Organisation - December 15, 2011

Parliament rejects censorship of university magazines

The lower house of the Dutch parliament thinks it is important for all university magazines to be independent. A motion tabled by the socialist party (SP) and the conservation VVD party calling on state secretary Zijlstra to remind executives of received unanimous backing.

Two weeks ago SP parliamentarian Jasper van Dijk expressed his indignation at the 'censorship' that managements imposed on institutional magazines. But state secretary Zijlstra categorically denied the charge. Managers are within their rights if they provide guidelines for the magazines, he said. This led to Van Dijk and VVD colleague Anne-Wil Lucas tabling a motion calling on Zijlstra to remind institutions that 'editorial interference' is undesirable. The motion was passed yesterday. Van Dijk says he assumes that Zijlstra will communicate the message 'loud and clear' to university executives.

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