The former publisher of Cal State L.A.'s student newspaper filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the university and five officials, alleging that her First Amendment rights of free expression were violated when she was fired last April.
Joan Zyda, publisher of the University Times and a journalism teacher at the school for seven months, said she filed the U.S. District Court suit “to put a strong light on the First Amendment house of horrors” at the Los Angeles campus.
She alleges she was fired in part because of the paper’s investigative articles in the aftermath of the October, 1987, earthquake in which a student was crushed to death on the campus. Zyda, who is now teaching journalism at the UCLA Extension program, said school officials tried to force her to print more upbeat pieces.
Mayer Chapman, general counsel for the Cal State system, declined to comment Wednesday. Last year, the university said Zyda was dismissed to “better meet the educational goals” of student journalism.