Student Press Freedom Day 2019

The Torch, Bergen Community College (Paramus, N.J.) Photo courtesy of Edriel Fimbres, photo editor

The Student Press Law Center called for students around the country to plan and lead events to demand #StudentPressFreedom on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

Highlights from the Day:

Kicking off Year of the Student Journalist

Student Press Freedom Day marked the official beginning of Year of the Student Journalist, a joint project by the SPLC, Newseum, Freedom Forum Institute and several other partners.

The year had three main goals:

  1. Raise awareness of the vital work and impact of student journalists as they report on their schools and communities (including the important role they play filling gaps in news deserts.)
  2. Highlight the challenges student journalists face as they are confronted with censorship and prior review policies.
  3. Showcase the contribution of journalism education to engaged civic life.

Coordinated Op-Ed Campaign

Student publications all across the country released op-eds calling for student press freedom, and advocating for New Voices laws in their states as part of a joint editorial campaign. The campaign continued throughout the year, with more than 60 op-eds in total.

Launch of the Student Front Pages Project

Throughout 2019, the Newseum showcased student newspapers in its Front Pages display on Pennsylvania Avenue and on the Today’s Front Pages app as part of Year of the Student Journalist. The first group of featured student papers was unveiled on Student Press Freedom Day.

Spreading the word on social media

Student journalists and advisers took to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share the importance of an editorially independent student media.

View this post on Instagram

Press Freedom day was January 30 we’re excited to celebrate #StudentPressFreedom every single day here at @retrieverumbc . Here are some of our staff explaining what press freedom means to them. • For Angelica, our Assistant Arts&Culture Editor, press freedom means…”being able to express my strong opinions in whatever i write.” • For Victor, our Managing Editor, press freedom means…”I am able to have my voice be heard. I am able to write freely. I am able to share my ideas.” • For Dylan, our Assistant News Editor, press freedom means…”using the power of the pres to expose the activities of the powerful. Free speech means using your voice as a means to hold the powerful accountable.”

A post shared by The Retriever (@retrieverumbc) on