, The Signpost has forged a relationship with WSUSA, including current president Jordan Slater. This year, WSUSA passed a bylaw requiring student government meetings be open to the press and to the public.
Right now, DSUSA is standing in the same place WSUSA stood two years ago. They stand as a roadblock to honesty and transparency.
The following is intended directly for DSUSA. It’s not too late to change. When you stand in the way of honest journalism, it’s a signal of deception to the observer. Those afraid of openness are those who have something to hide. Learn from Slater and WSUSA.
This is not just an attack on our colleagues at the Dixie Sun News. This is an affront by Dixie State University and a direct attack on the First Amendment. We at The Signpost stand in solidarity with the Dixie Sun News.