PRESS RELEASE: New Text Provides Legal Resource on Student Journalism

Contact: Beverly Keneagy904-626-0017

Law of the Student Press.

In preparation for its 35-year anniversary celebration, the Student PressLaw Center has released the third edition of Law of the Student Press,providing an important resource book for student journalists.

The Law of the Student Press was first published in 1984 and lastupdated in 1994, making this the first substantive update in 14 years. The book,which addresses legal issues regarding all forms of media, is authored by thelegal staff of the Student Press Law Center and a nationwide team of media lawexperts.

“Obviously, a lot has transpired over the past 14 years regardingstudent journalists’ rights,” said Frank LoMonte, an attorney who isthe Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center.

“New court rulings, new statutes, and the emergence of new media haveall drastically changed the legal landscape ? unfortunately, sometimes notfor the better. Law of the Student Press explains what these changes meanand how they impact high school and college journalists, their advisers, andthose who have an interest in student journalism. The book can be used forclassroom teaching, but it is also meant to be used as a practical referenceguide for journalists who need quick answers to legal questions,” LoMontesaid.

The Student Press Law Center, a nonprofit organization that will mark its35th anniversary next year, is the authoritative source on student press law. The center is based in the Washington, D.C., area and assists thousands of student journalists nationwideeach year through its attorney hotline and its website,

At 416 pages and 20 chapters, Law of the Student Press addressesissues such as:

  • Online publishing of off-campusspeech, such as comments made on personal websites (MySpace, Facebook, etc.),that is sparking a new generation of free speech litigation.
  • The latest on how the Supreme Court’s Morse v. Frederickcase (“Bong Hits 4 Jesus”) is impacting student First Amendment rights, andpractical tips on responding to a censorship threat.
  • A step-by-step description of the new copyright electronic filingsystem, and a detailed discussion about when the use of someone else’s onlinecontent can safely qualify as a “fair use.”
  • In addition, Law of the Student Press updates traditional mediaissues such as libel, defamation, invasion of privacy and obscenity. Itspecifically addresses the different legal standards that may apply betweencollege and high-school media, as well as between public and private schools.

    Information on ordering Law of the Student Press can be found at Discounts areavailable for SPLC members and bulk orders.

    Since its founding in 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the onlynational organization exclusively devoted to providing free legal advice andassistance to student journalists and journalism advisers, and serving as anadvocate for their free-press and freedom-of-information rights.

    For an interview with an attorney from the Student Press Law Centerregarding the Law of the Student Press, or a color pdf of the book cover, pleasecontact Beverly Keneagy at with therequest.