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Student newspaper won't be muzzled.

Indiana University recently did all journalists proud when the Indiana Daily Student stood up to a Washington-based bully who tried to intimidate the student paper.

It seems that the university had invited Meghan O'Sullivan, a former deputy U.S. security adviser, to speak on campus at a fee of $3,000 plus $2,000 to buy her a gift and to provide dinner for a group of faculty and students. The speech was to be free and open to the public.

The school's Department of Inter-Organizational Development picked up the larger payment, the Student Alliance for National Security took care of the remainder.

As time for the speech neared, O'Sullivan reminded the Daily Student reporter that her comments were to be off the record, as specified in her contract with the university.

"Nonsense!" or words to that effect, said the student paper. The appearance was free, open to anyone who wanted to attend and impossible to monitor who would hear it, even if the student reporter were willing to apply the muzzle and make sure it was tight enough for the standards set by a lower-level Washington bureaucrat.

When she heard that the student newspaper would treat her remarks as on-the-record, some 15 minutes or so before she was to begin, O'Sullivan became severely ill with an upset stomach and canceled the speech. However, a while later, after the student reporter was gone, she was miraculously healthy again and able to attend the dinner attended by faculty members, campus leaders and members of the Student Alliance for National Security.

We can probably assume O'Sullivan received her gift as well. Whether or not O'Sullivan received her fee is yet to be determined.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:off the record; Indiana Daily Student
Author:Pollack, Joe
Publication:St. Louis Journalism Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2008
Words:281
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