East Carolina Student Media Director Fired 2 Months After ‘Streaker’ Photo Published
East Carolina University officials have fired Paul Isom, ECU’s student media director, without warning or much explanation. The sudden termination has prompted speculation among the college media community that it was related to the The East Carolinian‘s infamous ‘streaker’ photo published in November on its front page.
Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte: “I think it’s absolutely incumbent on the college to come forward with some lawful explanation– if they can. They owe it to the students to demonstrate that this is not retaliation for a lawful editorial content decision. If they can’t do that, then they’re not just in violation of the law but they’re acting way outside of the mainstream of what we expect from a public university.”
College Media Association (CMA) vice president Rachele Kanigel: “I’m very disturbed at the number of advisers who have lost their jobs in the last couple of years over this kind of thing. In California we now have a law protecting advisers from this sort of retaliation. I’d like to see CMA work with SPLC and state newspaper publishers associations to get similar legislation passed in all 50 states.”