Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

Some student media advisers are scared going into the fall semester—both for their students’ safety, and the state of their journalism programs. Photo by Engin Akyurt via Unsplash

Sarah Verpooten watched as a parent at an Aug. 3 school board meeting advocated for returning to in-person classes. He was speaking into the microphone when he pulled down his mask to wipe his nose, pulled his mask back up, and continued speaking. That meeting resulted in a “very surprising vote” to return to in-person… Continue reading Student media advisers say they’re anxious about going back to school during COVID-19

Law enforcement tear gasses, throws flash-bangs at high school journalist covering Portland BLM protests

Eddy Binford-Ross, 17, wears a bulletproof vest while covering the Portland Black Lives Matter protests for her high school newspaper, the Clypian. (Photo courtesy of Binford-Ross.)

OREGON — Before going out to cover the Portland protests against police brutality and systemic racism, Eddy Binford-Ross puts on swim goggles, a pink helmet with “press” written on all four sides, a bulletproof vest, and reflective tape spelling out “press” going down her leg. The 17-year-old wears this to show law enforcement officers she… Continue reading Law enforcement tear gasses, throws flash-bangs at high school journalist covering Portland BLM protests

Federal appeals court ruling affirms students’ off-campus First Amendment rights

A cheerleader posted a Snapchat with the caption “f*** cheer.” A Pennsylvania federal appeals court said the school violated her First Amendment rights when they kicked her off the team. (Flickr / Patrick Feller CC by 2.0)

PENNSYLVANIA — A high school student was kicked off the cheerleading team for cursing the team on Snapchat. She filed a lawsuit. A federal appeals court's ruling is a major step toward securing First Amendment rights for students in person and online when they’re off campus. In B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District, the Third Circuit… Continue reading Federal appeals court ruling affirms students’ off-campus First Amendment rights

Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

The PantherNOW staff in a Zoom meeting. Photo from Gerard Albert

Florida International University's student government cut the budget of the student paper, PantherNOW, for the fourth year in a row on March 24. This came just two weeks after the paper reported the Elections Board violated an election code that said SGA must publish the ballot a week before the election, leaving students unaware of… Continue reading Florida college SGA cuts paper’s budget following election violation story

Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Police agencies are misinterpreting a victim rights law, and it isn’t helping the victims or the public

This opinion piece reflects the point of view of the writer. Cameren Boatner is a reporting intern for the Student Press Law Center. Students have a right to know when a crime occurs in their backyard – especially when the crime is sexual violence. But a law intended to protect victims is leaving the public… Continue reading Opinion: Marsy’s Law needs to be amended to keep the public better informed on crime

Access to public information restricted as schools move online

Many schools across the country are failing to comply with Sunshine Laws during the coronavirus pandemic, which is making it even more difficult for student journalists to cover the news. Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said the coronavirus isn’t a legally acceptable reason for universities to withhold public information… Continue reading Access to public information restricted as schools move online

Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

Editor’s note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting. Advisers, see SPLC's resources for teaching remotely. How do you find story ideas when your students aren't at school? How do you transition tried-and-true lesson plans to work in an online format? How do… Continue reading Student media advisers in new territory during campus shut downs over the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

The coronavirus has caused schools to cancel classes, but their student publications are still working to keep their readers informed. Illustration by CDC

Editor's note: Check out the Student Press Law Center’s guide to covering the coronavirus pandemic for resources and tips to help with your reporting.  Daniel Albert, editor-in-chief of The Clipper at Everett Community College in Everett, WA just finished sending the latest issue of the paper to the printer on March 5 when he got… Continue reading Coronavirus: Classes canceled, coverage continues

High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

This is the former cover of the Feb. 13 issue of The Bruin. The students had to reprint the paper and take out the words “in a white school district.” Photo courtesy of Halle Shaeffer

OHIO — Wadsworth High School's student paper, The Bruin, sparked district-wide controversy and conversations about racism with their Feb. 13 story "Black History Month in a White School District." Some praised the coverage for bringing attention to the lack of diversity in the district, while others said the headline discounted the experiences of the already… Continue reading High school paper censored for “offensive” headline on story about district’s lack of diversity

Change to Clery investigation process helps student journalists get information faster

(Unsplash / Fred Moon)

The Department of Education used to take years to resolve Clery Act complaints against universities. But as of 2019, several schools underwent a new, quicker process, which brought the schools under Clery compliance — giving journalists access to more complete campus crime statistics — in a matter of months. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus… Continue reading Change to Clery investigation process helps student journalists get information faster