Students face restricted access to open records and meetings due to COVID-19

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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, student journalists are facing issues obtaining public records and accessing what should be open meetings. SPLC staff attorney Sommer Ingram Dean said a majority of the calls to SPLC's legal hotline in March and April have been about COVID-19 related access issues. She said student journalists have called about:  Experiencing… Continue reading Students face restricted access to open records and meetings due to COVID-19

State supreme court rules UNC-Chapel Hill must release sexual assault disciplinary records

Photo courtesy of Angelica Edwards, it was taken on March 23, 2020.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled University of North Carolina must hand over student, faculty, and staff rape, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct records requested by the university's student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.

“Everyone I know has had their internships canceled”: Students face journalism internship and job cuts due to COVID-19

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News outlets around the country are laying off staff, furloughing employees and implementing hiring freezes due to the financial fallout of COVID-19. Many college journalists have lost internships or had post-grad job offers withdrawn, while others are in limbo waiting to hear back from potential employers. On April 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported… Continue reading “Everyone I know has had their internships canceled”: Students face journalism internship and job cuts due to COVID-19

Apply now to these fall 2020 paid journalism internships

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Every month the Student Press Law Center publishes a list of paid journalism internships. Many newsrooms, including NPR, The Boston Globe and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, have canceled their summer 2020 internships, according to Poynter.  Here are some fall internships that are accepting applications. Due to COVID-19, the status of the programs are subject to change.… Continue reading Apply now to these fall 2020 paid journalism internships

“We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

Photo courtesy of Samantha Berry, yearbook adviser at Bridgeland High School in Cypress, Texas. Because the school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Berry's students had to work late nights on laptops from cars parked in the school's lot to get the server access they needed to finish the yearbook.

At the beginning of March, yearbook staffs around the country were putting the final touches on spreads they'd been working on for months, getting ready to send final copies to printing plants to be printed and distributed like normal. Now, just weeks later, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown yearbook students and advisers into chaos.  RELATED:… Continue reading “We’re documenting history”: How students are reporting, producing and distributing yearbooks during the coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 severely affected student newspapers’ advertising sales. This is how some news organizations are coping

Universities around the country have closed their doors and student publications canceled their print editions, leaving news organizations and worried about the coronavirus’s economic impact.

In early March, University Daily Kansan was gearing up for their biggest advertising sales of the academic year because of their No. 1 ranked men’s basketball team. Then, the coronavirus pandemic started spreading more rapidly in the U.S. prompting a slew of event cancelations followed by the University of Kansas shutting its doors for the… Continue reading COVID-19 severely affected student newspapers’ advertising sales. This is how some news organizations are coping

No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

An empty newsstand of The Commonwealth Times
SGA members allegedly cleared out kiosks and trashed newspapers last Wednesday VCU’s main campus. (The Commonwealth Times / Hannah Eason)

UPDATE: No criminal charges are being filed after 13 newsstands were emptied at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.  On Feb. 26, 2020, members of VCU's Student Government Association were seen trashing copies of The Commonwealth Times that included an article detailing ongoing conflicts within SGA. According to a statement by the VCU Police Department, detectives… Continue reading No criminal charges filed after VCU student government members trashed 875 copies of The Commonwealth Times

How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

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Editor's note: This story provides tips for finding information about mental health in schools. For guidance on ethical considerations while covering these stories, please consult National Alliance on Mental Illness or Active Minds. For legal considerations, contact SPLC's legal hotline.  Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are rising among teenagers. According to Active Minds,… Continue reading How to access the information you need to cover mental illness at your school

An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

The current staff of Devil’s Advocate, established in 2018, is working as Ellenville High School’s underground news source. Jasmine Shiffer, the editor-in-chief of the outlet, is top row, second from the right. (Devil’s Advocate / Alex Shiffer)

NEW YORK — After Ellenville High School's newspaper was cut, a group of students (and a few supportive adults) created a news app called Devil’s Advocate to bring student journalism back to the school. The app serves as the school’s underground news outlet, operating completely independently of the school.  Ellenville had a well-established newspaper through… Continue reading An underground news operation: How student journalists paved their own space at their school

Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020

Student journalists around the country engaged with readers, called for grassroots movements to ensure their First Amendment rights, and took a stand against censorship for Student Press Freedom Day on Jan. 29. Student Press Freedom Day was launched by the Student Press Law Center in 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1988… Continue reading Op-eds, panels, newsroom open houses, TikToks: How student journalists celebrated Student Press Freedom Day 2020