SPLC launches redesigned website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Frank D. LoMonte, Esq.director@splc.org / 703.807.1904

ARLINGTON, VA. — The Student Press Law Center, the nation’sleading authority on the laws governing student journalism, launched aredesigned website today — the first overhaul since 2001 — featuringnew video content, lesson plans, and grassroots organizing tips for studentactivists.

The website, www.splc.org, incorporates lessons learnedduring a year-long strategic planning process that included input from hundredsof students, educators and other stakeholders. The goal of the redesign is totransform the SPLC website from an occasional stop for those facing legalemergencies into a daily go-to destination that helps students and teachers inthe practice of their craft, said SPLC Executive Director Frank D.LoMonte.

“The new splc.org site will offer all student publishers –whether they are producing newspapers, yearbooks, blogs or tweets — agreater and more appealing variety of educational resources, so they canintelligently protect their rights and steer clear of legal risks,”LoMonte said.

“The SPLC has always stayed modern to keep pace with the way youngpeople read and share information, and now our website shows that modern face tothe public,” LoMonte said. “The new site is part of a larger visionof a pro-active SPLC that takes the case for honest, uncensored studentjournalism straight to the public in a more compelling way. With this new site,we are much better able to tell the story of the human toll that censorship istaking in our schools every day.”

The redesign was made possible by a generous grant from the Philip L.Graham Fund. Named for the late publisher of TheWashington Post, the Fund devotes its resources to the betterment of theWashington, D.C., area and the field of journalism. Graphic design work on thesite came courtesy of a volunteer team organized by The Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makesbusiness talent available to organizations working to improve society.

The site continues to include the reliable legal information and latestindustry news on which users depend, but adds many new features,including:

— Video Q-and-A’s with SPLC Attorney Advocate AdamGoldstein addressing student journalists’ most commonly asked questions,hosted on SPLC’s new Vimeo channel.

— An interactive map that shows existing and proposed press-freedomlaws across the United States — along with tutorials to help young peopleget started on grassroots advocacy to protect their own rights.

— A series of “Learning from the Headlines” classroomdiscussion guides, available in printer-friendly form through scribd.com.

— Subject-indexed FAQ guides addressing the most common questionsposed on the SPLC attorney hotline, which handles some 2,000 inquiries annually.

— New reader comment functionality encouraging feedback on SPLCReport magazine stories and on SPLC blog posts.

— A new “Get Involved” section that includespublic-service ads promoting the SPLC, a website badge, and other waysSPLC’s supporters can spread the word about the Center’s work.

“What you see today on August 25 is wonderful, but it’s only abeginning,” LoMonte said. “In the months to come, users of the SPLCsite are going to see a much greater variety of video Q-and-A’s, classroomteaching aids, and other fresh content that will make splc.org an essential toolfor teaching and learning journalism, media literacy, and First Amendmentlaw.”

Users of the site are invited to submit feedback to admin@splc.org.

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been devoted to educating highschool and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied inthe First Amendment, and supporting the student news media in covering importantissues free from censorship. The Center provides free information andeducational materials for student journalists and their teachers on a widevariety of legal topics.

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