J-School closes, bills in Missouri, Oklahoma and Ohio draw media fire

It’s official. The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted 5-4 to shut down the Journalism School. This leaves a number of questions and media throughout Colorado are working on the answers to those questions.

What happens to the J-School students? Was this closing necessary?

The four dissenting voters expressed their opinion in this open letter to the Boulder Daily Camera. Many columnists wrote about the importance of the journalism school while some columnists say good riddance.

The school officially closes June 30.

Staying in Colorado, a story about a high school journalism class and newspaper may have a happy ending for now. The Boulder weekly reported the story at Overland High School in Colorado a couple of times. The principal tried to shut the newspaper down after a student wrote about the death of a classmate. For now, the paper remains open.

A sensitive issue allows readers to get a view of how hard it may be to remain unbiased while writing a story. In Oklahoma and Ohio, abortion bills are advancing that may make it more difficult for women to have or pay for abortions. It’s difficult to write on this without an opinion becoming known. Read how the Tulsa World approaches the regular news story. The lead alone lets the reader know where it stands.

“OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Legislature continued its attack on abortion rights Wednesday by passing and sending to Gov. Mary Fallin two bills intended to further limit access to the procedure.”

Right or wrong on the stance, as a news story, is this OK? Columns have a different standard and so do polit

ically partisan blogs. You see the difference between a news story and the others when examining Ohio. The bill in Ohio is a little more extreme and has drawn attention from the conservative political blogs as well as Presidential candidates. And a columnist from the Toledo Blade took a strong stand against it, asking if in times of financial unrest, politicians should push social agendas . At least for now, the bill is stalled. But the question may come up again in Indiana as well. Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, who has preached fiscal issues over social, may face the same type of bill from his legislators  soon. How will he deal with that possibility?

Missouri newspapers jumped over the recent news in Jefferson City as legislators take the teeth out of Proposition B, a law that passed heavily restricting dog breeders.

The bill highlights the split between rural and urban Missouri and newspapers have followed that rift. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star both wrote columns or editorials that decried the changes and took umbrage with the legislature for going against the will of the people. The Springfield News-Leader was less forceful in its opinion.

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