November 28, 2005 in Nation/World

Administrators pull student newspaper

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Oak Ridge, Tenn. Copies of a high school’s student newspaper were seized by administrators because the edition contained stories about birth control and tattoos, stirring a First Amendment debate.

Administrators at Oak Ridge High School went into teachers’ classrooms, desks and mailboxes to retrieve all 1,800 copies of the newspaper Tuesday, said teacher Wanda Grooms, who advises the staff, and Brittany Thomas, the student editor.

The Oak Leaf’s birth control article listed success rates for different methods and said contraceptives were available from doctors and the local health department. Superintendent Tom Bailey said the article needed to be edited so it would be acceptable for the entire school.

The paper can be reprinted if changes are made, he said.

First Amendment experts were critical of the seizure.

“This is a terrible lesson in civics,” University of Tennessee journalism professor Dwight Teeter said. “This is an issue about the administration wanting to have control. Either the students are going to have a voice, or you’re going to have a PR rag for the administration.”

Sony game console will have parental controls

San Jose, Calif. Sony Corp. has become the latest of the video game console makers to announce parental controls in it newest machine, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Now all three major console makers are promising parents the means to help restrict their children’s access to violent video games.

Sony will place the controls on its forthcoming machine, PlayStation 3, according to the ESA. Users of PlayStation 2 could limit access, but only to movies, not games.

The company wasn’t immediately prepared to comment.

Microsoft Corp. had already placed parental controls in its new Xbox 360, which debuted last week. The machine lets users restrict access to video games and DVDs that carry certain ratings, such as “T” for “teen” or “M” for “mature.” It also offers parental controls on the company’s Xbox Live online gaming service, limiting who their children can interact with.

Earlier this month, Nintendo Inc. announced similar plans for its next-generation machine, Revolution, due out in 2006.

Sony, which leads the worldwide market with more than 102 million PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles sold, also introduced parental control for games in its PlayStation Portable, launched earlier this year.

Study looks at online sales habits in U.S.

New York One in six U.S. Internet users have sold goods and services online and 2 percent do so on a given day, a new study found.

Sales are typically done through such online classifed ad sites as Craigslist or through an auction like eBay, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said Sunday.

Those who use the Internet more frequently, have high-speed broadband connections or have been online longer are more likely to be an online seller, the study found.

Online selling is also higher among men, the more affluent and the better educated.

The study is based on a random telephone-based survey of 1,577 adult Internet users conducted Sept. 14 to Oct. 13. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Many say war criticism hurts effort, poll finds

Washington

A new poll indicates most Americans are sympathetic to Vice President Dick Cheney’s point that criticism of the administration’s war policies was itself becoming a hindrance to the war effort. Seventy percent of people said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale – with 44 percent saying morale is hurt “a lot,” according to a poll taken by RT Strategies.

Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale while 21 percent say it helps morale. The results surely will rankle many Democrats, who argue that it is patriotic and supportive of the troops to call attention to what they believe are deep flaws in President Bush’s Iraq strategy.

The poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to “gain a partisan political advantage.” A plurality, 49 percent, believe that troops should come home only when the Iraqi government can provide for its own security, while 16 percent support immediate withdrawal, regardless of the circumstances.

The poll results came from calls made to 1,001 adults from Nov. 17-20. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.


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