University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

Cover of the most recent print issue of The Koala, published in 2016

UPDATE — The University of California San Diego settled a First Amendment lawsuit with a student-run satirical publication on Sept. 8, 2020, which legal experts say secured significant protections for student journalists against financial censorship. The lawsuit stemmed from a controversial November 2015 article from The Koala, a satirical newspaper on campus. The student government… Continue reading University settles lawsuit with satirical campus publication, affirming 1A protections for students

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

Former Harvard employee files rare lawsuit against student newspaper

(Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts / Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

MASSACHUSETTS — A former Harvard University employee named the school’s student newspaper in a federal lawsuit filed July 20, accusing The Harvard Crimson of defamation and libel over coverage of his nude play about circumcision.  Eric Clopper, who worked as a systems administrator at the university, filed suit against Harvard, The Crimson, a Harvard governing… Continue reading Former Harvard employee files rare lawsuit against student newspaper

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

A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

(Medieval Times seniors pose in front of Rialto High School in Southern California. The journalism course’s adviser, Cassandra Rodriguez, is pictured second from left / Photo by Cassandra Garcia)

CALIFORNIA — Cassandra Garcia, a rising senior at Rialto High School in Southern California is fighting to bring back a journalism course at her high school after her principal removed the class from the fall schedule without informing students or the adviser.  Garcia is a reporter for the Medieval Times, Rialto's student newspaper. The school’s… Continue reading A high school newspaper was cut during the pandemic. Is it a sign of things to come?

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

Student journalists covering protests face unprecedented violence from police

Daily Lobo photographer Liam DeBonis works in the field during protests in Albuquerque, New Mexico / Photo by Sharon Chischilly

Student journalists covering nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism are being met with unprecedented pushback from law enforcement. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, there have been more than 440 reported aggressions against the press — including high school and college journalists — covering public protests in at least 140 cities across… Continue reading Student journalists covering protests face unprecedented violence from police

Student coverage of racial justice protests

Protestors in Wilmington (NC) gather on the steps of City Hall downtown. (Panda Omo)

Student journalists are on the frontlines of protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis on May 25. Through their coverage, students are keeping their communities informed on protests, curfews and local government response, despite attacks from police and risk of exposure to COVID-19. In order to recognize and express our appreciation for… Continue reading Student coverage of racial justice protests

COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

Student journalist have been at the forefront of news reporting amid the coronavirus outbreak. In this unprecedented time, student reporters are working together, sometimes from thousands of miles apart, to cover campus and community news. In recognition of the essential work of student journalist, the Student Press Law Center has put together a list featuring… Continue reading COVID-19 coverage by student journalists

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

creativesignature / Pixabay

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