The University of York has a proud reputation for brilliant student media. Many of the current publications have won several nationally-recognised awards.
Many of York Liberty’s original members were involved in student media at the University of York. Their passion for accountability, freedom of speech and honesty helped York Liberty establish its guiding principles as a group searching for accountability, good-natured debate, freedom of expression and transparency.
However, York Liberty has often heard, and continues to hear, stories of censorship within union-affiliated student media. York Liberty’s members have long wished to find out more, but often these stories take the form of individual accounts and rumours of the inner goings-on of student media rather than comprehensive accounts.
York Liberty has constructed a survey for editors, directors and other officers involved in printed student media. We hope to gather the opinions of current and former editors on censorship, the role of the students’ union and the most recent edition of the Media Charter, to which, at the time of its publication, several student journalists responded bitterly. This, we believe, will enable us, as well as all students, to have a more concrete idea of student journalists’ attitudes to censorship and free speech within student media at York.
The survey was devised and refined by York Liberty’s current membership. We consulted other students involved in polling and surveys for advice on constructing good surveys.
Over the past week and a half, York Liberty has emailed the Editors of Nouse, York Vision, The Lemon Press, HARD Magazine and Circulation, the print media listed currently by the students’ union on its website. York Liberty’s members have also contacted individual editors to pass the survey on.
To encourage responses, York Liberty will not ask for the identity of the respondent while filling out the survey. We will not seek to identify any respondents after the survey is finished and our data is published. We hope to write a report about our findings, which will be published on our website. The survey will take responses until the 3rd of February 2017.
The intention of the survey is to gather information from student journalists to inform York Liberty’s future projects and campaigns for free speech and transparency on campus and the end of unnecessary censorship within student publications at York. The data will remain available on our website.