The ethics of crime reporting are slippery, subjective and hard to define. Few stories have more at stake than those that deal with life and death, guilt and innocence. The decision-making — from how to word allegations to what information to include or exclude in a crime blotter item — is something that requires ethical discussion and dissection.
In nearly every story, student journalists remain outside observers. But the Occupy movement signified that slim percentage of coverage where reporters become actors in the story.
Risqué content can quickly become risky for student journalists. A few bleep-worthy words or a more-than-suggestive sex column can earn editors and reporters anything from an inbox flooded with angry emails to an earful from school officials to threats to the publication itself. So how to handle it? Students and advisers dished on the agony and ecstasy of pushing the limits in campus journalism.
Recent court decisions and legislative battles have outlined a murky forecast for the applicability of sunshine laws to state school board associations. Actions in Iowa, as well as South Carolina and New Jersey, have muddied the waters when it comes to just how transparent these organizations are required to be and whether they do, indeed, qualify as public entities.
The Mississippi teenager whose yearbook portrait was removed because she wore a tuxedo will have her photo displayed alongside her classmates’ in the school library, as part of a settlement reached with the school district last week.The Copiah County School District also will scrap its portrait policy that required male students to wear tuxedos and female students to wear drapes for their official yearbook photos, the ACLU of Mississippi announced.Instead, all students will don graduation caps and gowns for their photos.Ceara Sturgis, a 2010 graduate of the Wesson Attendance Center, filed a discrimination lawsuit “on the basis of sex and on the basis of sex stereotypes” against the eastern Mississippi school district in August 2010.Sturgis, who prefers more masculine clothing, felt “uncomfortable” wearing the drape, designed to mimic a dress, in her photo.
Amid four concurrent investigations into allegedmisconduct in its student government, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Post has decided to sue two formerStudent Association leaders for the theft and destruction of approximately 800newspapers.
Administratorsare considering prior review of a northern Ohio high school newspaper after it caused astir earlier this week by publishing an article exploring student views onhomosexuality.
On the same day that former Penn State assistant footballcoach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on new molestation charges, state legislatorsreleased the text of a bill that would bring the university into the reach ofPennsylvania’s public records law.
AlejandroTeran submitted his editorial cartoon for the November issue of Bernalillo HighSchool’s The Basement without athought that it would trigger a First Amendment debate on censorship.
Dealing with hundreds of new emails each hour was not exactly how Emma Sullivan expected to spend her holiday weekend.