Examining a Journalist’s Right of Access to College and University Campuses

College campuses are alive with activism. Recent weeks have seen students assemble on quads and in academic buildings to condemn racism, debate free-expression principles, make demands of administrators—and, in many cases, try to place restrictions on journalists trying to document these protests, or turn them away entirely.


The best-known of these encounters happened at the University of Missouri, where student activists and sympathetic university employees were captured on video interfering with a photographer as he tried to shoot protests on the campus quad. In that instance, journalists had a clear right of access.


But as other reports have emerged around the country, I’ve realized that Mizzou presented the easy case, because the quad there is a traditional public forum. Other cases are less clear-cut, even on public campuses. Consider these recent examples…

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